Local elections show anger towards Labour and Conservatives Brexit stance

The two main parties were sent a message by both sides of the Brexit debate after big losses in the local elections – there needs to be a change in Westminster.

It has been three years since 51% of the UK voted to leave the European Union in a referendum that has since pushed British politics to the brink.

After the close result, it is unsurprising the country has since divided into ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ camps. Both were uncompromising and convinced their way was the only way.

However, the local election results have shown that maybe they are agreeing that neither the Conservatives nor Labour can deliver on Brexit, nor are they fighting hard enough to revoke Article 50.

But what have the local elections got to do with Brexit? Councillors are not MPs and do not play a role in parliament so why have people been voting for smaller parties?

It seems people are using this vote as a protest, to tell the big two parties they are failing.

Twitter has been alight with opinions as the results continue to be declared.

Some posted pictures of spoilt ballot papers with one calling the Labour and Green Party candidates ‘traitors’ and even crossing out the Conservative party to replace them with ‘The Brexit Party’.

Others who spoilt their ballot papers said they could not vote for anyone they just wanted to stop Brexit.

Responses to Labour MP John McDonell post that the message from the local elections was ‘Brexit – sort it’ showed the division in opinion between Brexiteers and Remainers.

Many disagreed with his view saying the message was ‘stop it’ not ‘sort it’, whereas others pointed out Labour had also lost seats to pro-leave parties.

According to Robert Peston, the results have been disastrous for Labour as they should be thriving in the wake of a floundering Conservative government.

But have Labour’s ambivalent stance been the reason they have been punished in these elections?

Jeremy Corbyn said: “Our policy is that we are the only party that seeks to appeal to people however they voted in 2016.”

And as a result they have appeared to alienate many.

Alongside Labour, the Conservatives have suffered even heavier losses, with a decrease of 792 seats since 2015 with 87 councils left to declare.

The big winners of this election have been the Liberal Democrats who have gained 459 seats since 2015 with 87 councils still to declare.

But what does this mean looking towards the European elections?

Sir John Curtice said on BBC Radio 4 Today Show that these local elections are very encouraging for the likes of Nigel Farage in the upcoming European elections as there has been a shift from people voting for the Conservatives and Labour to voting for smaller parties such as the Green party and the Liberal Democrats.

How Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and the new pro-EU party Change UK will affect the European elections is yet to be seen as both sat out the local elections.

These local elections have shown a clear sign of rebellion. Although both sides of the debate still disagree on the final outcome, they can agree that the Government and Labour have failed to really deliver on anything.