Friday, May 04, 2007

Local Elections 2007

In the event Labour didn't quite go into "meltdown" as all the pundits predicted. The story is surely about how the Lib Dems collapsed - in some areas like Bournemouth, they collapsed spectacularly, losing 23 seats to the Tories.

In the big English provincial cities that decide general elections, Labour more than held up. They gained four seats off the Lib Dems in Liverpool. In Nottingham, Labour gained four seats, two from the Lib Dems and two from others. In Coventry, Labour gained four seats, two off the Tories, one from the Lib Dems, and one from others. Labour gained two seats off the Lib Dems in Bristol. In Luton, Labour gained five seats, four off the Lib Dems. And in Southampton, the Lib Dems lost four seats - two to Labour and two to the Tories. Bristol, Luton and Southampton are all in the south - so much for Labour being unable to gain seats in the south.

This election looks like the beginning of the return of two party politics, with the Lib Dems giving back their borrowed votes to the party they took them from. Are people getting bored with tactical voting? Have people moved on from Iraq? Or is it the case that people were voting in 1999-2006 for Charlie Kennedy, not the Liberal Democrats, and now that he's gone, they can't see the point anymore? Whatever the reason, this is the most interesting politics has been for ages.

Oh, and it looks like Labour might have held off the SNP menace too. Blair can depart in the knowledge that the Union is intact and people didn't really "send him a final message" after all.

Update: 5/5/07. Looks like the SNP are one seat ahead of Labour - could have been worse I suppose, though I wish Labour had managed just a couple of extra seats. My instinct is to let the SNP try to form a minority govt, or govern with the Lib Dems - it would be great for the romanticists in Scotland to find out exactly how daft the SNP policies are in practice. It'll cure them once and for all. Lib Dems in govt without Labour will expose them too - they liked to pretend that all the decisions they took in the Scottish administration were actually down to Labour. My guess is that the Scots will end up missing Labour pretty sharpish - perhaps in a year the SNP administration will fall and another Scottish election will be called (this time without the spoilt ballots that may have caused Labour to lose this election).


JRD168 said...

I think he can, just about, leave with his head held high. We had an excellent result in our ward, and an extra councillor in the borough. One aspect you have missed is the failure of the BNP to make any of their expected gains. A massive success to all concerned here in Sandwell and elsewhere.

Stephen said...

It is possible the Liberal Democrats failed to pick up protest votes this time around because they cannot feasibly attack Blair, Iraq is less of an issue, and Ming has not created an image of them as the anti-government party.

Of course, I doubt their unpleasant election tactics helped either.

I doubt we will see a return to two party politics generally, since third parties are important in Wales and Scotland, though Westminster may soon return to its twin party roots.

Aaron Murin-Heath said...

It wasn't that bad was it Snow?

Yeah the Tories have done very well, but they haven't exactly been through the mill of a General Election now have they? We all know how the spotlight on their policies tends to expose them, now don't we?

As for the Lib Dems... wasn't this the sun in which they were to make hay? Ming is doomed, DOOMED I TELL YER! HAHAHAHA

Take care Snow. x

snowflake5 said...

jrd, you are quite right, this election saw the BNP retreat too, as well as the minor parties. Well done in Sandwell.