|Ed inspiring commuters on the Tube|
Apart from the UKIP performance, the only other notable outcome is Labour's lacklustre progress. Ed Miliband had the following going for him:
- With the Liberal Democrats in coalition with the Tories, Labour are the lone party of opposition on the left. Dissatisfaction with the government should drive votes to Labour as the only possible alternative
- The Coalition parties are in mid-term, midway through implementing very painful reforms and departmental budget cuts that have sapped their political capital.
- UKIP are splitting the vote on the right, sapping support from the Conservatives
- Labour were starting from a very low point and the Tories a very high point, as the last time these wards were fought was during the darkest days of the previous Labour government. Any slight improvement in Labour's vote should have delivered hundreds of councillors.
Ed Miliband has had an easy run in the media for a while. But following recent poor decisions, especially around opposing Conservative welfare reforms, another car crash interview and now these disappointing results, pressure should start to mount on the Labour leader. But, I suspect, most of the electorate have already made their mind up on him, and Labour's only hope will be no economic recovery and UKIP's popularity persisting to the election in 2015.
If yesterday's vote proves anything, it proves the country has a strong right of centre mind set. Ed Miliband's march to the left is leaving people cold.