Local elections in the UK yesterday and Brexit was on the minds of voters. As such, the Tories paid a dear price for their failure in getting it through parliament.
Oh yes, before I go on, to clear up matters certain of you have commented upon. Tory is slang for the UK Conservative Party; they are equivalent in many ideological ways to our GOP. Got it? Tory and Conservative, same party. Pro-Brexit Tory types would be close to our Trump supporters. Anti-Brexit Tory voters are very much like our Republican Never-Trumpers, except with better breeding, suits made out of natural fibers, and posh accents. The other two parties are the main opposition: Labour, who are even to the left of our Dems (they are run by an overt hardcore Marxist), and the Liberal Democrats, who are somewhat in the British political middle. Labour is on the fence over Brexit, leaning towards anti-Brexit but with a main goal of hurting the Tories any way they can. The Lib Dems want to stay in the EU and stop Brexit. UKIP is a pro-Brexit party.
The races were in England and Northern Ireland, except in London. This area is normally home turf for the Tories; they held close to 60 percent of the seats contested. Their usually good territory does not count London which, as in many major cities everywhere, is more than a bit Bolshie.
In this fight Prime Minister Theresa May and the Conservative Party took a sound pranging with a loss of over 400 seats. As a result up to now they have given up control of 18 city councils on the 248 local authorities in England and 11 in Northern Ireland that were up for grabs. Labour lost over 80 seats and 2 councils, as the opposition they should have gained, and the Lib Dems, almost dead before tonight, had a surprise resurrection gaining control of 8 councils and winning more than 300 seats. UKIP lost 54 seats. Independent candidates fared well, picking up over 270 seats.
As of press time very early Friday morning our time, the Tories keep 1209 seats and 35 councils, Labour has 894 and 37 councils, Lib Dems 563 and 10 councils, UKIP 17 and no councils, and other parties 418 and control of 28 councils. That’s with 110 out of 248 English council control races called. The final results will probably get better for the Lib Dems and the Independents and worse for all the others.
Not a good night for the Tories. Though granted, the loss could have been much worse.
Their defeat is mainly at the hands of pro-Brexit voters who feel completely sold out by PM May and her intentional inability to execute Brexit. As she is someone who opposed Brexit in the first place, and I don’t think she’s that stupid, I think this has been a planned Brexit sabotage on her part, probably intended since her ascension to Downing Street. Her subterfuge backfired at the polls.
Thus the Tories, by making her PM, and May are the architects of their own electoral debacle.
They also paid a price, albeit likely a small one, from anti-Brexit Conservatives who loathe directly representative government. While I am spiritually and aesthetically in that camp as well (the loathing, not the anti-Brexit part), modern practicality says you can’t keep the pitchfork wielders from scaling your battlements unless you throw them some crumbs now and then. But what Theresa and her Conservative Party have done is not only take away the crumbs, they’ve gobbled the whole cake and laughed at their own gluttony. Bad form, that.
In three weeks time it may get even worse for the Tories, as the redoubtable Nigel Farage leads his new Brexit Party against them at an EU election that would not have to take place in the UK if the Tories had kept their word over Brexit.
However, they didn’t and justice will be served then as it was yesterday. If they don’t want to scarf down continual helpings of it, maybe just maybe they’ll get their act together and truly enact the bloody thing already.