More AngloSpheric Election News

UPDATE: Apparently, I misread the results.  The Conservatives now control 157 of 279 local councils, and have over twice as many locally elected councilors as Labour.

As my fellow AngloSpheric fan, an Australian friend of mine, had pointed out to me, local councils are, in the absence of anything like states, the training ground for up-and-comers.  Much like the Republicans with their state legislators here, the Tories now have a far more substantial farm system than Labour.

Also, the Lib-Dems weren’t the only ones who backed AV.  Perhaps surprisingly, Labour did as well.  That, along with the fact that the Scottish Parliament now has an SNP majority at the expense of Labour, has got to be embarrassing.

The UK held its local elections yesterday, and the Tories have done exceedingly well, their coalition partners the Lib-Dems, not so much.

The Conservatives now look to hold 87 town councils, three short of a legally irrelevant but symbolically important majority.  Most governments lose seats in these elections, and that the senior coalition partner is gaining votes and seats, especially in a time of cuts, is remarkable.

Their coalition partners, Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats, are not as happy.  They’re getting swamped by lefty voters returning to Labour.  That the Tories improved their position at the same time indicates that the center has at least stayed with the Conservatives, while the left is punishing the Lib-Dems for their role in the coalition.

Apparently, David Cameron has put the word out that there will be no spiking the football, with the Tories focusing on the fact that even a resurgent Labour controls only half as many councils as the Conservatives, and have failed to see many supposedly safe left seats return to form. Since Cameron probably isn’t ready to call new elections yet, this will allow the center of gravity of the coalition to shift towards him without breaking it up in pique, and will make Clegg even more dependent on Cameron’s goodwill.

Perhaps in the next elections, the UK will follow their Canadian brethren and decided to give the blue an outright majority, to let Cameron be Cameron, so to speak.

Also big news was the crushing defeat of the referendum to replace First Past the Post with Alternative voting.  It looks as though it will win somewhere around 10 constituencies in the entire country, going down by about 70-30.  Things are often not as bad as they look in defeat, but in this case, I think they are.  If the Lib-Dems’ baby had done well in spite of their own loss, or if the voters had declared confidence in them (giving them more credibility with which to make the case), it might have been back for another run soon.  As things stand, when the voters burn the message and shoot the messenger, it ain’t good news for either.


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