The signs are that UKIP will get a pasting in the May 4th elections

The signs are that UKIP will get a pasting in the May 4th elections

They’re defending seats won at their 2013 highpoint

For me this week is all about the May 4th elections. Yesterday the Tory psephologist, Lord Robert Hayward, gave his annual presentation and predictions and there’s a fair bit of coverage in today’s press.

Unlike the Rallings and Thrasher seat projection which is confined to the English local council elections Lord Hayward embraced Wales and Scotland as well and in the latter suggested that would produce more big problems for LAB including the possible loss of the iconic Glasgow. His seats net gains/losses projection was:

LAB -125
LDs +100
UKIP -80
CON +100

With all the focus on LAB we must not ignore UKIP which in this round of elections in 2013 reached a high point securing 145 English council seats and a national equivalent vote share of 22%.

Since then the party has struggled in local by-elections and has the worst retention rate of all the main parties. In the aftermath of the second Brexit referendum last June it has been working to find a role for itself and has had a series of leadership issues. Last month, of course, it lost its single MP.

The main beneficiary of a weakened UKIP looks set to be CON which is also set to do well where it is up against LAB. This will help TMay’s party offset some of the expected losses to the LDs particularly in the South West.

Today I’m off to London again for a Political Studies Association briefing with Profs John Curtice and Tony Travers on the new super-mayors that will be elected for the first time for the six combined authorities that have been created.

Mike Smithson

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