— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) March 5, 2013
This could/should be the big chance for Farage’s Ukip
On Thursday May 2nd the Tories face a massive test at this year’s local elections. The Wikipedia infographic sets it out – the blues will be defending 1.531 seats, the LDs 484 and Labour a paltry 178.
The vast bulk of contests will be for the 27 non-metropolitan county councils of which, four years ago the Tories won all but one. Also there are fights in nine unitary authorities and two mayoral contests. In one, North Tyneside, the Tories will be defending.
Most of these seats were last defended in June 2009 when Labour was in the doldrums and when the Euro elections were being held at the same time.
It is very hard to see how the blues can get through without losing seats. The big questions are how many and which party will be the main beneficiary?
Apart from three or four the non-met counties are not fertile ground for Labour – but they could be for Ukip who for all their Westminster by-election second places and soaring poll ratings have struggled when it comes to winning seats.
May 2nd could be the day when the purples make real progress in first past the post elections. Alternatively they could just syphon support off the blues adding to Dave’s problems but with little to show for themselves.
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