Number of Candidates
* There was one by-election in Scotland
** There was one by-election in Wales
*** There were six Independent clashes
**** Others this month consisted of Pirate Party (26 votes), All People's Party (46, 64, 22, and 25 votes), An Independence from Europe (77 votes), BNP (73 votes), NF (14 votes), Loughton Residents' Association (659 votes), and Yorkshire First (131 and 133 votes)
Overall, 198,433 votes were cast over 83 local authority (tier one and tier two) contests. All percentages are rounded to the nearest single decimal place. 18 council seats changed hands in total. For comparison with April's results, see here.
Well, what a month that was. Let's get the caveats in first. While this is superficially an excellent result for Labour, the by-elections rolled over into super Thursday were mostly in safe(ish) Labour areas. In total it picked up seven seats, but lost another three elsewhere. The Tories didn't fare well in wards they were never going to fare well in, but despite the losses (11 were lost with four gains) they did up their vote-per-candidate average - no mean feat in unfriendly territory. Annoyingly for the LibDems but happily for UKIP, the latter's year-long run of conceding third place came to an end. There was only 400 votes in it, though by-election watchers will note the yellows only came close to the purples thanks to fielding more candidates. Here UKIP managed to gain three and lose three seats.
Sticking with UKIP for a moment, considering the character of the wards fought in this round of by-elections, according to the Jon Cruddas theory that the purples are breathing down Labour's neck in its core areas here, at least, doesn't stack up. Labour took seats from them on this occasion and as for the wider results, they were and have since been (wilfully?) misinterpreted and misread. Despite the testimony from Labour/UKIP switchers, there is little to suggest UKIP are polling significantly more than the 'natural' working class anti-Labour vote. But more on that another time.
Overall a bumper crop. I understand at least 14 by-elections are scheduled for June. With a smaller sample there are few things that can be said, but unless a bus brings this blog to a premature end they'll get covered anyway.