England are having council elections. Not all of them, it seems, and while I thought it was England and Wales… it’s not Wales. It’s most of England and all of Northern Ireland.
Not Scotland, so I didn’t get a chance to write obscenities on the ballot paper.
This map shows the incoming results. It’s nowhere near complete at the time of writing this blog post, so far about a quarter of the results are in. So, let’s have a quick look at what is happening at 03:21 on the morning after the voting happened.
Around 25% of councils have reported results. There could be massive swings to come in either direction but I’m not staying up that late. If the trends continue, here’s what we can expect.
Okay, I’ll explain my calculating method first. Labour have 616 seats and have lost 54. So they had 670 before. The percentage loss is therefore 54/670*100. so 8%. Embarrassing but not horrific.
The Tory loss is 19%. Now that is getting into sweaty underpants country, if the leadership had any sense at all.
Lib Dems and Greens have gained. Not at all surprising. Both parties have been staunchly and consistently against Brexit while Tories have lied through their teeth and Labour have flip-flopped like a mizzen-boom in a gale. Remain voters will have gone for the stable parties on their particular preference while Brexit voters really had nowhere to go in these elections. Hence so many spoiled ballots. I would really have loved to hear that Spoiled Ballot won one of those elections.
So the Lib Dem gain is +90, so they had 116 councillors before, so their gain is 90/116*100 or a rather impressive 77%. Greens have gained a truly shocking 375% so far!
UKIP have collapsed. 68% loss of councillors so far. But then, what use is a councillor whose party’s main aim is to deliver Brexit? A councillor can’t do that. UKIP can make a difference as MEPs or as MPs but as councillors, no. They cannot do what they were set up to do in a council setting and the voters have, I think, realised that. What UKIP have not realised is that what most of the old UKIP voters voted for was Smoky Nigel rather than the party as a whole.
Then there are The Others. Independents and tiny parties. The Brexit party doesn’t seem to be in there and I hope they haven’t wasted any ammunition on this exercise because, like UKIP, they can do nothing as councillors. It would not help their aims at all.
The Others have shown a 198% increase in council seats. People are voting for independents and local parties and groups. I’m guessing those are mostly the Brexit voters because there is nothing in these council elections for the Brexit supporter to vote for. UKIP? What can they do as councillors? Where is the party that supports Brexit in the main political confederation? There isn’t one. There are places for Remain supporters – Lib Dems and Greens – but no mainstream party for Brexit voters.
This is only a quarter of the way in. It could all change tomorrow. Or it could get a hell of a lot more scary for the Wastemonster mob. I hope it does.
Will Tessie Maybe pay attention? Will she change direction or stand down and let someone half-competent take over?
My bet is ‘no’.