Friday results

Results overnight showed Labour gaining 470 seats, Conservatives losing 279 and the Lib Dems losing 129 seats. Labour have gained overall control of 22 councils, the Conservatives have lost 12 councils and gained 1, the Lib Dems have lost one of the four they defended overnight.

Council elections are always a bit of a silly expectations game – of the media and commentariat setting rather artificial targets for the parties, the parties themselves trying to massively downplay expectations and set their opponents impossible ones and then saying whether they have done well or badly based on them. We still have about 80 councils still to declare, but so far it looks as though Labour should get over 700 gains which should be seen as a success. Whether it will be reported as an untrammelled success or not will probably depend on what happens in London.

The Conservatives avoided big losses last year with the Lib Dems taking the brunt. This year the pain is being shared more, and the Tories are seeing much more typical mid-term losses. The BBC’s Projected National Share so far is CON 31%, LAB 39%, LDEM 16%, Others 14% – Labour are up three points since last year, the Conservatives down 4 points, the Lib Dems unchanged (the Lib Dems are doing significantly better than in national polls, but the Lib Dems typically do significantly better in local elections than national ones!)

Looking under the topline figures, the regional pattern is not much different from last year, so comparing to 2008 when the seats were last fought Labour have done much better in the North than the South (the Con to Lab swing in the South is about 10 points, in the North about 15). That said, Labour have done well in the more Labour-ish parts of the South like Southampton and Norwich. Also worth noting is how well UKIP have done. Where they stood, they got around 13% (in wards they contested last time, they were up by an average of 5%). However, because their vote was evenly spread out they have been rewarded with very few actual seats on the back of it.

Today we have the rest of the English and Welsh council, all the councils in Scotland and – of course – the London mayor results.

1,180 Responses to “Friday results”

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  1. Billy. The candidates who were dropped out will have all their first preference votes marked off. The second preference is the same as the first preference for the other candidates. It all just adds up. Those who didn’t vote twice will have lost their vote basically.

  2. Max: “Ican go on and on….”

    Yes, I think that has been observed. I must say that from the intellectual rigour of your huge number of posts it seems more like you’ve just failed your 11-plus than are at a university.

    You just don’t get it re. comparisons do you? Mentioning mass murderers and terrorists vis-a-vis politicians in the country is truly reprehensible: “He said it first sir” pathetic. In terms of polls its probably what rightly lost KL the mayorship, apropos his idiotic comments on Jews/guards.

    Just like you he didn’t have the good grace to apologise.

    Anyway, carry on with your tosh – you must be consuming too many e-numbers [children often do.]

  3. @Amber/Amba

    Let me put it a different way. Local.government in England doesn’t really.exist. Central.government largely sets the budget for councils and tells them where to spend it. The deeper problem is that even where councils have a discretion (council tax etc) the procedures for deciding how and where income is spent are archaic and opaque. Most people haven’t got a clue who.their councillors are or what they do. This opens the door to corruption and chummy contracts to provate sector friends (for example). So, Yes, there is an auditing issue, but it is a bit more profound than that.

    The mayor, on the other hand has more freedom over an admittedly limited range of areas, and has a london wide remit within these areas. He faces far for scrutiny by an assembly whose activities are well publicised and reported on. So he has more executive power and more open democratic scrutiny. I would give the assembly more powers, but it is a more democratic model that a local authority.

  4. Shevii –

    It’s not optimism i’m guilty of, it’s fact. And do remember the Lib Dems were also in government of sorts in the late 70s propping up the Labour Party. Tories no doubt thought that was dreadful and within a few years it had all been forgotten about.

    The Lib Dems will survive and are surviving. What they need to do is spend all their power shoring up their base in the best of the seats they hold. If they do that i think they can emerge from the GE on about 14pc but around 40-45 seats. It’ll be portrayed as a disaster in the media but in the current circumstances it’ll be a huge success.

  5. @ Max,

    The BBC Politics coverage is left-wing biased, even though their political editor used to be President of the Young Conservatives??? But I must say I find your evidence from Doctor Who and Torchwood compelling! :-)

    You know, you don’t have to watch those children’s science-fiction programmes.

    And simply quoting another fringe view on the BBC being infiltrated by communists doesn’t make it any more mainstream.

    Moderator!!! Moderator!!! Oh … forgot … he’s probably catching up on his sleep. Anyone know how to hack in and automatically start a new thread entitled “Labour’s Stellar Performance Exceeds Expectations?”

  6. Max – go and read the comments policy again please, its supposed to be a venue for non-partisan discussion. So far I’ve had to moderate you calling politicans from other parties c–ts and comparing them to al Q’aeda. You also keep trying to get into partisan debates – e.g. repeatedly challenging Smukesh on whether he thought Ken would win or not.

    The comments here are for discussing polling, public opinion and politics as observers – not for debating each others political views. That’s public opinion as a whole, not Max’s opinions. As a rule of thumb, a good comment is one when a newcomer to the site wouldn’t be able to tell from it what your own political views were.

    Equally, debating whether the BBC is biased or not never leads to anything other than a pointless partisan back-and-forth, so stop it.

  7. Max:

    I completely agree with you – most cons in parliament don’t seem to be overwhelmingly in favour of SSM, it won;t be the first or last time that the Government is out of touch with it’s voters.

  8. @Shevii
    “Talking of Lib Dems is there anyone who has stats that can estimate what the 16% local vote equates to in General Election terms? I suspect the answer will be there are too many variables!”

    As Anthony Wells comments on this thread “the Lib Dems typically do significantly better in local elections than national ones”, a point Ashley overlooks when quoting that 16% share. But it doesn’t answer your question in statistical terms, so here goes:

    The last opportunity to make a widespread direct comparison between concurrent elections was in the 1997 general election, when every English shire county and unitary authority went to the polls on the day of the general election.

    The Lib Dems gained 26.4% of votes cast in those shire elections, compared to 17.9% across England alone in the general election. In practice, the comparison is a bit less stark, because in the GE the Lib Dems polled slightly below that average in the English metropolitan districts and London. So if you strip them out of the calculation, my rough and ready calculation is that the LDs polled around 20% in the general election in the comparable seats where there were local elections.

    So, in summary, in the 1997 general election, in seats which elected both an MP and a councillor, the Lib Dem vote share in the general election was about a quarter below that in the local elections held on the same day.

    Apply that proportionate factor to 16% and you get 12%.

  9. @BillyBob

    Futher to Fraser’s answer:

    1. All First Preferences are counted.

    2. If no candidate reaches 50%+1, the top two go through to a run-off. All other candidates are eliminated.

    3. Second preferences from eliminated candidated only, are then counted (so Boris/Ken, Ken/Boris voters do not have their second preferences counted). Insofar as they are for the run-off candidates, they are added to their first preference total. If they are for eliminated cadidades they are effectively wasted.

    4. Total of first and second preferences for run off candidates added.

    5. Result declared.

    Only.about 350,000 even chose a second preference. Of these, around half were for eliminated candidates, or boris/ken, ken/boris secknd preferences which are invalid.

  10. @Old Nat

    Thanks. I and Amba the Panda would appreciate an update if you ever finish the weeding.

  11. Paul sorry to disappoint you but not only did I pass my 11+ with a landslide (top 1% of people who took the test which guaranteed my first choice of school) I got 4 A’s at A level, and am now at a Top Russel Group University (uks equivalent to ivy league) and based on the times guide 9th in the country, so please dont make petty partisan comments about my inteligence which you have no proof of, and are actually incorrect on.

    @AW I didn’t compare Brown to Alqaeda, another poster did I said that in terms of economic damage, that Brown has done more.

    Scotswaehae, i think Anthony wants us to leave it, i agree the gov is out of touch at the moment, but then the government is supporting your agenda on this. It;s the ordinary members who are opposed.

  12. @Max

    Sorry to disappoint, but success in exams is not an indicator of intelligence, as you are so ably demonstrating.

  13. The council elections were pretty illuminating and/or depressing, depending on your perspective. I was expecting the Lib Dems to be wiped out pretty uniformly, which should have benefitted us (Tories) disproportionately since they usually run either first or second to us not Labour.

    The fact that they held on and in some instances gained councillors against us, particularly where they have an existing MP, is going to cause a headache for the leadership. I see us having trouble winning any future election outright if we can’t take back what should be easy seats in traditional true-blue areas of the South and South-West, especially when this is probably as low as the LibDems are ever going to go in the polls.

    The differential swing seriously calls into question our usual UNS predictions as well, and particularly if the new boundaries just result in LDs gaining expanded territory in the South at our expense.

    Looking ahead, I think a lot of our MPs are going to be pushing hard right and anti-EU to attempt to counter this.

  14. I have been reading these posts for a couple of years now,and have been fascinated by the difference between Con and Labour posters views of polls.You get some top quality information ,but i have noticed over the past 2 months that partisanship is starting to show its face on here.Some of the posts Max you need to give it a rest your posts verge on the childish side.

  15. new thread alert

  16. Anthony: Thanks very much for that and the best of luck with your exhortations being successful! I left this site a couple of years ago because of someone called Eoin Clarke and would prefer to continue this time as the majority of posters are civilised, adult and thoughtful, and generally make for informative and interesting reading.



  17. Oops just read the AW post ,lets get back to the facts about the election please ,and does anyone think Labours good showing in Scotland will not help Alex Salmond with his referendum .

  18. @ RAF

    I think the local Councils are definitely in need of review/ change. We have had, so far:
    Localism is good therefore local councils per se, are good; &
    Local councils are not well structured, they – or the things they are ‘responsible’ for, must be controlled from the central government.
    Local government does need to be improved, re-energised, empowered & made more transparently accountable.

    I agree with you whole-heartedly. But, as it stands, I am not sure that having Mayors is the way to achieve this. I would love to discuss this with you, sometime when UKPR is quieter. There is always the YG repeating question about cuts to local council services to springboard a ‘legitimate’ discussion of this topic. :-)

  19. @Fraser, RAF

    Yes, a minor point though – If Boris had 50% of first preferences the contest would have ended there, so the assumption with AV is that candidates are eliminated until one reaches 50%, but in effect we do not get to the position of a candidate who has support from more than half of those who voted – it is more than 50% of those who have voted (first of second preference) for one of the lead candidates.

  20. @BillyBob the mayoral election is just an instant run off, so its not really the same as av has has been discussed in recent referenda…

  21. I,ve been busy being drunk for a while… Has Max been banned and is it safe to come out yet!


  22. Dear Peter [ex-councillor]

    Sadly not – but come out anyway. Some sanity is very welcome.

  23. OLDNAT
    Allan Christie

    Scottish Gains/Losses
    Spot on with the SNP gaining around 60 seats.

    The BBC are using a peculiar comparison (in Scotland & Wales at least) – new councillors compared with the number at the dissolution of the councils, not the 2007 (2008 in Eng & Wales) results.
    As a test of voter opinion, that is simply useless. When councillors change parties, that doesn’t mean that those who voted them in do the same thing!

    Gains/Losses in Scotland
    BBC, Actual, Party
    +57, +61, SNP
    +58, +46, Lab
    -80, -95, LD
    -16, -28, Con
    -18, +16, Other

    :) :) :)

  24. In fairness, Torchwood, doesn’t just have a couple of positive characters who happen to be gay. The rampant sex of all descriptions is pretty much its USP.

    “It’s main character is a 51st century Omnisexual.”


    DW does try that little bit too hard on the liberal (particularly social) politics, and has done since the beginning of it’s modern version.

  25. “In fairness, Torchwood, doesn’t just have a couple of positive characters who happen to be gay. The rampant sex of all descriptions is pretty much its USP”.

    “It’s main character is a 51st century Omnisexual.”


    Everytime i read the word Omni i think of the goverment

    Oh my god im infected :)

  26. @gwuk

    Yes, I’m just being pedantic. In the first round we have a percentage, in the second round we have a percentage – but they do not equate.

  27. Btw gwuk, from the Electoral Reform Society website:

    “Alternative Vote, also known as Instant Runoff Voting or Ranked Choice Voting.”

  28. I am a fairly regular reader of this site and by-and-large the debate is informed and civil. Today I thought i’d brought up the Political Betting site by mistake.

    Sorry if this sounds a little intolerant but could someone let me know when Max has returned to the “fantastic county of Ken” and the level of discussion has returned to adult levels

  29. @MaxKing
    As you correctly supposed, I will not vote PASOK in today’s Greek GE, because it is a vote that indirectly goes to the Conservatives, so I am in a similar position as the left-wing voters of LD that are now defecting to Labour. But whereas in UK there is only one obvious choice for them, in Greece there are several socialist-oriented and anti-austerity parties to the left of PASOK. Of course I will not vote for the Communist Party, it is the most stalinist CP in EU and maybe in the whole world and advocates a regime similar to that of Cuba or, worse, North Korea. But still there are four options: 1. The Socialist Pact, a PASOK splinter led by an two ex-PASOK ministers. 2. The Ecologists-Greens, with positions very similar to those of Dany Kohn-Bendit. 3. The Coalition of Radical Left, very similar to the Left Front of France and the positions of Melenchon (and supported by Melenchon himself in the frame of Party of European Lelft) 4. The Democratic Left, a more moderate splinter of CRL supported also by a group of PASOK defectors. The latest polls give 10-12 to CRL, 5-7 to DL, 2-4 to EG and 1-2 to EG. I am personally still divided between DL and CRL, because the two other options are not “safe”, in the sense that if they do not get 3%, which is the threshold for entering Parliament, all the votes that they will have got are useless and do not count. My heart leans more to DL, I agree with most of its positions, but I might finally vote CRL because it is the strongest of all and the only capable of forming a strong opposition to the ND-PASOK grand coalition, by gaining 3d place from two possible contenders, the Communists and the Nationalist Right of “Independent Greeks” (a ND splinter), at 9-11 and 7-10% respectively.
    This is the dilemma faced by all left-wing double-nationals I know (while we are all united in voting Hollande as French citizens), and by many of our Greek friends, who also wish for a Hollande victory.
    Anyway, it is a sunny, almost summer day in Athens, and I now will go to vote for Greek election, and then, in the afternoon, at the French consulate to vote for Hollande and meet my double-national and French expat Friends.
    Good day to all, we will meet in the evening…

  30. Err, so the yougov poll is utter rubbish – showing the libdems at a steady 9% whenin fact they got 16% in the local elections.
    Way beyogn any +/-3% margin.
    Does anyone think yougov have nay credibility?

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