What the local election results mean


What the local election results mean

Peter Bingle analyses the implication of the local election results, both for country and the future of Britain’s political parties.

The scale of this week’s Tory triumph is best epitomised by a Tory candidate being elected to represent Ferguslie Park in Paisley. Why? This is the most deprived electoral division in the whole of the UK.

Labour’s despair and annihilation is best epitomised by the newly elected Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham deliberating snubbing Jeremy Corbyn by not turning up for yesterday’s ‘rally’ in Manchester.

Politics in the UK is on the threshold of a new era. Inspired by the legacy of Joseph Chamberlain we are witnessing the rebirth of Metropolitan Toryism, a development which has profound political implications for the electoral map.

Tory mayoral victories in the West Midlands and the Tees Valley are the first signs of a political tide which will have become a tsunami by 8th June. Labour no longer ‘rules ok’ in cities and towns. The Tories are no longer the nasty party.

There are some obvious trends which are now taking place:

UKIP is in its death throes. It is no longer seen as having a purpose and UKIP voters are turning to Theresa May to deliver Brexit. The political impact of the UKIP vote collapsing cannot be overstated. It is the death-knell for over fifty Labour MPs. Watch what happens to Jon Cruddas in Dagenham & Rainham where UKIP polled 21.6 per cent in 2015.

The nationalist tide in Scotland has come to a shuddering halt thanks to a resurgent Scottish Tory Party. What Ruth Davidson has achieved north of the border is little short of miraculous. There is now a real possibility of Angus Robertson losing in Moray.

The Tory strategy for winning over traditional Labour voters in constituencies which voted for Brexit is working and it is doing so because voters are being asked to support Theresa May personally rather than vote Conservative. Theresa May is very popular with working class voters just like Margaret Thatcher.

There is not going to be a Lib Dem resurgence. They may win some additional seats but if they do the numbers will be very small. The situation might be better for them if they had a different leader but they are stuck with Tim Farron.

Greater London is no longer the safe Labour Party bastion that was once the case. The Tories are going to make substantial gains in the capital on 8th June. Once marginal Tory seats such as Battersea are no longer being targeted by the Labour Party. The focus is trying to hold on in areas such as Eltham and Ealing Central & Acton.

The scale of the Tory triumph this week will have caused many Labour activists and candidates to lose the will to live. They know better than anybody else that voters don’t like Jeremy Corbyn and more importantly won’t vote for him.

Theresa May is on course for a landslide. Then the fun will start!

Electoral Calculus is currently predicting the following result :

Tories – 404
Labour – 171
Lib Dems – 8
SNP – 45
PC – 4

A Tory overall majority of 158. I suspect that the real result on 8th June will deliver an even better result for Theresa May.

Have a good weekend.

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  • Peter Bingle
    Peter Bingle
    Peter is the Founder of Terrapin Communications. With a career in politics and communications that has spanned almost four decades, he is one of the country's leading public affairs practitioners. His career has seen him advise many top companies, including McDonald’s, HSBC, L’Oreal, Permira, Motorola, Camelot, Rolls Royce & Kellogg's.
    • Derek

      Populism is authoritarian, nationalist and anti-immigration and has been rising slowly for decades. UKIP first captured this vote. Indirectly Cameron aided UKIP because he was a Liberal and therefore prevented Populists turning to the Conservatives.
      The Referendum exposed that many blue collar workers in the regions are populist. May then took over but is far more authoritarian and nationalistic than Cameron. In polls of polls Conservatives start to climb away from Labour from this point in time.

      This transition was greatly aided by the earlier election of Corbyn who is the antithesis of May – indecisive, internationalist and pro mass immigration and so has little appeal to populist working class voters. His appeal is to left leaning metropolitans.
      UKIP is seen by voters now as “job done” so their votes have flooded to May strengthening the Conservative vote and simultaneously weakening Labour in regions with large percentages of Populist or UKIP voters.
      Labour has no chance of winning because most key marginals will never be attracted by his far left politics and the reduced blue collar vote in the regions cuts into what once were safe Labour seats.
      The politics of voters are changing and stuck in the past left Labour is the least capable party of matching this change in attitudes.

    • sylvesterthecat

      UKIP are only ‘finished’ if the Teresa May delivers an unequivocal BREXIT without fudging or hedging. She will be rightly held to account by ‘ex-UKIP Temporary Tories’ like me because she is the only one who can deliver BREXIT at present.

      Whether I ever become a Permanent Tory depends on the Prime Minister. She had my vote last Thursday and will get it again at the General Election, but she had better not fail us.

      UKIP for all its recent internal divisions and shambolic leadership, have a lot to be proud of not least as the party that squeezed Cameron into having the referendum. If Teresa May were to fulfil UKIP’s main objective for it, she will no doubt reap the political rewards, one of which will be the end of UKIP.

      Should she fail to deliver a real and sustainable BREXIT, she will find UKIP behind her snapping at her heels, as before.

    • Weygand

      While a nice thought, I am sure this prediction is greatly exaggerated – for two reasons.
      The turnout in the general election will, as always, be much larger than for local elections.
      The section least represented in the local vote are the under 25s. A substantial number of them will make the effort in June and unfortunately in their naivety they are less likely than other cohorts to vote Conservative.
      I reckon her majority may be half that suggested above – which would still be enough.

    • GampUK

      Labour is dead until they get rid of Corbyn and his gang of ideologues. They might do better if they stopped insisting on fighting the class battles of the 50s and 60s and embraced the current social climate.

    • grumpyashell

      Have not posted in years but here goes…..as I see it all the commentators are seeing UKIP as a political party when in fact they are a lobbying group that with Brexit can rebrand to UKP to lobby on other issues.
      Labour could split as Corbyn/corbynista’s/Momentum are a group are total idealists who do not care if they lose as they are totally committed to their cause and will keep on going to the very end. Leaving others in the party to either form another or join/take over the Libdums.
      The tories are also in a strange position,even with them there is a possibility of a split….if T May starts giving ground on Brexit the real supporters will get really worried and could join UKP and the soft Tories would be left. The possibility of this is getting higher by the day as (as the polls suggest) there will be a large new Tory pro majority of anti EU MP’s.

      What the media have not understood is that times are changing and the old loyalties are going, more people are voting tactically than ever before,be it in England,Wales or Scotland.

      One thing I cannot understand is why May has not talked of not pulling out of the Common Fisheries Policy which would get votes in areas which are usually anti Tory …it would be a no brainier to get votes from the Fishing community in England and more importantly in Scotland

    • 60022Mallard

      I wonder if the (il)Liberal (un)Democrats will rue not electing Norman Lamb as leader. I suspect he would better represent the mood in the country than Farron, and has actually had experience of being a minister, when I believe he did a good job. Some may say he would be Tory lite, but better than Corbyn lite.

    • Ringstone

      Tim Farron = Minor Fart [anag]
      Appropriately enough ;o)

    • 5th column traitors

      Oddly the BBC are claiming she will only get 38% of the vote at the GE. I have no idea where they got that from.

      • Blowmedown

        That’s wishful thinking. They continue to try to drive their audience towards the left and use every subterfuge at their disposal. A bottomless pit of political funding in the way of the license fee is how they survive. The latest petition to do away with the iniquitous tax on viewing has been shuffled off by the Government due to the forthcoming GE. The petition garnered in excess of 125,000 signatures calling for non-payment to be decriminalised.

      • sybilla12

        Postal voting fraud perhaps.

      • Paul Robson

        It might be extrapolated from the locals. I have seen in the last day and a bit an argument repeated which is something like if applied to the GE, the LE numbers would suggest a Tory majority of about 60 odd.

        Those who have suggested it I have (i) pointed out they can make a fortune on spread betting (currently Tories are 399-405, Labour are 149-155 which is just a teeny bit more than 60 (ii) offered them a personal bet around the 100 mark. So far no takers ….

        The other thing they might be doing is talking about a percent of the whole population, not those who vote.

    • SonofBoudica

      I notice that a lot of youth are all for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. Let us hope that they mature quickly once they leave education, and escape the brainwashing of the socialist teaching establishment.

      • 60022Mallard

        I believe the 18-40 cohort are more favourable to Corbyn. That age group is, of course, too young to remember the socialism of the 1970s Labour currently seems to want to take us back to!

      • Ken

        I have never seen so many students convert to Tory politics as when they open their first paycheck and see how much tax they pay.

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