Nothing too surprising here then. Labour got stuffed. For all their talk that it wasn't too bad because of the North it's hard to deny the results. Nearly 300 council seats lost and a PM reshuffling almost every major position in his cabinet is a clear sign of a government in crisis. Where this leaves Gordon Brown, only time will tell, although I am beginning to sense that there may not be a clean handover afterall, if Blair chooses to keep plugging away. This reshuffle does not suggest he intends to go early.
Results so far.
From 173 of 176 results declared.
Conservatives up 278 - now with 1711 council seats
Labour down 288 - now with 1174 council seats
Lib Dems up 25 - now with 871 council seats
Others down 15 - now with 191 council seats
For the Tories this is a major success. They polled 40% of the vote which is a huge gain for them. However it isn't all rosy. For all their success in London, they have again failed to make inroads in the major northern cities. Many of these remain battlegrounds for the Lib Dems. Nonetheless, this is clearly a sign of a major Tory revival.
And what of the Lib Dems? Well the problem is the same as it always seems to be. Despite taking 27% of the vote and pushing Labour into third, they have only managed to gain 25 council seats. The Lib Dems need to deal with this problem and fast. It's no good if they finish second in lots of races if they don't actually win the major constituencies. Until we have some form of PR this kind of problem will continue to stifle the Lib Dems.
Finally, to the BNP. I think it's time the media got this one into perspective. This party now has 44 seats out of a total 22,000. Does this really warrant so much airtime? They are not close to being in government. They are a tiny group which campaigns that one issue is the root to all of the countries problems. Do the BNP worry me? Not really. They target areas that have large ethnic minority populations, knowing that these areas are more likely to have white people feeling resentment. But in the end, they have a major numbers problems. Basically, there aren't enough areas in Britain that they can campaign in, because most of the ethnic minorities in Britain are crammed into only a minority of constituencies. The BNP are not a threat and the media should stop giving them almost equal airtime, because they hardy deserve it. For example, the Green Party has 89 council seats and has also had some good gains in the UK today, yet I don't see their leader on the national news all the time.
Anyway. Back to the real world...