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Changing the subject – our first look at the May 2nd local elections

April 8th, 2019

Will feelings about Corbyn and TMay impact on activists?

Somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing brexit saga we will get a further chance to test the political temperature in this year’s local elections which take place on May 2nd – three weeks on from Thursday. Nominations closed before the weekend.

Because London is not involved then expect less media coverage than normal but the seats at stake, covering almost all of England outside the capital, represent the biggest wave in the four-year local election cycle.

What is interesting is that most of the wards seats being contested are those that were last fought on General Election day in 2015 when it will be recalled the Tories did far better than was expected winning an overall majority at Westminster and making 540 local gains

That day the Lib Dems not only loss almost all their parliamentary seats they saw 400 local election losses – something that they’ve not recovered from. Given the current national situation with the party now regularly in double figures in the polls then the their hope must that they can get some groundback – the question is how much.

Four years ago UKIP had it’s best performance ever chalking up 176 local election gains and securing 202 Council seats. They did this with a vote share that was higher than the Lib Dems who came out with 658

Because on the ground activists put more effort into fighting local elections than national ones the outcomes on May 2nd will be an indication of the organisational states of the parties. This surely will be an issue given the problems that both Labour and the Conservatives appeared to be having with members and activists.

This morning I am off to London for the annual statistical local election analysis by the CON peer Lord Robert Hayward.

Mike Smithson