The 2019 local elections are at an end and the results collated and endlessly analyzed in the msm. I had predicted a seat loss for the Conservatives of well beyond 1,000 seats, somewhere between there and 1,500. In that, my prediction was correct. Where I went wrong was in thinking that Labour would do well.
What I got right was the disgust and despair voters generally now feel in respect of the Conservative Party. What I got wrong, mainly, was in assuming that voters in the North and Midlands would vote Labour to spite the Conservatives, even if only as a choice between evils and not much supporting Labour as such.
The system of voting for local councillors etc in the UK is as antiquated and convoluted as one might resignedly expect: not all councils are elected in the same year, and some councils only elect a third of their councillors in any one election. Absurd.
The actual result of the election nationwide, where 8,798 seats (between a third and a half of all the 20,712 local government seats in the UK) were being contested was:
- Con 3,562 (loss of 1,334) seats;
- Lab 2,023 (loss of 82) seats;
- LibDems 1,350 (gain of 703) seats;
- Others 1,310 (mostly Independents). The Greens did well and now have 265 councillors (a gain of 194). UKIP did badly, and now have only 31 councillors (a loss of 145).
The two major System parties are now widely despised. More than that, the political/electoral system is now despised; people have little or no trust in it or in those who are making their living from it. Those facts are reflected not only in the votes cast, but in those not cast. Turnout varies depending on the type of body being elected, but seems overall to have been only about 30%, if that. In addition, unprecedentedly huge numbers of ballot papers were spoiled, some being endorsed with the words “Brexit” or “Brexit Party” or a drawn Swastika. Unsurprising, when one considers that, in many local council seats, there was no real choice.
In many areas of Southern England, the Conservatives were not opposed by even System party opponents from Labour or the LibDems. That explains the way in which disgusted voters voted for anyone not tainted by System connections: Independents (despite most being completely unknown to most of those who voted for them; complete wild cards); Residents’ Association candidates, Greens. How though to explain the relative success of the LibDems (a System party)? How to explain the collapse of UKIP (a non-System party)? In fact, there is no difficulty in understanding those apparent anomalies.
The LibDems were obviously voted for by voters who liked the LibDems’ focus on local affairs, those who are Remain supporters voting for the LibDems as an anti-Brexit protest vote, and by those former Conservative voters who wanted to punish the Conservatives generally, but who were unwilling to vote for Labour, Greens or for complete wild cards. For those people, I suspect mainly in the South of England, the LibDems were an acceptable compromise “dustbin” vote.
The Greens were probably mostly voted for as a pure protest vote, as well as an environmentally-oriented protest vote.
UKIP lost out badly and now, out of a possible nearly 21,000 councillors, has only 31. I think that one can see why that has happened. I have been tweeting/blogging for years that UKIP peaked in 2014. Since then, UKIP has been sliding. The good, but not good enough, 2015 General Election result led to a precipitous plunge in UKIP’s fortunes. Its new leader, Batten, has slowed the plunge, but not stopped it.
UKIP had insufficient troops and funds to fight these local elections hard. It did not contest the vast majority of seats anyway. Apart from that, it is clear that the connection with the “alt-Right” wastes of space (“Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin, “Prison Planet” Watson, “Count Dankula” Meechan) has damaged UKIP badly. Benjamin’s spat with ghastly “Labour” (Labour label) MP Jess Phillips was probably a huge turn-off for many voters. This is the end of the road for UKIP, even re. the EU elections (if any are held in the UK), because defections to Brexit Party have already left UKIP with only 3 MEPs, and BP is running at 30% or more in the opinion polls, while UKIP is now down to about 3%.
These were elections in which voters clutched at straws, weakly trying to damage the main parties of the System. In most seats, there was no non-System candidate standing. The aftermath has been that Con and Lab are now trying to cobble together a faked-up “deal” (“Brexit In Name Only”) so that both parties can avoid having to hold EU elections at all on the 23rd of this month..
We are coming to the end of even the pretence of representative democracy in the UK. Any means will soon be entirely justified in replacing the present corrupt, decadent and totally incompetent system with a better one. The present political system is just not working.
Update and afterthoughts, 4 May 2019
There were almost no candidates ostensibly “nationalist”, still less social-national. A few did well where they stood, here and there. The standouts were Karen King and Julian Leppert, both of whom were For Britain Movement candidates..
Julian Leppert was elected for the “For Britain” party in Waltham Abbey, Paternoster ward, in Epping Forest, Essex. The one-time BNP councillor received 40.7% of the vote, 321 votes; the Con in second place got 227. Turnout was only 23%. About 808 votes were cast in toto.
Karen King, in Hartlepool, de Bruce ward, won with an even more striking 49.5% vote. “The turnout for the elections was 27.18% with 19,284 verified votes from an electorate of 70,943” [Northern Echo]. That of course relates to all Hartlepool and not simply the ward picked out, where Karen King/For Britain Movement got 694 votes, Labour 527, Con 180.
Hartlepool Borough Council councillors now consist of 13 Labour, 8 Independent Union, 5 Independent, 3 Conservatives, 1 UKIP, 1 Veterans’ and People’s Party, 1 For Britain Movement and 1 Socialist Labour Party. Such fragmentation is interesting. The old “three party” or “two party” System stitch-up is just not working any more.
Of course, readers of this blog will know that I have little time for “For Britain Movement”, and 2 councillors is a very small contingent out of the nearly 21,000 in the UK, but looking at those results in isolation, one can only congratulate the candidates.
I shall blog separately about the prospects for the main System parties.