May 2018 local election analysis
Well that was…a damp squib, no? No big Labour break through, no big Tory losses. With all the brave talk by Labour and all the pitch rolling/expectation management by the Tories, in effect not a lot really happened. Or did it? As ever the crack DI team will explain all:
To compare how the parties have really done one has to look at the seats they were actually defending which were last elected in 2014. In those halcyon times Mr Millipede was riding high, the Coalition was in its dog days, Cleggy was increasingly less cool and Brexit was a mere twinkling in the average crazed Brexiteer’s wild eyes. Ah, those were the days.
Back then, Labour achieved their best results in over 40 years, winning 1060 councillors, control of 20 out of 32 councils and achieved 43% of the popular vote, their highest since 1971. The Tories drooped to their lowest ever percentage of the vote in a London election, at just 29.9%, and fell to their lowest councillor total since 1998. The Lib Dems vote halved, with the party dropping to 10% of the popular vote, the worst result for the Lib Dems for 36 years. And Mr Farangitis of UKIP was crowing after their best ever local election result.
The results are still coming in but we can now begin to analyse what happened yesterday?
Quick guide to the night – Tories did well in Leave areas. Labour did slightly better than them in Remain areas. Remain/Leave is the new Left/Right of UK politics.
Tories – Frankly a good night. Remember these were local elections – never good for a party of Government – and after eight years in control nationally to boot. They should have had a real kicking. In fact, they suffered a minor scratch. They won back Barnet – the 15% Jewish population there surely helping them after Labour’s awful mishandling of its anti-Semitism debacle – and comfortably held Wandsworth, Westminster and RBKC much trailed by Labour (somewhat madly in DI’s view) as possible wins. Elsewhere, they lost Trafford and Richmond upon Thames but won Basildon and Peterborough. Now if the Maybot had experienced a truly bad night, after a week where she lost a Home Secretary and a cabinet discussion on her customs partnership Brexit plan, the knives would have been being sharpened very loudly indeed. In the event, she’s safe to limp on in her tragic way through Brexit until she is decapitated in 2019 by her kind Tory colleagues.
Labour – As the DI team has been saying for some time, we are now past peak Corbyn. Remember in the 2017 General Election, despite all the mad triumphal noise, Jezza did as well as Gordon Brown in 2010, which at that time was considered a bad loss. (Little did they know Mr Millipede was around the corner). But Labour is living in a new parallel universe, where St Jezza is a colossus and can do no wrong. Except it seems on local Election Day. No breakthrough. Some small wins, some losses. But when you are losing Nuneaton and Derby, however good your win is in Plymouth, questions should be being asked. This is a mid-term moment, where the official Opposition should be winning big. And Corbyn simply isn’t.
Lib Dems – Nationally the Lib Dems remain an irrelevance. But last night there were small signs that they are slowly moving forwards. A win in Richmond upon Thames means that Big Vince can keep his job. But he is even less inspiring that Tiny Tim, his predecessor. And that was a low bar. So he will wander on in the wilderness, his unhappy colleagues trailing along behind him, trying to win again, council seat by council seat.
UKIP – Dead. End of. Next question. The only bit of Dave’s EU referendum strategy that worked was that UKIP has been destroyed and the Right has been reunited.