Friday, 5 May 2017
Local Elections: Tories Storming Ahead, Labour is Corbtaminated, LibDem Fightback Stalled, Ukip is Dead
Early results in the local elections - and I shall update this as more come in - suggests that the Tories are doing as well as the polls have suggested, Labour is doing as badly as suggested and Ukip is effectively dead. Intriguingly the Lib Dems are not doing as well as some had thought.
There are caveats of course. These elections have mostly been held in areas that favour the Tories and voted for us to leave the EU. But not exclusively so. The new mayoral elections are being held in areas that ought to be good for Labour and they have held on in some core areas. But that is as good as it is getting for Labour. They are spinning the holds and trying to distract us from their loss of hundreds of councillors. Tories are taking control of councils in Warwickshire, Isle of Wight, Gloucestershire. Tories are also doing well in the east of England, in particular Essex.
Ukip voters are abandoning the party, which is pointless now and so their decision is entirely reasonable and rational, and moving straight to the Tories. Ukip is dead. It has ceased to be.
Labour are spinning like mad but the fact is that they have a leader and his colleagues who are turning off traditional Labour voters. Chauncey and co are toxic on the doorstep and are costing their party votes. John McDonnell, who posed in front of a communist flag this week and denies that he knew about it - a lie as egregious as those of Donald Trump - is trying to argue that these results are local. This is nonsense and he knows it. Of course there is a local flavour to local elections and they don't directly translate to the general election but they are a good read to what will happen. And they also reflect the opinion polls. Labour's only argument, 7 years into being the opposition party and at elections where they should be seeing gains, is that things are not quite as bad as some had predicted.
Diane Abbott is saying on TV that there is still everything to play for in the General Election. Certainly there is no room for complacency for Tories. But Labour candidates are having to disassociate themselves from their party leadership to stand any chance. That does not mean there is everything to play for. It means that Chauncey is weighing them down and people do not like him or trust him. The British people do not want Marxist terrorist sympathisers in government. They are sending that message loud and clear. Labour need to hear it.
With the results now mostly in we can say that it has been a superb result for the Tories, the SNP still dominate in Scotland and have replaced or are in the process of replacing Labour. That is really what is happening. Labour in Scotland are in the process of dying. The Tories are now the opposition, unlikely ever to govern but now the clear second party north of the border. But the SNP are past their zenith. They will never be as strong as they were in the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum of 2014.
The Lib Dems have had a comparatively disappointing result. They pinned their hopes on being the party of remain. Well it hasn't worked for them. They are bouncing back a little but not yet enough. It remains to be seen if this will translate to greater representation at Westminster.
The big story though is that the collapse of Ukip potentially adds to the Tory vote and may well mean them taking seats from Labour at the General Election. It's dangerous to read to much into these elections, but that seems to be what is happening and will happen.