Saturday 24th May
We are back in France. We drove down on Thursday, through warm sunshine, torrential rain and then warm sunshine again. And today it has been the same, one minute really warm and pleasant and five minutes later heavy rain. Hopefully it is now clearing up and from late afternoon it will be pleasant again.
We have been watching the news to see how the polling has gone and again it is very strange weather. So far Labour have made good gains and the Tories and LibDems are losing about equally. UKIP is doing well, especially in Essex, and a few Northern Areas. But the only show in town according to the news reporters is UKIP. The smiling face of Nigel Farage is everywhere. They don’t run a single council anywhere and have not won anything like the number of seats which Labour have and yet Labour have done really badly according to the commentators. Strange, but news is news and Labour winning back seats just isn’t as exciting as a party from nowhere doing well. And this is going to continue now all weekend as UKIP are bound to do well in the Euro elections which are counting on Sunday.
I suspect that they have done better in these local elections partly because of the Euro elections happening on the same day anyway. The big question is how well they might do come the general election, when one hopes that people’s minds will be a bit more focused; they will after all be electing the Government not a talking shop in Brussels or who runs the local council. We will see, but the real problem for all three major parties is how to respond to UKIP; attacking them simply gives them more publicity and not criticing them leads to charges of complacency. If like the Tories you try to be more right wing then them, this only seems to push more people into their camp. Strange weather indeed.