Number of Candidates
* There were two by-elections in Scotland
** There was one by-election in Wales
*** There was one independent clash this month
**** Others this month consisted only of the BNP (51 votes)
Overall, 27,069 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 five contests, Labour four, LibDems five, SNP one, and Independents six. The Conservatives took a seat from UKIP with a 500+ safe margin. In all, 11 seats changed hands. For comparison with November's results, see here.
The first thing to note is how Labour have, this month, dropped behind the LibDems. Coming third for the second party of British politics is never a good look. While the story of dismalism is in-keeping with Labour's recent results, this month geography was really against it. The Tories were defending 12 seats, one of which fell to Labour. In the rest, the party wasn't much of a contender. The LibDems on the other hand properly cleaned up, taking four off the Tories while they had to make to with a consolation pick up from the overhyped and underperforming UKIP.
What can we take from this? The strength of the LibDems at local level is, again, being reconfirmed by ballot box results - despite what the polls say. And this isn't happening just in areas that voted Remain in June, it's across wards, across constitutencies. As suggested the other day, where the Leave/Remain axis is concerned, it so far appears that Remain voters are more likely to be motivated on the basis of their referendum vote than Leave people where it comes to casting ballots in by-elections. Something Labour should take note of.