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It’s almost over now

May 3rd 2024

These aren’t midterms. The next time a Tory MP looks you in the eye and says ‘midterm local elections are always difficult for governing parties’ you should feel free to laugh in their face. We have six months, at best, before a general election. This isn’t voters playing hard to get, it’s voters telling the Conservative Party to get out. On the basis of the results so far, Keir Starmer is on course to win a majority of more than 150 seats.


There are more results to come, of course, because in yet another symbol of Britain’s decline from the top tier of countries, we apparently can’t be bothered to count votes overnight anymore. It is possible that Andy Street will hang on in the West Midlands, and probable that Ben Houchen will win again in Teesside (he got nearly 80% of the vote last time round) but these headline successes cannot conceal the scale of the Conservative collapse.

In Blackpool, which Scot Benton represented in between doing his day job as a not very good lobbyist for fictional gambling companies, the swing to Labour was the fourth biggest in history. Add together the strong Reform showing and the Tory vote, and you still get a Labour MP there. This isn’t just voters flirting with third parties, it’s voters going anywhere but Conservative.

And the gains aren’t restricted to a particular geographic or demographic profile, either. Labour now run Thurrock, Rushmore, Redditch and Hartlepool - with more to follow. This a diverse spread of council to have seized control of and demonstrate Keir’s remarkable cut through across the board.

They are winning in their usual places - affluent, high density graduate populations - but also winning back votes more deprived places that deserted Labour.

What will happen next? There’s a possibility that Tory rebels will move against Rishi, but there’s always been that possibility. Even the most vociferous of Sunak’s critics recognise that time and alternative candidates are short. Most eyes are fixed on the post-election prize rather than on expending energy on a coup now. So the most likely outcome is - as ever - the status quo. Which will be grinding, boring and slightly sad to watch. But the good news is that these aren’t midterms. There’ll be an election soon enough. It’s almost over now.

We’ll be sharing an in-depth look at what some of these Labour gains mean later today, as well as a spotlight on the key mayoral elections and a biography on Blackpool South’s new MP, Chriss Webb.

To check out the Parliamentary Candidates in your area, take a look at the Lodestone GE Hub here: https://lodestonecommunications.com/election-hub