Thursday saw UKIP winning just 2% of the first past the post seats
Given that the dominant political story at the moment is the EU referendum it has been rather surprising that so little attention has been paid to UKIP – the party which very wisely concentrated its resources on the PR-based list seats in Wales rather than first past the post elections in the English locals.
They certainly had success in Wales and also picked up two PR based seats on the London Assembly but the English local were more than just disappointing. A large proportion of the seats up were in Labour heartlands – just the sort of area where they’ve appeared to be doing well.
Yes they made gains but their overall total of council seats taken was 58 or just 2% of the seats at stake. Contrast that with 2013 when UKIP won or retained 147 seats, 6% of those contested and a net gain of 139.
They’ve also lost their coveted 3rd place on vote position to the Lib Dems who won seven times as many council seats.
It is very true that first past the post works against the smaller parties as we saw at GE2015 when they only got one MP.