The party is over for UKIP. If UKIP had got its act together after last year’s referendum, there was a chance that it could have survived Thursday’s mauling at the polls. Instead, the party went on a prolonged period of internecine warfare. The idea that UKIP voters loaned their vote to the Conservatives because of Brexit, is laughable. In those councils where UKIP was wiped out, it was Conservatives returning home. They had loaned their vote to UKIP in order to achieve an EU referendum. UKIP did a fine job forcing David Cameron’s hand and achieving last year’s referendum. It has done its job. There’s no way for the party to go and Thursday’s results highlight this. The general election will be no different.
Labour is losing support in some of its heartlands. I say some because it is clear from the results in Liverpool and Greater Manchester, that Labour is still strong there. The same goes for the mayoral contest in Doncaster. The Labour vote was not strong in the Tees Valley, though. This new metro mayor area consists of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, and Stockton-on-Tees. This should have been a Labour victory. Instead, Ben Houchen, the Conservative candidate, won by a narrow margin. The Conservatives ran a very good campaign, and they needed to, but Labour must still be wondering how they managed to lose this one. The result in the Tees Valley does not bode well for Labour at the general election. As I have predicted, it brings seat like Darlington, Hartlepool, and Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland well and truly into play. I am more certain than ever that all three of those seats, along with Bishop Auckland, will fall and turn blue. It also makes Sedgefield vulnerable. That could be five Conservative gains in the North East.
Once again, the majority of voters couldn’t give a damn about local elections. When around only a third of the electorate can be bothered to vote, this is the only conclusion you can come to. In the Tees Valley mayoral election, just over a fifth of all eligible voters could be bothered to exercise their democratic right.
“I have always voted Labour, but I am going to vote Conservative.” Those words are being heard by Conservative canvassers on an increasingly regular basis. Looking at the results from across the country, a significant number of Labour voters are doing just that. If this is replicated in the general election, it will almost certainly spell disaster for dozens of former Labour MPs who are seeking re-election. Expect some high profile casualties.
Paul Mason thinks Tory voters are racists. Yes, you read that correctly. If ever there was a way of getting more Labour voter to make the switch, this is it. Paul Mason thinks that those people preparing to switch are beneath contempt. He’s lost the plot. Watch a clip of his interview below.