It’s has been a political jamboree here yesterday and today 6th May in the United Kingdom with seven different rounds of elections in just one day. In the political space, this has been one of our busiest times of the year. NationBuilder has been nonpartisan from the very beginning and we are proud to be serving all communities.
The polls closed last night at 10pm and the counting began. Actually, the counting in London only began on Friday 6th May and so did the votes cast for the London Assembly.
The European team thought we would give you a condensed debrief of everything that has happened in the last 48 hours.
Rundown of the elections that took place on 5 May in the UK:
- Scottish Parliament
- Welsh Assembly
- Northern Ireland Assembly
- Local council elections in England
- Mayor of London and London Assembly
- Directly-elected mayors in Bristol, Salford and Liverpool
- Police and crime commissioner elections
Scotland: the SNP has secured third victory
Source: BBC news
The SNP secured an historic third victory in Scotland, though they did not replicate their 2011 success where they took an overall majority, finishing six seats down on that result.
The big story in Scotland was the success of the Conservatives, more than doubling their seats to become the second party. Labour’s run of bad results in Scotland continued as they lost thirteen seats.
The Greens got their best result ever to take six seats and move ahead of the Lib Dems, who despite gaining two constituencies, remain on five seats.
One last thought, albeit nothing new but definitely worth stating, the three biggest political parties in Scotland are currently being run by women - Nicola Sturgeon (SNP), Ruth Davidson (Conservatives) and Kezia Dugdale (Labour).
Wales and Plaid Cymru
Source: BBC news
Labour remain the largest party in Wales, losing one seat to Plaid Cymru, whose leader Leanne Wood won in Rhondda. Plaid moved into second place ahead of the Conservatives, who lost three seats.
The biggest gainers of the night were UKIP, who won their first ever seats in the Assembly, taking seven regional seats. The Lib Dems fell to their worst ever result, winning just single seat.
Northern Ireland Assembly elections
Source: BBC news
The elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly showed only small changes from five years ago. It was another good election for the DUP, who remain the largest party with 38 MLAs. Both nationalist parties lost seats, with Sinn Fein down one and the SDLP losing two.
The only gains of the night came for smaller parties, leading to a record number of seats for 'other' parties (those that are not registered as either Unionist or Nationalist). The Alliance held their eight seats, the Green party made one gain and the People Before Profit Alliance won their first ever seats. Combined with the one independent MLA, there is a total of thirteen 'other' MLAs.
London Mayoral elections
Twelve candidates put themselves forward to become the third person ever to hold the London mayoralty after Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson (current Mayor). Every election thus far has more or less been a Labour vs. Conservative battle. This time around the Labour candidate was Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith was the Conservatives’ candidate.
Around 6pm on Friday 6th, Sadiq Khan (Labour) was leading the mayoral race with results in from all 14 constituencies counted. After all results counted from the second round, at around 8pm on Friday, Sadiq Khan was officially declared the new mayor of London.
Source: BBC news
The Women’s Equality Party
For the Women’s Equality Party the whole campaign was a win in their view. As a new party (read, very new party - less than a year old) they have achieved a lot to be proud of. Their success has demonstrated how the political landscape is ripe for change and things can change with a lot of hard work, commitment and strong messaging. They have also demonstrated the power of an engaged, involved and active community. It is no understatement to say that their campaign was powered by their activists.
The Women’s Equality party have have some impressive results, especially for a party that has been campaigning for less than 100 days.
Low voter turnout
The democratic deficit and voter apathy is not a new story but nevertheless still one that arises with every election. This year was no different. According to one of Jim PIckard's sources, turnout in London is merely 12% as of 4pm Thursday 5th May - a record mayoral low according to the Chief Political Correspondent of the FT.
There was some improvement in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly elections, where both elections had their highest turnout since their first votes in 1999. Though both were still low, on 55% and 45% respectively.
The turnout for the mayoral elections this year was 45.3%, up from 37.4% in 2012.
What about the referendum?
The UK’s referendum on whether or not the UK should stay within the EU nor not will take place on June 23rd. You can check out both campaigns here: Stronger IN campaign and Vote Leave, Take Control campaign.
- The NationBuilder Europe team -