At least for once there is reason to be interested in the Council Elections, with UKIP being the unknown quantity. Perhaps of somewhat more interest will be the by-election in South Shields, where the seat was abandoned by Miliband Senior. UKIP, of course, have no hope of winning the seat, but will they again come in ahead of the Tories? Will they take votes from Labour? Seemingly Labour believe they might in view of their last minute scare leafleting. Only time will tell, but it seems that the Tories have dropped their "attack mode" and are simply pushing the slogan that "A vote for UKIP is a vote for Miliband". It would be ironic if UKIP came ahead of them allowing them to adopt the slogan "A vote for the Tories is a vote for Miliband"!
When it comes to local councils, their powers are relatively limited, and judging by what councillors have told me in the past, the real power lies with the various council officials, and unless there is a really strong council with forceful personalities, the officials will continue to go their own way regardless of which party is in charge. Nevertheless, a strong vote for UKIP would certainly put them into pole position for the European elections next May where another strong showing would surely cause a major crisis in the Conservative party.
Meanwhile, according to the Telegraph, Cameron is considering introducing legislation in this parliament for a referendum on the EU, although it seems that Labour and the LibDems would oppose it. Whatever happens this must be a win-win situation for UKIP who will be able to claim that it is their pressure that has forced Cameron into action. If Labour and the LibDems oppose it, again, UKIP will be able to attract those Labour voters who are opposed to the EU.
Friday should be an interesting news day, whatever happens. The parties will be busy making their excuses and explaining why the results aren't relevant in the national contest, the political pundits will be explaining why they got it right (or wrong) and what the significance is for the country, and hopefully Nigel Farrage will be having a good laugh along with a few pints in his local..
So get out and vote UKIP, I've already done so by post. With a choice of Tory, LibDem and UKIP, to vote for other than UKIP would have been a no-brainer.
Richard Ottoway Resigns from European Movement
14 minutes ago