Number of Candidates
* There was one by-election in Scotland
** There was one by-election in Wales
*** There was one Independent clash
**** Others this month consisted of Holland-on-Sea Residents' Association (1,781 votes)
Overall, 21,243 votes were cast over 17 local authority (tier one and tier two) contests. All percentages are rounded to the nearest single decimal place. Five council seats changed hands in total. For comparison with February's results, see here.
Despite winning this month's popular vote (not that it matters where by-election tallies are concerned), the Tories took a pasting losing three council seats to various independents, and one to the resurgent Liberal Democrats. It's always difficult to say whether local factors are in play, or it's an outcome of the government right royally screwing up. If dropping this many seats is persistent then it's reasonable to conclude the latter is making its mark. Speaking of making a mark, what an excellent month for the LibDems. They were aided this month by a disproportionate number of by-elections taking place in areas where the party has traditionally done okay-to-well, and Labour not taking to the field in four contests. And while we're on the topic of Labour, once again despite being the largest party in the land by a country mile there is little evidence the membership surge is translating into more by-election candidates. To the LibDems and the Greens' credit, it appears they've had more success deploying their own mini-member surges in this direction.
Coming third behind the LibDems here might be meaningless, seeing as Labour areas were poorly represented this month, but there are lessons to be learned. The pattern over the last six months has been one of Labour doing better in so-called core areas, or where they've lost out a touch to UKIP in the recent past, but there's no evidence of clawback in Scotland and our performance in swing areas and wards in which fielding a Labour candidate is tantamount to calling for violent socialist revolution is much less than it could be. Still, the consolation is UKIP keep on sliding, so every cloud.