- Conservative and Labour parties have lost big
- The overall winners are the small parties
- Voters are expressing their sense of frustration with the big parties
Early results in England’s local elections show that voters have turned their backs on the main political parties as the Brexit fiasco continues to play out. The Democrats, Greens, and Independents are enjoying good results over the Brexit frustrations.
Smaller Parties Take the Spoils
According to the BBC, Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party may end up paying the heaviest price at the elections for their role in the chaos related to the U.K’s pending divorce from the European Union. The Labour party has also experienced a serious setback even as the pro-EU Liberal Democrats bag most of the goodies.
By the time of going to the press, 111 out of 248 English councils had declared their results by 8:10 am Friday, May 3, 2019 showing that the Labour Party had lost 79 seats while the Conservatives were down by 438 councilors. The smaller parties took most of the spoils with the pro-European Liberal Democrats gaining 302 seats. Tory minister James Cleverly was quoted saying the results foreshadow tough times while Labour spokesperson Barry Gardiner commented that their party suffered for speaking with two voices over the Brexit issue.
The two big parties had hoped the mid-term elections would be about anything but Brexit, which has dominated and polarized UK politics for the last three years and this may not be ending soon. Jeremy Corbin’s enemies in the Labour party are already claiming the results of the mid-term elections after nine years of a Tory Government as the Conservatives wage a civil war over Europe and are doing everything possible to eject their leader.
Another Hung Parliament
Theresa May’s critics within her party in parliament and local Conservative associations will claim the results vindicate their campaign to oust the PM. These results confirm the suspicions of many MPs that the next general election, whenever it comes, will cause another hung parliament.
Saying it was a tough night, Labour election coordinator Andrew Gwynne defended his party’s Brexit strategy of trying to straddle between the positions but admitted that the Brexit had hit the main opposition party the hard way. Gwynne told BBC radio:
“It’s not a bad thing for a party that seeks to govern in the national interest to bring together our polarized and divided society […] for many people it was their first opportunity to express their sense of frustration and the two main parties bore the brunt of that.”
As per the BBC, the Conservatives have lost about 440 seats so far, with some predicting that could rise to at least 800 by the end of the day. The Liberal Democrats have already gained 300 seats – and control of eight councils – but it is still too early to assess the overall picture.