The UK held local elections this week, the results of which everyone is sorting through for clues as to what will happen in the snap general election on June 8. You can see the full results on Wikipedia. People I chat with here generally find three things surprising about UK politics at the moment.
1. The Liberal Democrats don’t seem to be picking up anti-Brexit voters despite the party’s unabashedly pro-EU stance. The Remain vote was 48% of the country but the LibDems actually lost seats in the local elections (though their vote share picked up a bit). Perhaps pro-EU British voters have accommodated to Brexit more rapidly than was generally expected.
2. UKIP got what it wanted so everyone assumed the party would lose seats…but over 99% of them? Most people here thought lingering populism would have kept UKIP a minor player, but they are now a non-entity (you will not hear me grieving their demise…).
3. The Tory thrashing of Labour was expected, but the success of Conservatives in some of the poorest areas of the country was not. I find the data in this chart astounding when I contrast it with how British politics has generally worked in my lifetime. The once dependable class divisions have really broken down.