- Friday, 04 May 2012
- Written by Steve Jones
This year's local election results have delivered a huge no-confidence vote to the Coalition parties. On Thursday night, the Tories were accused of 'ramping up' election predictions for Labour in the hope that they would not win that figure and the government could then claim that things were not that bad after all. In fact, the Tory prediction was wrong - Labour did far better!
With counting virtually over, Labour have picked up over 700 seats winning control of 30 councils. In Scotland, the SNP made gains but so did labour - the SNP dream, so touted by the media in recent weeks, of grabbing Glasgow from Labour came to nothing. Labour have also made gains in the London Assembly but look set not to win the Mayoral election in a close fight.
The only good news for the Tories was that the Lib-Dems did even worse around the country.
One important fact to note is that the turnout was low - a national figure of just 30% has been quoted. What this reveals is a) people have become very aware of how little power local councils now have and b) that although they have a hatred of the Coalition, there is a lack of enthusiasm for Labour's policy of 'nicer' cuts. Had Labour come out with a fighting programme capable of motivating the millions who did not vote then the election result could have been much better. People are opposed to the cuts and they would like to be able to vote for Labour candidates who thought likewise!
On the fringe front, the BNPs decline continue, which is to be welcomed. The various ultra-left "campaigns" came to very little. Any hope that the "Bradford Effect" would take root around the country was just a fantasy although Respect picked up 5 seats in Bradford itself. TUSC (backed by the Socialist Party group and the SWP to an extent) picked up one seat in Preston but lost Dave Nellist in Coventry. Most of the rest got laughable votes, although in Southampton they did split the vote enough to have prevented two labour gains. Had this been critical in stopping Labour from gaining control of the council then public sector workers involved in a bitter fight against the old Tory administration might have had 'words' with TUSC promoters at their union conferences. As it happens Labour stormed to a great victory in the City so the two failed gains did not matter in the end.The TUSC line that Labour and the Tories are the same clearly has not met with much joy in the real world. No doubt nothing will be learned from this.
A more detailed analysis of the results and what it means will appear on this site shortly...