Much has been said this week about the British local elections, the Stormont election in Ulster, etc. The usual culprits have, as always, missed the point. After 12 years leading government, the Tories have taken a hit. London was a nightmare, but that was to be expected. London has been trending heavily in Labour’s direction for some time. The West Country broke heavily for the Liberal Democrats. In other regions, the Tories gained seats. Minor parties also had a good night, especially in the Midlands and North. Boris has managed to make a dog’s breakfast of his tenure, but Starmer hasn’t convinced all that many that he’d be the better PM.
Ulster is trickier. Stormont does not have a first-past-the-post system. Nor does any party “rule” the province. Rather, there is an obligatory power-sharing system. Unionists did lose ground, but Nationalists lost even more ground. The neutral Alliance Party did best.