The Conservatives have been trounced in the latest council by-elections by their Liberal Democrat coalition government partners losing two seats to them and overall control of Mendip DC.
There was also a landslide victory for Labour’s Linda Tift who won at Rainworth, Newark & Sherwood DC, in a contest caused by her husband’s death. The ward is in Sherwood constituency which the party lost to Tories in May’s General Election.
The Lib Dems’ gains came despite opinion poll findings that they are losing ground.
The Mendip triumph of Garfield Kennedy, from a previous third place, at Shepton West came in the Wells constituency which the Lib Dems gained in May’s Commons poll.
Liberal Democrat Richard Huffer made the party’s second gain at Clee, Shropshire CC.
In further cheer for Labour, analysis of five comparable results suggests it has a projected nationwide 3% lead over Tories, due to the huge net swing at Newark & Sherwood.
A hard-fought contest at Tulse Hill in Lambeth LBC saw a comfortable Labour win although there was a small net switch to Lib Dems, probably helped by a squeeze on the Tory vote.
The previous poll was on the same day as the general election.
There were some Conservative crumbs of comfort.
Their runner Frank Andrews gained from independent at Ribby-with-Wrea, Fylde BC and they defended the marginal South Staffordshire DC Huntington and Hatherton seat by just two votes.
- Fylde BC - Ribby with Wrea: C 292, Ind 256, Green 11. (May 2007 - Ind 348, C 290). C gain from Ind.
- Hyndburn BC - Peel: Lab 592, C 189. (May 2010 - Lab 1168, C 470). Lab hold. Swing 4.5% C to Lab.
- Lambeth LBC - Tulse Hill: Lab 1235, Lib Dem 745, Green 256, C 94. Ukip 36. (May 2010 - Three seats Lab 3232, 3186, 3160, Lib Dem 1764, 1748,1668, Green 759, 698, 656, C 608, 556, 503). Lab hold. Swing 1.5% Lab to Lib Dem.
- Mendip DC - Shepton West: Lib Dem 459, C 358, Lab 241, Green 44. (May 2007 - Two seats C 582, 518, Lab 396, 384, Lib Dem 307, 271). Lib Dem gain from C. Swing 15.2% C to Lib Dem.
- Newark and Sherwood DC - Rainworth: Lab 735, C 219, No description 144. (May 2007 - Three seats Ind 830, 738, Lab 677, 587, 584, C 547). Lab hold. Swing 21.3% C to Lab.
- Shropshire CC - Clee: Lib Dem 946, C 506, Ind 116. (May 2009 - C 714, Lib Dem 694, Ind 471). Lib Dem gain from C. Swing 14.5% C to Lib Dem.
- South Staffordshire DC - Huntington and Hatherton: C 237, Lab 235, Ind 64. (May 2007 - Two seats C 435, Lab 363, 359, C 326). C hold. Swing 1.1% Lab to C.