Last week saw the British local government elections held on Thursday covering local authorities and a number of so-called Elected Mayors of devolving regions such as that of the nearby West Midlands as well as those for Merseyside and Greater Manchester.
Some of the importance around them is misplaced because people in local elections often vote as much, if not more for the person as the party and it is rare for national Party Political concerns to play a big part in voting habits although from the for the last ten years removed from the core position I have it did seem very much that this time that was very much in danger of drowning out local issues and concerns with national parties less supporting candidates engaged in local affairs as campaigning locally for national politics.
To a large extent this time round, they could be seen as a dress rehearsal for June's General Election across the whole of the UK.
In looking at the results, it seems obvious there was a swing of around 8% toward the Tories and a bigger swing against Labour with smaller swings against the Liberal Democrats although they did win a number of new seats.
The United Kingdom Independence Party (aka UKip), lost all the seats it was defending and only won one in East Lancashire.
That did not surprise me as the party has had a very turbulent year with two leaders who left, a big falling out with accusations of physical assault of an MEP with a few others and the failure to make any coherent policies outside of leaving the European Union which we had voted for anyway. It needs to find who it is for and develop policies that meet those of its supporters.
To many they appear a 'spent force' but don't rule them out.
Labour's problems are not to be fair just the belief in eyes of many that its leader Jeremy Corbyn is weak, ineffective, more interested his own ideas than the well-being of the party, best characterized by the expression "couldn't fight their way through the skin of a rice pudding" but simply the party itself lacks what its core voters are looking for. The average Labour voter is interested in people who believe in fighting for this country's interests first, who see defence as important and wants them to support everyday workers working conditions through the law rather than some great socialist utopia come the revolution and feels strikes are a last resort not a tool of revolutionary change. They also support the Monarchy and expect a competent person to be a Shadow Home Secretary, not someone who had not a beeping clue about their own policing policies and its costs.
As someone who supported them when I was younger it was an embarrassing shambles of a campaign.
Every time a commentator stopped to ask former supporters about the leader it was obvious he and his leadership were the issue. It will not end well.
The Liberal Democrats problems are two-fold: some won't forgive them for being in coalition in 2010 and especially policies like changes in University Tuition Fees policies and being seen as a pro EU party when many do not support that as good as a leader Tim Farron is on the whole. Do we want a referendum on the leaving deal with not leaving as an option? I don't think people however they voted at the time, do.
The clear winners were Theresa May and the Tories with a simple message: It's all about leadership and stability in an unstable world.
People from all parts of the UK voted for them even in areas where previously people didn't and critically they emerged as 'the' pro-union' party for Scots who have grave concerns about the popular SNP and the so-called 'Indy2' referendum they want to run asap feeling Scotland alone cannot be made to work as an independent country and collectively we're better together.