Morning Briefing, May 5

Labour’s red Ros a national highpoint amid decimation

Journalists were preparing for a long night at Doncaster Racecourse. Wildly speculative claims of a 6am result were being bandied about. Suddenly, an announcement came over the tannoy that candidates should report to the side of the stage. It was 3am, surely only the first round result, and they would go into a second round, and later into the cold South Yorkshire night?

It wasn’t. Ros Jones had stormed to victory over her five opponents, with 50.3% of votes in the first round. Somebody who wouldn’t visually strike you as the typical politician had triumphed on a night where her party had suffered heavy losses elsewhere.

George Jabbour came second with 21.2% of the vote, the Conservative Party’s best vote in the elections since Doncaster’s inaugural one in 2002.

The Council votes are being counted this afternoon, with results being announced from 4pm. Will the votes follow the same pattern, or was it a big personal vote for Ros, and Labour’s kicking by the Doncaster electorate is still yet to be revealed?

Promising night for Conservatives

Parties in power often lose local government seats in general elections. However across the UK, the Conservatives benefitted from Labour and UKIP’s collapse. They’ve gained four councils, and 118 seats. Tim Bowles also won the West of England mayoral seat for the Tories. Ros Jones’ victory stands as one of the national high points.

North Derbyshire is being covered by JUS News, and it could be a barometer of how the parties could do in a month’s time. The Tories are hopeful of yet more gains there.

What now? A lot of councils haven’t even started counting yet. The major metro-mayor positions (although you’re all important…) aren’t announced until later today. If the Tory members and voters were feeling happy waking up to this morning’s news, things could be even sweeter by bedtime tonight.