Friday, May 04, 2007

Local Elections: It's gone well

Predicting before the local elections Sean Fear suggested on ConservativeHome that the Conservatives were likely to gain 500-750 councillors. This was a relatively optimistic prediction with most suggesting we'd be doing really well if we gained more than 600. Now we've come out with 875 don't let anyone tell you it isn't damned good news.

Equally, he predicted we would gain control of 18 councils. We have gained 38. I don't mean to get at Sean Fear, he was closer than most predicting these polls. I only use his numbers to highlight that we have comfortably beaten even an optimistic prediction of how we would do. There is a lot of talk of a modest Conservative success that isn't backed up by in the council elections at all.

Finally, most importantly, is our share of the national vote. In this the target was absolutely clear. Get 40% of the national vote. That is the number you need to get a workable majority and become a government. We got 41%. There is a lot of work to do before the next General Election but we are getting the kind of support that can translate into victory.

The Scottish and Welsh elections didn't go so well and are the fly in the ointment. I'm poorly qualified to discuss these but they are less relevant to national politics. It would seem to boost the argument for a new, separate, Scottish Conservative Party though.

Finally, Gracchi's assertion that the numbers now don't mean much because people just vote against the government at this stage of the cycle can't be sustained. While things will change before the election this is not purely a transient protest vote. If it was the Liberal Democrats have done well and instead they've completely collapsed with the loss of 242 councillors.

Labour doing poorly, the Lib Dems collapsing, huge numbers of new Conservative councillors and councils. I'm celebrating.

1 comment:

Gracchi said...

I didn't say it was purely a transitory vote- but that the most important thing could be less the precise percentage gain- than the way that the Tories are rebuilding local councils in places like Chester and Oldham and others- that's a good basis to build to take the seat in that area.