Local authority by-elections Q4 2015

 

party vote share % seats won candidates nett gain
Conservative 26.7 32 77 2
Labour 22.7 17 69 0
Liberal Democrat 15.7 16 65 -1
SNP 12.1 8 11 -1
UKIP 5.8 2 46 -1
Independent 5.0 4 28 -1
Green 4.2 2 46 1
Plaid Cymru 1.8 3 8 1
No description 1.4 3 5 3
Others 4.6 2 20 -3

89 contests in all, and as ever, not likely to be representative of the whole country. However, it is a significant sample, a good snapshot that provides something to mull over.

I am always disappointed when Labour does not field a candidate in every contest. Boast as much as we like about being the biggest party in the UK, bigger than all the others combines some claim (and I doubt) but we rarely best the Tories in contests fought. In fact the struggling Liberal Democrats almost match us in this yardstick. There are, the candidate numbers suggest, still only three truly national parties. Both UKIP and the Greens still have some way to go before they can justifiably make this claim.

David Cameron’s party are still enjoying a post-General Election honeymoon. At some point though, and sooner rather than later, Labour has got to start eating into the Tory councillor base. It is too early to start worrying about no nett gains for us yet, but if this continues through next year then we will have to rethink our strategy.