Parties taking stock of votes

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote in last week’s elections, whichever party you voted for.

As the last of the tumbleweed blows through the deserted polling stations and counting halls, all the political parties are taking stock of their performance.

The headlines may have reflected UKIP’s strong performance rather than the steady progress Labour is making.

UKIP claim its support comes from people who never normally vote and that voters are turned off by mainstream parties.

Yet locally the highest turnout and lowest UKIP share came in wards most closely fought by the two main parties.

It’s also being claimed that because UKIP, with its distinctive view on Europe, did relatively well, the vote was a rejection of the EU.

Yet by far the most votes cast went to parties who favour remaining in the EU, albeit a reformed one.

It’s not hard to push an anti-politics message when faith and trust in politics has taken such a battering.

Economic recovery may be on the horizon but it doesn’t feel that way outside the M25. That could explain why protest parties like UKIP did worse in London than elsewhere.

What is needed is hope; not just short term economic recovery, but a new economy which works in the interest of every region.

Meanwhile expect the Government’s response in next week’s Queens Speech and perhaps a reshuffle. After that it’s a case of fasten your seat belts in the run up to the General Election. It promises to be a bumpy ride.