Number of Candidates
* There were three by-elections in Scotland
** There were two by-elections in Wales
*** There were no Independent clashes
**** Others this month consisted of the English Democrats (14) and Newcastle First (164)
Overall, 46,104 votes were cast over 26 local authority (tier one and tier two) contests. All percentages are rounded to the nearest single decimal place. The Conservatives won 15 contests, Labour eight, LibDems two, and PC one. Labour held two seats with a 500+ safe margin, while the Tories held onto four by a similar margin. In all, six seats changed hands. For comparison with October's results, see here.
What a rum month for Labour. Okay, you can put the large margin between it and the Tories down to the character of seats fought. But two of the three lost were to the Tories. Meanwhile, they picked theirs up from the Greens, Indies, and SNP(!). Politics is in a very weird place, but to have an incumbent government scoop a net gain of five is unprecedented. Well, for at least as long as I've covered by-elections. Whatever, this is a poor performance from Labour. Is it the Corbyn factor? It's too early to tell, however it does appear the reds have been caught a few times by the coming back of the LibDems. So politics realigned to accommodate UKIP and push the LibDems into fourth in England and Wales, Brexit and the collapse of the purples (how else can you describe their continued poor performance?) has put rocket boosters under the yellow team's recovery, and that means sluicing support off Labour too, helping cost them a seat here and there. Can it be contained? Yes, but we need to be clear what our Brexit position is. That we're all sixes and sevens suggests no one has learned the lessons of the last general election.