A Snapshot of Carnage

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’.

9 thoughts on “A Snapshot of Carnage

  1. My area, once again, showed that if a red rosette was put on a donkey it’d get the vote. I feel that others fell for the argument that local elections are about local services; yet despite that voted for the same councillors that have overseen poor services for generations. I’d have preferred if the big 3 got a kicking at local level in order to affect national decisions.
    I spoke to someone yesterday, early 30’s I’d guess, who was surprised we’d voted as had never voted – a university graduate too. Perhaps s/he is wise beyond years and realises that politicians are in it for themselves.

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    • Snap, re the donkey analogy. Cannot get the turnout percentages but from a pdf of the ward by ward numbers around 45 ballot papers were spoiled in some way or other so hardly making an impression on anything round here and there were no ‘to close to call counts.
      Spoiling ballots seems to me to be a waste of effort, just as filling them in properly is and weirdly, not really, both party leaders blamed the people for not realising the local elections are about local issues not national ones. The arrogance and ignorance of these people is breathtaking.
      There must be an island somewhere that needs immigrants where we could send the entire government of the United Kingdom to their own devices.

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  2. It would be a lot worse but some people had a choice between blue socialists, red socialist and nothing else. If there had been town drunk on the ballot paper then it would have been different but Blue or red are going to get those regardless. Myself I had the additional choice of the Lib Dims. Super Wow.

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  3. I was persuaded that writing “None” is more constructive than writing “Bollocks”.

    The returning officer, apparently, has to classify the spoiled ballots.
    The “Bollocks” papers are classified as “intention not clear”, (which is arguably valid.)
    It isn’t valid to classify “None” as not clear. This gives him a headache.

    There is a campaign to include “None” as a tick box on the paper, so they can be counted as such.
    I’ve done my bit to encourage the returning officer to support that campaign 🙂

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  4. The real news is the very large number of independents elected, meaning lots of people see a benefit from having a hometown person getting stuck into local issues and not cowtowing to some remote head office.

    Those are voters who felt it better to go with Charlie or Fred or Mary than just abstain or spoil their ballot. IMO it sends a stronger, more permanent message to the establishment.

    Yes the LibDems picked up a lot of Europhile votes and that’s to be expected. The Greens are a tricky one, though the party is run by loons, so it’s bound to appeal to like minded people.

    UKIP was never going to fare well and money is scarce now without their main benefactor, so they didn’t put many candidates forward, preferring to keep their powder dry for the EU ones.

    It’s tough to blue sky what might happen if we do have EU elections, Brexit Party’s the joker in the pack. However it looks dire for UKIP. I’ve scrutinised their website manifesto and see zero about smoking rooms.

    If that is the case then they truly are a spent force in national politics (so any UKIP wallah out there, get your arse into gear and get it fixed – like yesterday).

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    • ”I’ve scrutinised their website manifesto and see zero about smoking rooms.”

      You and me both. But it seemed that policy was quietly dropped as soon as Farage departed. So they lost my vote there and then. I’ve yet to find the new Brexit party’s manifesto (if they have one yet), but when I find it I’ll be looking carefully ….

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      • I think both Junican and Frank Davis spotted it quickly. As soon as Farage left, any amendment to the smoking ban was dropped by UKIP. It’s why I stopped promoting them – the only other policy I cared about was gone.

        I have no idea what the Brexit party propose. I suspect they just want Brexit and then they’ll disband – but this time, Farage isn’t going to leave until the job is complete.

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  5. I was delighted to discover that there was a local neighbourhood party standing three candidates in my area – two of whom I know and like (they live at the end of my road, actually). Prior to that I either wasn’t going to vote, or was going to vote for anyone – anyone at all – who wasn’t from any of the big parties – or was going to spoil my ballot paper. As it was, I was very pleased to be able to case my vote for genuinely local people, including one who has actually left the Conservative party, where he’d been a member for many years, in order to team up with something a bit different. And they won! All three of their candidates romped home. Sadly – in terms of parties – the LibDems hold the majority of the seats, but only by one – the second largest group being “independents and others,” including my chosen people. So that was a bit of rare good news. I get the impression that a similar scenario is emerging in many, many other areas as well, which can only be a good thing in terms of giving the big parties a kick in the backside.

    What’s been irritating, though, is that pretty much all of the news coverage has wittered on endlessly about the losses and/or gains of the big parties, as if they are still the only ones who matter. But then, our media, like our politicians, seem these days to be constantly slightly behind the curve in terms of public opinion and public feeling. I always thought that the purpose of the media was to give us information that we didn’t already know (it’s what we all used to call “news” back in the old days); these days, they seem to be more surprised by any unusual turn of events (like the rise of new, smaller parties and independent candidates) than the general public is!

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