Number of Candidates
* There were no by-elections in Scotland
** There were four by-elections in Wales
*** There were three Independent clashes
**** Others this month consisted of Yorkshire First (91), People Before Profit (129), Justice and Anti-Corruption (41), Christian Alliance (29), and Mebyon Kernow (161)
Overall, 40,237 votes were cast over 32 local authority (tier one and tier two) contests. All percentages are rounded to the nearest single decimal place. The Conservatives won 10 contests, Labour eight, LibDems nine, UKIP one, Plaid Cymru two, and Independents two. Conservatives, Labour, and Plaid Cymru successfully defended a seat apiece by a safe margin (500+ votes), while eight council seats changed hands in total. For comparison with June's results, see here.
As the results this month were more or less drawn from not entirely safe areas as far as the Conservatives and Labour are concerned, it's a bit of a mixed bag for them. No stunning advances and no heavy losses either. However, the big story is the best performance for the Liberal Democrats since we started tracking by-elections. A net gain of seven councillors in a month isn't something the two bigger parties would sniff at, so for the yellows it is a remarkable achievement. Again, strength isn't showing in the polls, but at least where local by-elections are concerned they're making rapid gains. Whether its a confluence of local factors or part of the post-Brexit fall out remains to be seen, but as we've noted each month for over a year, these elections far away from the Westminster watchers' eyes are telling us something. They're picking up a real pattern in contest after contest. And lo! Poor old UKIP. A collapsing vote so soon? Again, whether this has to do with the vanishing of their raison d'etre and the retirement of Nigel Farage, it's too soon to tell, but again this comes off the back of a longer term trend. And, rarely for them, beaten by the Greens as well. What goodies will next month have in store?