Sunday, 14 April 2024

‘A Plague on both your houses’
The losers from the local elections were the two main parties’ e.g. Conservatives and Labour, losing 44 & 6 Councils and 1334 & 82 seats, respectively. The winners were the smaller parties e.g. Lib Dems, Independent/RA’s & Greens, largely due to the collapse of the main parties vote (both only getting 28% of the overall votes (down from a combined 82.4% in the 2017 GE). Turnout was down a bit but spoilt ballots were up.

The Tory vote collapsed largely because of the failure to deliver Brexit, May’s poor handling and her suggested weakening of it.

Labour’s vote improved in middle class ‘Remain’ areas but did far worse in working class ‘Leave’ areas.

The Lib Dems (703) and Greens (194) won extra seats largely in Remain areas on the back of the Tory meltdown.

UKIP lost most of their seats but managed to hold onto or win a 5th of them, unlike last year when they lost all those up for re-election.

The most remarkable results were that for the Independent/Resident Associations who won a total of 1172 seats (including 661 gains) which is probably an historical record. Many of the ‘Independents’ are actual groups such as the ‘City Independents’, ‘Ashfield Independents’ or ‘Farnworth and Kearsley First’. More remarkably, for the first time (?), they now run outright (and others in coalition) some 4 councils (from one previously). Whilst they are likely to have benefitted from the angry Brexiteer vote only time will tell if they can hold onto it from next year etc.

The next elections are likely to be for the European Parliament. The Brexit Party and Change UK are likely to corner the market for Leave and Remain respectively as they will both benefit from the clearly disaffected voters.

Will all this lead to a ‘Political Revolution’ and electoral and Constitutional reform? It is anyone’s guess but we at the National Liberals hope so!
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