May 04, 2007

The UK Local Elections

I have posted my analysis of what the result might mean for the British Political Scene on Bits of News- my basic thinking is that the results don't demonstrate much about the next general election- UK voters tend to vote anti-government on these occasions but tend not to vote the same way in General Elections (that's been a trend for a long time) but structural, in that the parties gaining seats gain extra power in areas and consequently can swing constituencies towards them through more vibrant campaigns.

One of the interesting dynamics at play here is against the alternating model of how the parties might come in and out of power- ie that one election you would have the Tories, the next Labour etc. If local elections are an early indicator of party dominance in an area, but lag national elections and if its only possible to win in areas where you have a base already, we could be seeing longer periods of alternation as a structural feature in British politics. I'm not sure about this and of course political exigiencies could blow it out of the water- but its worth pondering over as a thought.