Friday, May 05, 2006

English local elections

They had these yesterday, although you could be forgiven for not noticing.

Labour did badly - although not the 'meltdown' that was predicted.

The Tories got their best result since 1992 - although failed to make inroads into Northern cities.

Depressingly, the barking party did well in Barking and Dagenham, although it'll come as no surprise that they didn't do as well as Margaret Hodge foolishly predicted.

Of the mainstream parties, arguably the Liberals have the most to worry about; bit late to talk about 'consolidation', surely? The next election is looking more and more likely to be a straight fight between Labour and Conservative, Brown versus Cameron.

From my habitual blog reading list, Laban seems to have the most details so far.

Initial impression: obviously all the parties, especially the fringe parties that made gains, will claim to be on the move but there's no sign of any party making a significant 'breakthrough'. The electorate seems to be fragmenting, people - and old-fashioned as I am, I can't see this as being a particularly good thing. There's something going on. First the US, then Germany, the last General Election here, then the Italians: what's with these elections that don't seem to produce clear winners?

Update: Clarke and Straw lose their jobs. John "wit ur you lookin' at?" Reid gets the Home Office, Margaret Beckett is to be Foreign Secretary.

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