We didn’t have elections in Telford & Wrekin this year (they’ll take place again in 2014) but there were elections all over the country for local councils and elected mayors and referenda on changing councils from the cabinet system as used by Telford & Wrekin to directly elected mayors.
UKIP received a record average of 14% of the vote nationally, unseating the Conservative leader of Tunbridge Wells Council and taking the third district council seat for Ramsey, where UKIP controls the town council, to make the town the first in the country represented only by UKIP councillors. The UKIP candidate in the Salford mayoral election came third and UKIP candidates came first, second and third in hundreds of seats.
Yet despite UKIP receiving almost as many votes as the Lib Dems, only 9 UKIP councillors were elected whilst the Lib Dems managed to get 48 times as many councillors elected. The First Past the Post system has failed once again – it is estimated that UKIP would have ended up with around 400 councillors under a system of proportional representation but the votes of millions of people were ignored because the person they voted for didn’t win an outright victory.
But let’s not be negative – UKIP’s performance was fantastic, it’s the system that failed. Over 220,000 people voted for a UKIP candidate which is more than double what it was in the same set of elections in 2008. The coalition lost 741 seats and UKIP took votes from all three of the old parties.
Want to know why you should vote UKIP?