An interesting result, at least so far. Many UK councils have not even started counting yet, although now that I have my postal vote, I must admit to having cast my vote weeks ago. The Greens even had a candidate in our ward, so it isn't much surprise that I voted for him, as I was one of his nominees!
Elsewhere, I am satisfied that the extremists of UKIP have lost ground. Now that the UK has had its referendum, I think the general public is struggling to see its relevance. Of course they argue otherwise...
But I do see some contradictions, too. The Conservative party has effectively hijacked many of UKIP's policies, and yet rather than people being wary of their adopted extremism, they have strengthened their hand. And again, despite evidence that our infrastructure is deteriorating - high-profile evidence such as health and social care, but also visible, everyday evidence such as worsening road surfaces as councils can't afford to make repairs, people still prefer the Conservatives to other options. Certainly, for a party that uses a lot of rhetoric about economics, the numbers don't stack up.
I suppose it also says something about Labour's credibility, although other parties had quite poor result too. It's not reallly clear whether their results appear so bad because (a) they are exactly that, or (b) because they are such a large party, their losses appear magnified.
Plus, of course, the media doesn't help, trying to rile the politicians (I'm sure that confrontation gets much higher ratings) but their interviews really are quite amateur and superficial.
So is it really any wonder, in the face of skepticism of both main parties, that I looked for a different option? At least the Greens can claim electoral success last night - although in their case the numbers are so small.... But perhaps evidence that more and more people are dissatisfied with the larger parties?
I must admit, finally, that these results feel somewhat strange to me. It is almost as if I'm looking on as an observer, that I'm not directly involved. I certainly can't feel the passion these days like I used to. Interested, certainly, but passionate? No. But then my blood pressure is that much lower these days, too, and maybe there are other fish to fry!
BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation, and I accept complete responsibility for the views expressed herein. I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any ambiguous terms, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.