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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 May, 2003, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK
Local elections: Your reaction

The Conservatives have claimed a "spectacular victory" in the local elections in England despite the resignation of a front bench spokesman.

Labour enjoyed a night of success in Wales, taking overall control of the assembly.

The Scottish Socialists were one of the independent parties that fared well in Scotland, with the SNP losing ground.

What is your reaction to the results? Do the local elections results mean the Tories are on the road to recovery? Why did nationalist parties fail to make progress in Wales and Scotland? Were you left uninterested by the whole election?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

A good thing about compulsory voting, as we have in Australia, is that it would allow a more accurate reflection of the will of the people. At the same time, the success of minor, "non-establishment" parties on both the right and left could serve as a clear indicator of people's disillusionment with mainstream politics. They will only continue to gain ground if the people aren't being listened to.
David Votoupal, Sydney, Australia

There must be same way of showing that we want to vote but the candidates are just not worthy of our vote
John, UK

Is it not time that we had an extra box on ballot papers so that we could register our discontent with any of the candidates? A spoiled ballot paper does not help. There must be same way of showing that we want to vote but the candidates are just not worthy of our vote.
John, UK

I voted for "None of the above" - local politics has died due to over-centralisation. Due to the last 25 years of Tory governments the local politics is just down to handing out contracts to private companies. If the Government wants us to stand up and be counted, how about giving us something to stand up for? PR for councils immediately followed by Westminster, then we wouldn't have the charade of electing a dictatorship for the next five years and they might bother to listen in the interim.
Trevor H., uk

Although I am not yet old enough to vote, I have been following the goings-on as part of my A/S politics course. Something which seems to me particularly striking, is the poor turnout. I think it vital that this issue is addressed so that any government elected is a reflection of the views of as many people in the country as possible. Therefore, action must be taken to ensure a higher turnout in forthcoming elections; a simple suggestion would be to make the election details simpler to all, and a compulsory part of education (i.e. to be taught about the methods of elections and informed of what each party stands for in a simple, unbiased manner).
Esther Harrison, Scotland

I didn't vote, one reason for that was due to the lack of information on local issues that I was voting on, all broadcasts were on national issues that local councillors can't affect.
Iain, UK

I feel that voters wishing to punish Labour just didn't bother voting - resulting in Conservative victory. Labour voters have shot themselves in the foot by not voting. The Conservative party was more pro-war than many Labour candidates so if that is how people voted then they're quite stupid.
Chris, UK

At a local level, I believe the Conservatives can and do keep down the council tax. At a national level the Labour party give the people that need help the best help. The Conservatives just look at cuts, cuts and more cuts.
Kevin Spring, UK

The BNP provides a solid and truthful voice
Simon Clarke, Great Britain

Despite the media's continuous besmirching of the British National Party, the BNP provides a solid and truthful voice in this politically correct and stifled country; a voice which is not going away, only becoming louder. A big well done to all the candidates and their teams. The politically significant result is a commendable achievement to such dedication and devotion. Together we stand strong and proud.
Simon Clarke, Great Britain

This country amazes me. People say "We're angry with Labour for the war, public services etc." So then, in defiance of all common sense, they go and vote Conservative! However bad Labour may appear to be, they're a walk in the park compared to the Tories. Do people really have such short memories that they can't remember Thatcher?
James, UK

James UK: Yes mate I do remember Thatcher. Unions... sorted. Tax... sorted. Internal party politics... sorted. Education... nearly sorted. The NHS would have been sorted had Labour not kept voting against the very reforms they are endorsing today. Whatever stooge leader Labour put up against her... sorted. I do not think I will remember the smiling dolphin we have now, who took a nation to war without the people's backing, with the same affection.
Ian, England

James reminds people of the ghost of Thatcher, though many voters realised that they were electing local councillors not the government. Councillors set the level of council tax and provide local services and have no more than a passing influence on national policy.
Paul, UK

The one-mile round trip was too long simply for the pleasure of spoiling my ballot paper
Richard Blake-Reed, Bath, UK

I didn't vote. The one-mile round trip was too long simply for the pleasure of spoiling my ballot paper. When a bunch of aliens land from another planet and offer to run the country as one of their social experiments, I'd probably vote for them because they'd have to do it better. Oh, and they'd be easier to believe in as well.
Richard Blake-Reed, Bath, UK

When politicians stop lying, answer questions put to them and not questions they wished had been put to them, then the people of the UK might start taking an interest in politics once again.
Walmsley, Scotland

A super night for the Tories. It could be the kick start they need to be challenging for Westminster power again.
Trevor, England

Most of your correspondents miss the obvious. If you are about to be evicted because your housing benefit was not paid, or you object to the latest superstore Tony and Iain could not care a damn, your local councillor should. I suggest those who criticise should find out what diligent councillors actually do. I spend about 20 hours a week on top of a full time job, it is hard work and sometimes reduces you to tears but just occasionally that smile or thank you makes it all worthwhile. Forget Westminster and go for the people who work for you.
Cllr JRB, UK

Come on Lib Dems I say. Labour are not liked by the majority any longer and most people are voting Conservatives to stop Labour coming into power again. Lib Dems have the best national policies but get less chance to voice them to a large audiences.
Darren Rowell, England

How can party politics work at grass roots level when local elections are as meaningless as these?
Caspian, England

We had a choice of six candidates from two parties. Tories, whose national policies I'm opposed to, but seemed to have some engaging ideas on local issues; and Lib Dems whose candidates couldn't engage in a discussion on my doorstep about local issues, but have national policies I support. How can party politics work at grass roots level when local elections are as meaningless as these?
Caspian, England

I am very glad about the gains of the Green Party, in particular in Scotland, but also in some councils. The Liberal Democrats as serious contenders to Labour and Conservatives is also very good news indeed.
Mw, York, UK

It's not a "victory" for the Tories at all. The Conservatives didn't make big gains because people believed in them and their policies, it's because people are so fed up with Labour. I voted Labour last time but I'll never vote for them again while the current key figures are still around.
Jon Perkins, UK

Oldham Council has just seen gains by Labour. We have been shafted for so long by the Lib Dem control that we wanted a change. Let's hope they don't let us down.
Jim McMahon, England

Do the Lib Dems really believe they can run the country? They are simply an opposition party. They see what Labour do and criticise. They never say how they would do it differently and their management of Sheffield was poor. Wake up!
Misty, England

I think the Tories have had their day. They may have done well last night, but that was a protest vote and quite normal mid-term. I cannot really see them becoming the government again for a very long time, if ever. It is not just that IDS has no appeal, I think the whole party has lost the trust of the nation. I predict that in as little as ten years time, the battle will be between the liberal demarcates and New Labour, the Tories will be the ones in the margin.
Tim Nicholson, United Kingdom

Blair's hoped for 'Baghdad bounce' turned out to bounce back like a dead cat!
Tim Peacock, Scunthorpe

The people of Birmingham are sick to the back teeth with the way our city is run
John, Birmingham, England

So the local elections are over, moans from my area from labour centre on "it is because the Muslims didn't vote for us"! Rubbish - the people of Birmingham are sick to the back teeth with the way our city is run. When are these politicians going to concentrate on local issues and drop the national party line? It is local issues that matter, Labour are out of touch
John, Birmingham, England

Why have Labour done badly? Not because of the war - it's much simpler - council tax. Ridiculously high, with little obvious return.
Mike Douglas, UK

Apart from their general incompetence as a party, Plaid Cymru's devastating performance at this election is caused by their absurd motion to instate a Welsh Parliament by 2007. It is clear that the Welsh public do not want an assembly, let alone a parliament. At a time when Europe is becoming more unified, why would Wales want to break away from the United Kingdom?
Karl Evans, Wales

The real political news from these elections should be how FEW people turned out. Personally I saw no difference between the candidates in my area and believe the only thing that affects how things run is business and the companies pulling purse strings.

Despite being registered and receiving them in the past I didn't receive any polling information and despite driving round for an hour failed to find my local polling station. There were no signs anywhere. I found a more distant polling station and they were unable to get through to the voting helpline, so despite trying hard I was unable to vote. You'd think with so much voter apathy they wouldn't make it so hard to vote.
Matt Whitby, Hampshire

The real political news from these elections should be how FEW people turned out

With the exception of the BNP, the election results have been a welcome change. Labour rightfully receiving a blow to their majority, Liberal Democrats at last becoming a serious contender and the Scottish Socialist Party making real gains too. Although the Tories have done well, it is clear they are a divided party. I hope this is the start of a shift towards the left.
Paul, UK

Mansfield Council has become independent from Labour not because of national politics but due to the local Labour Council members not being trusted following a "toys out of the pram" approach to the election of an independent mayor last autumn. With their toys now out of reach maybe they will grow up.
Andy Yates, UK (Mansfield)


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