Not possible to give complete updated betting information as most markets are suspended whilst the results of yesterday’s local elections continue to filter through.
What’s clear from the declarations so far is that it’s been a good night for the Conversatives, slightly disappointing for the Lib Dems, alarming for Labour, and disastrous for UKIP.
Spreadex have responded and have moved their Conservative seats spread up 10. Somewhat of a landmark moment – this is the first fixed odds or spreads price putting Conservative seats at over 400.
Spreadex | Con 400-406 (24hr change +10) | Lab 147-153 (-8) | LD 23.5-34.5 (-0.5)
Conservatives: At time of writing, the Tories have made a net gain of 125 council seats. Judged against the historical trends of locals this is a stonking performance for a governing party. Mrs May will be particularly pleased to see decent progress in Wales and that the apparent Lib Dem threat in the South West has faltered. Furthermore, winning wards from Labour in bellweather Midlands areas such as Nuneaton and North Warwickshire (Con gained Warwickshire County Council from NOC) bodes well for the General Election.
Liberal Democrats: A net loss of seats will disappoint the Lib Dems. The party do not appear to have taken advantage of an unpopular Labour party. A handful of gains have been cancelled out to losses to the Conservatives. Farron will hope that his anti-Brexit message will have more resonance in a national race than local polls.
UKIP: Yet to get off the mark at the time of writing and having lost all 30 seats being defended, UKIP is in dire straits. The triumph of Brexit is the party’s downfall – shorn of its macro purpose the party is suffering an identity crisis. There is little residual loyalty to the UKIP brand and by many accounts the party’s ground game has been woeful.
UKIP’s voters appear to breaking overwhelmingly for the Conservatives. Take a look at the breakdown for Lincolnshire:
Whilst a good chunk of the 17% will be ‘returners’, UKIP voters heading back to the Tory fold after the EU referendum, ex-Tories can’t account for the whole. UKIP has acted as an electoral decompression chamber, a conduit for the switching of loyalties of traditional Labour voters to the Conservatives.
These desperate results in Lincolnshire – a bastion of the Leave vote – are bad news for Nuttall generally and specifically for his chances of winning the Boston & Skegness constituency in June.
It’s a short price, but UKIP 0 seats in the general election looks safe.
Labour: Challenging, difficult, just plain dreadful – call it what you will – these results are not good news for Labour. The party has lost seats across Britain on various fronts: to the Tories, a handful to the Lib Dems, and to Independents in Blaneau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil. Even if the Welsh can’t bring themselves to vote Conservative, they’re in no hurry to give their vote to Corbyn.
Caveat #1 – The Labour vote has held up reasonably well in the Welsh cities and the party has held control of Cardiff, Swansea, and Newport councils. Polling suggestions of a Labour wipeout in Wales may have been overstated.
Caveat #2 – This was difficult electoral ground for Labour. When this set of seats was last contested in 2013, Labour had a lead over the Tories in the opinion polls (around 5pts) and Miliband’s leadership was enjoying something of a honeymoon.
Caveat to the caveats – Opposition parties shouldn’t need caveats in local elections.