While you were Kipping this reporter was up all night watching the local election results come in.

Despite a smear campaign orchestrated by the Conservatives in cahoots with The Daily Telegraph and surprisingly The Guardian, Submarine UKIP romped home with ease gaining an additional 161 Council seats in England after sinking the three main parties.

Whether this was due to the Conservative smear campaign that found Farage and his chums labelled racists back-firing appears to be the popular view but it is not the only explanation.

The second favourite reason is a genuine electoral weariness with the three main parties which would explain Conservative and Liberal Democrat losses, but fails to explain Labour gains.

Even Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton Graham Stringer described the Labour campaign as ‘unprofessional.’

It would be great to think that the real reason for UKIP’s gains were in no small way due to the fact that the Kippers are the only decent sized alternative party that have not found themselves embroiled in some sort of boy-knobbing or general sex scandal.

But let’s be honest, the electorate have short memories, and some are so dyed-in-the-wool despite all the evidence to the contrary that you could stick the appropriately coloured rosette on a turd and they would still vote for it.

In spite of this, one of the early highlights of the wee hours was seeing Lib Dem and self-confessed madman Mike Hancock of spy scandal and groping fame lose his South Portsmouth seat.

The European Election followed the same pattern, as everyone with the exception of Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Miliband predicted. UKIP have 23 MEPS, Labour 18, Conservative 18 (down 7) and Liberal Democrats, 1 (down 9).

Nick Griffin (BNP) lost his seat in the North West to Labour, while over in France the Front National triumphed, so things must be bad in North West England.

With a turnout of 34.19% what does this tell us about the electoral system in England? (Leaving aside our Celtic brethren because they have separate issues that require a separate analysis each).
It means bugger all. It does not necessarily follow as Mr. Farage claims that the electoral system is in need of reform. Nor does it indicate as Labour will no doubt do, that their policies are the best, and it is merely their leader that sucks.

All it indicates is that those that bothered to vote aren’t happy with the Coalition.

But again, the results of Thursday and Sunday should not be taken as a dry-run for the outcome of next year’s General Election.

In short, the outcomes and long term consequences of the last few days, really aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

And when will one of Mr. Farage’s advisers tell him that it is really not a good idea for a Statesman, or anyone for that matter, to be photographed with a drink in his hand?

BY: Stephen Leece

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