We’re a long way from knowing the full picture (we will by early tonight), but there a few things that are becoming clearer already regarding yesterday’s elections.
Let’s start with Scotland. It looks as though just when you thought Scottish Labour couldn’t fall any further, another negative milestone is reached. The Tories have beaten Labour for second place, replacing them as the official opposition, with seven more seats than their red rivals. While I flirted with predicting this, in the end I figured Scottish Labour would be able to hang onto at least this measure of dignity. This is a loss almost on par with the 2015 general election result in Scotland for Labour. From here they will need to figure some out some way of re-inserting themselves into the Scottish national political debate in order to have any chance of recovery in the next decade – and it might even be too late for that already.
The interesting thing about Scotland beyond this is that the SNP didn’t do as well as predicted. The assumption was that they would win almost all of the constituencies, but this didn’t prove to be the case. They even lost two seats to the Lib Dems (who it should be noted, have had a better than expected election in Scotland, and indeed almost everywhere else as well). So perhaps it isn’t quite so dark for Unionists as we might have thought (unless they’re wearing a red rosette, of course).
Wales doesn’t look too bad for Labour though. UKIP seem like they’ll do as well as expected, and Plaid Cymru look to have gained seats. It will likely be, as predicted, a Labour-Plaid coalition, with Labour still the largest party in Wales (at least for now).
In England, it’s sort of okay news for Labour. It looks so far like they could lose less seats in England than they were expected to. Labour have already held some major cities in the north and in the south, their vote doesn’t seem to be melting as badly as some foresaw. On the other hand, the Tories, Lib Dems and UKIP all look set to gain seats, and Labour are set to be the first opposition to lose seats outside of a general election period for 34 years. It’s hard to be triumphalist when you’ve lost seats and all of your rivals have gained, but if anyone can do it, Jeremy Corbyn can.
There’s nothing to say about the London mayoral contest at present, other than a final poll puts Sadiq 14 points ahead. I’ve been trying to find turnout figures, but haven’t seen them anywhere (this would give us a better idea of the result, as low turnout might give Zac a hope).