What’s been happening this week?
A host of elections took place on the 5th of May otherwise known as Super Thursday: Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Assembly, Mayor of London, London Assembly, Mayors of Bristol, Salford and Liverpool, Police and crime commissioner elections, Westminster by-elections and Local Council.
The run up to the election was marked by extreme declarations and predictions – according to polls Labour was set to face its worst council defeat in opposition for 34 years. However, results of the Local Council elections were released and have diverged, somewhat, from polling forecasts.
Prior to the elections, Labour controlled 58 councils, Conservative Party controlled 40, Liberal Democrats controlled 3 and a further 23 councils had No Overall Control (NOC). Presently, the parties control 57, 34, 4 councils respectively and 23 councils remain as NOC; UKIP currently hold zero councils.
Some constituencies voted contrarily to the 2012 elections. With Dudley shifting from Labour to NOC, Peterborough moving from NOC to Conservative and Worcester changing from Conservative to NOC.[video:https://youtu.be/EMdxEsgXzFw]
How do the results compare to the polls?
Although Alison McGovern MP maintained that the “loss of a single council would be betrayal of people,” the results have not been the shambolic chaos that polls anticipated.
— William Pender (@william_pender) May 4, 2016
Sadiq Khan won his bid for London Mayor, a decidedly optimistic turn for Labour, in light of recent negative press. Khan received 44% of the total votes and Zac Goldsmith came second with 35%.
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) May 6, 2016
Councillor results were, however, less optimistic for both opposition and government: Labour lost 24 councillors and the Conservative Party lost 35. The outcome was more positive for the smaller parties: the Liberal Democrats gained 37 councillors, UKIP gained 58 and the Green Party gained 32.
With a turnout of only 45.6% of those eligible to vote, it is also difficult to know whether the results are truly representative of the views of entire electorate. The current framework of politics has once again failed to attract voters – an issue that all parties should work to address. It is a failure on behalf of the entire system that the majority of people do not feel their vote has worth or value.
What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.