Just 35 days before the UK General Election the Conservative had their best local government election’s result in years. They recorded 558 gains with labour losing 328 and UKIP being almost annihilated to 1 seat from 114. UKIP claimed to be a victim of their own success after last year’s Brexit Referendum. This was cited as one of the main reasons for holding a General Election to provide a stronger mandate to negotiate for the EU exit deal. Surely the domestic economy’s tax and spending plans should be a higher priority manifesto consideration as Brexit is now only for the negotiators as it’s over as a concern for voters (Irish Mirror, 2017).
The UKIP vote may well have collapsed as a result of a drift back to the Conservatives of Conservative leaning EU Leave voters. However the wide ranging losses across all parties, including even a modest drop in SNP councillors in Scotland, projects a majority of 48 approx. for the Conservatives in the June 2017 election. Pundits predict solid gains even in Wales and Scotland.
The SNP with 431 seats remained the party with the largest amount of councillors in Scotland. The Conservative are now the opposition with 276 and Labour trailing 3rd with 262. It must be noted that the Conservatives gained seats in Shettleston, a poorer area of Glasgow, and Cowdenbeath in Fife. This has been taken as positive proof of a Conservative revival under Ruth Davidson’s leadership.
Whether the momentum can be kept or lost will play out over the next few weeks. However by the result posted for last week’s council elections it spells out that Ruth Davidson’s political fortunes are in the ascendant. The SNP is still bent on a 2nd Independence Referendum will face criticism on their record in government. Yet it’s highly likely they will return by far the most Scottish MPs back to Westminster on the 9th June. It’s going to be interesting how many Conservatives join them?
As for the UK result as a whole this blog’s prediction is for a Conservative majority of 75 on the night although this blogger thought Remain would win and Trump wouldn’t so may we live in interesting times…….or perhaps a new Centrist Party?
Irish Mirror; (2017); “Who won the 2017 local elections in my area? Detailed results for mayoral votes and all 88 councils”, by Dan Bloom, MGN Ltd. Website accessed: Mon. 8th May 2017.
BBC News; (2017); “Full Scottish council election results published” Scotland: Politics, UK. Website accessed Mon. 8th May: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-39846268