It’s not every day that the national leader of a political party is sent to campaign in a municipal by-election. Other than in exceptional circumstances, these polls tend to fly under the radar of national political consciousness. But political pundits are always on the lookout for possible swings in voter sentiment.

Some argue that by-elections provide a way for voters to express immediate displeasure with their party — though they will still support it in general and local government elections. But the performance of the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) over the past few months would seem to contradict this theory.

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