We’ve heard a lot about Ken and Boris, but less (here) about the results in the rest of the UK. These were decidedly encouraging for Labour of course, if perhaps not spectacularly so. Although the Liberal Democrats fared very badly, UKIP did rather well – not a particularly welcome shift, although it does seem to have helped Labour in a couple of places by splitting the Conservative vote. The Conservatives will be going through the same dilemma as Sarkozy – whether to pander to the right, even at the risk of losing support from the centre.
It’s been particularly heartening to see the BNP do so spectacularly badly. Hope not Hate has been gleefully tracking its string of losses – the last remaining councillor in Epping Forest lost after only managing to attract 94 votes, and for the first time in ten years there are no BNP councillors in Burnley. The British Freedom Party hasn’t done well either – it only received 84 votes in the Laindon Park ward in Basildon, for example – although the Lib Dem candidate did even worse.
The BNP has never had much traction where I live, in Cambridge. Labour did well here, and the Lib Dems have lost overall control of the city; in nearby Huntingdonshire a Labour candidate gained the first seat in the authority since 1999. Irritatingly, the indefatigable Cambridge Socialist candidate, Tom Woodcock, helped ensure the Lib Dems were successful in my own ward though. I’ve just noticed he was supported by Ben White who must be a near neighbour of mine. Yikes.