Number of Candidates
* There were three by-elections in Scotland
** There were no by-elections in Wales
*** This month saw no Independent clashes
**** Others this month consisted of the Socialist Labour Party (131), SDP (15), United Thanet (44), North East Party (15), Farnham Residents' Assoc (754) (386) (356), English Democrats (24), and the Communist Party of Britain (86)
Overall, 37,325 votes were cast over 21 local authority (tier one and tier two) contests. All percentages are rounded to the nearest single decimal place. The Conservatives won seven contests, Labour six (one of which was a safe hold with a 500+ majority), LibDems two, UKIP three, and Others two, while eight council seats changed hands in total. For comparison with May's results, see here.
Another month, and another close result between the Conservatives and Labour. Noteworthy moments are the Tories taking a seat off Labour, and Labour winning something in Scotland the second month on the trot! Though what concerns me about Labour's performance is despite dwarfing all the other parties combined in membership size, somehow the Tories make a showing in the lion share of vacancies, regardless of how awful their prospects. I do have a story about the hook and crookery they employ to ensure this is done, but I'm saving it up. Still, the point remains: there is no reason why Labour shouldn't contest every seat that comes up and the party needs to encourage its branches to be more pro-active.
In other news, stone me! UKIP have out-polled the LibDems. Admittedly, while the yellows scooped up an extra seat, which is better than the purples' showing, they fielded more candidates and got a poorer vote. As one sunny day doesn't make a summer, especially in Britain, I'll put this down as a blip in UKIP's decline. But if the facts change, to indulge a celebrated phrase, my mind will too.
Also, some interesting far left challenges tucked away. Both were Scottish, and both slightly perplexing. The Morning Star's Communist Party of Britain was contesting a seat with a history of communist support, so I suppose it makes sense. Which, given their sporadic and light-minded approach to contesting elections, is something of a strategic advance for them. As for the SLP, long-term Stalinoid watchers know it seldom contests, and when it does it's usually to spoil another far left candidate's chances. Some folk set their political ambitions so very low.