Local election results filter in
With nearly 5,000 seats up for grabs, Thursday 4th May 2017 was the first opportunity for local residents to have their say on who represents them since 2013.
With the current political climate, and the fact that this is the first time local elections have been held six weeks of a general election since the 1980’s, many were looking on with great interest at the results as an indicator of what to expect come June 8th.
Typically speaking we would usually expect a sitting government nearing then ten year mark to be suffering fairly heavy losses as is the norm but these are not normal political times and there are many, many areas of concern for Labour, UKIP and the Liberal Democrats.
The emerging story going in to Friday afternoon though is of nothing less than a bloodbath for Labour. A patchy story is emerging for the Lib Dems who were expected to perform well whilst the UKIP vote has collapsed in spectacular fashion.
Some of the most astonishing results to emerge so far, with many still to come, are that Labour has lost 97 seats in Wales whilst the Conservatives have gained 72. The party also performed particularly badly in its Welsh heartlands, where the party was founded, to lose control of two councils in the area.
In Scotland, though, came perhaps one of the most ominous results where Labour lost overall control of Glasgow city council for the first time in 40 years. Even more astonishing was that a Conservative councillor won a seat in the East end of Glasgow, with even the candidate admitting his shock. Thomas Kerr said: "When you stand as a candidate for the Conservatives in the east end of Glasgow you don't expect something like this to happen..." The 20-year-old put his win down to opposition to another Scottish independence referendum.
As of mid-afternoon on Friday the results stood at the following, with brackets indicating how each party did at the same elections in 2013:
Conservatives: +189 (in 2013 -335)
Labour: -82 (+291)
Ukip: -76 (+139)
Lib Dems: -25 (-124)
Greens +3 (+3)
With the general election drawing closer and closer it’s quite fair to say that unless Labour manage to recruit Superman or the reanimated corpse of Clement Attlee as their new leader they may well be staring down the barrel of a gun that could see them suffer their worst result in history.