When we examine the result of the local elections, who do you believe is the winner? Headlines seem to be focused on the Labour and Conservative parties. The BBC seems intent on painting a picture of the results being close between Labour and Conservative parties. But, when looking at the data, which party is the true winner of this election?
If you consider who has gained councils and councillors, then the only party to come out on top is the Liberal Democrat party. The Liberal Democrats has gained four more councils and gained 75 more councillors. This is the only party to see gains in both of those columns.
As for the ‘big two’ parties, Labour has control of the same amount of councils as in 2014, but gained 77 more councillors. In total, Labour have control of 74 councils and have a total of 2350 councillors. Conservatives have lost control of two councils, and have also lost 33 councillors. In total, the Tories have control of 46 councils and have 1332 councillors. So, out of the ‘big two’, it seems that Labour has been more successful than the Conservative Party. Labour has over one thousand more councillors elected than the Tories. Labour also has control over 28 more councils than the Tories.
The party that has suffered the most in these local elections is UKIP. The party of Brexit has lost 123 councillors. A massive defeat for the controversial party.
As for other gains: the Green Party has gained eight more councillors.
What is my analysis of these results?
These results suggest anti-government and anti-Brexit beliefs are affecting the way that the electorate vote.
Analysing the data shows that the main losses come from parties that are leading the Brexit brigade. The party in government, the Tories, has lost both councils and number of councillors. UKIP, the party of Brexit, has also lost a huge number of councillors.
On the other hand, the parties who are against government policies and against Brexit have made gains. Labour, the opposition party, has gained 77 more councillors. The Liberal Democrats, the party fighting for a referendum on the final deal for Brexit, gained control over 4 more councils and gained 75 more councillors.
The results are resoundingly clear: the Tories have failed this country and the electorate are letting them know. For Theresa May to call this a success is bizarre and factually incorrect. They have lost control of councils and lost numbers of councillors. Target seats don’t matter when you’re looking at the big picture.
As for Labour, the gain of 77 more councillors puts them ahead of the Tories by over one thousand more councillors. This is a success for Labour and for the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
However, the real success is with the Liberal Democrats, with gains of councils and councillors. The Liberal Democrats have been gaining councillors and councils in by-elections since last year’s abysmal results, and now this most recent election is seeing them being the only party to gain both councils and councillors.
What should this do?
These results should give a voice to Vince Cable and the Liberal Democrats. The media has been neglecting them for far too long, opting instead to focus on the two ‘big’ parties and the more extreme parties, such as UKIP. This election shows that the Liberal Democrats are fighting back and they are winning hearts and minds. The media should begin to reflect this, but probably won’t.
This election should also provide Jeremy Corbyn with the mandate to be a stronger and more forceful opposition leader. Jeremy Corbyn should change Labour’s stance on Brexit to demanding the people have an opportunity to make a decision on the final deal. This will be supported by the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, and potentially SNP. This will be an opportunity for the Opposition parties to work together and defeat the Tories.
The Tories will see the swing from UKIP to Conservative, and this will provide them with the reasoning to become more extreme in their views and to be more controversial with ‘populist’ views.
As for the BBC coverage…
Can anybody explain how Labour and Tories are neck to neck? The results just above this headline disproves that by showing losses for Tories and gains for Labour. The results show over one thousand more councillors for Labour than the Tories. Neck and neck? Bizarre.