Local results for top two may put a stop to calls for an early general election | Politics News
The story from councils declaring results overnight is clear – voters are disillusioned with the two main parties and are shopping around for alternatives.
The biggest winners in the more than 100 councils to complete their counting have been the Liberal Democrats, recovering in local councils where its support had been strong before it joined the coalition government in 2010.
In other areas voters have swung behind Independent candidates.
Conservative losses have been particularly high when hit by a pincer movement of a Liberal Democrat/Independent surge.
The Liberal Democrats gained six councils: Bath & North East Somerset, Chelmsford, Cotswold, Hinckley & Bosworth North Norfolk and Winchester, most taken directly from the Conservatives.
In other councils like St Albans, the party did well enough to deprive the Conservatives of victory.
As 134 councils begin their counts later, the Conservatives will be fearful that the loss of seats to the Liberal Democrats can’t be staunched.
Independent candidates made impressive advances in Hartlepool, Melton, Boston, Thurrock and actually gained control of Ashfield, Nottinghamshire and North Kesteven council, Lincolnshire, which was last run by Independents 30 years ago.
At this stage of the parliamentary electoral cycle the normal expectation is that the party of government loses ground to the opposition.
Instead, Labour has struggled, winning Trafford in Greater Manchester but losing control in Wirral and watching the Conservatives gain control of Walsall.
It also watched its majority control of Bolsover and Hartlepool ebb away.
For the record, Bolsover has been run by a Labour administration since its creation in 1973.
This has not been a good display by Labour – making a net loss of seats and councils, and losing vote share as well, suggests they are a long way away from being a viable alternative.
The upshot of this disillusionment with the two main parties is that demands for a general election might now subside.
Votes are being lost by both the Conservatives and Labour with the Liberal Democrats likely to increase its current number of MPs.
In short, another hung parliament is the most likely outcome and the Brexit stalemate would not be resolved.