This week once again saw two principal council by-elections. On Wednesday, the Conservatives held one of their two seats in Purley-on-Thames ward in West Berkshire (UA), with their candidate polling 68.1% to take victory with a comfortable majority of 764 votes. Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Brown finished fourth with 7.6%.

Two seats were available in yesterday’s by-election in the St Albans (DC) ward of Marshalwick South. The Conservatives held on to both seats with their two candidates collectively averaging 33.5% of the vote. Lib Dem candidates Mark Pedroz and Elizabeth Needham finishing third and fourth out of ten respectively, collectively polling 25% of the vote, an improvement of 5.8% from the party’s third place finish behind Labour in the ward’s previous election in May.

In total, six seats were contested in five by-elections in January (four Conservative holds, one Labour hold and one SNP hold). Lib Dem candidates were fielded in three of these principal council by-elections, polling an average of 14.9% in elections we contested.

Theakes says

I believe the St Albans ward was won in 2010 with 1700 votes. Just shows how far we have fallen and in a supposed target seat.

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