Early thoughts on the local election results

With very few votes counted overnight, we only have a small snapshot this morning, but the the snapshot does paint a picture. My predictions in Labour marginals have relied on a substantial drop in the UKIP vote combined with a direct swing from Labour to the Conservatives.

This is what has happened in Lincolnshire, with UKIP losing all of its seats on the county council. The Conservatives now have 58 seats out of 70.

In particular, the results I am looking out for later today are from the West Midlands Mayoralty Election and elections to Durham County Council. Labour is unpopular in Durham, and there is a push to unseat Labour councillors. Will that work? If it does, will those who have voted Labour all their lives until this election continue with the habit on 8 June? It could make some Labour seats in the North East that would normally be regarded as safe, up for grabs.

North of the border, Labour looks as if it is going to have a rocky day. If the trend away from Labour to the SNP continues in these council elections, I think we can safely predict what is going to happen at the general election. In Wales, it is looking patchy.

A word of warning, though. Don’t get too excited about local election results. Although these set of elections are close to the general election, the turnouts in council elections are nearly always much smaller than those of a general election. That could work for or against any party, although I think I can safely predict that UKIP is finished. The party so far has not won a single seat that it was defending.

More later.

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