The political brief
Local Government Elections in England
The 5th May saw the biggest electoral test yet for the Coalition Government, with local elections taking place across most of England as well as elections to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly, local government elections in Northern Ireland, a Parliamentary by-election in Leicester South and of course the AV referendum.
Results of the Local Government in England
The main theme of these elections was the collapse in Liberal Democrat support across the country. Across England the Liberal Democrats lost almost half of the seats they were defending.
In the North and Midlands these seats were lost in the most part to Labour. In the South East, South West and Home Counties, the Conservatives were the main beneficiaries.
Initial coverage of the elections suggested that the local government elections did not see Labour progress against the Conservatives. This is because gains from the LDs by the Tories in rural areas that are not General Election battlegrounds for Labour offset the Tories' losses to Labour. Of the 862 Labour gains, 415 were from the Conservatives, i.e. almost exactly half of Labour's gains were from the Tories, not the LDs.
These changes in Council seats also saw a number of Councils change hands:
Ashfield, Barrow-in-Furness, Bassetlaw, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bury, Chesterfield, Gedling, Gravesham, Hyndburn, Ipswich, Kingston-upon-Hull, Leeds, Lincoln, Mansfield, Newcastleupon- Tyne, North Tyneside, North Warwickshire, Oldham, Preston, Redcar & Cleveland, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and York
Boston, Gloucester, Harrogate, Lewes, North Lincolnshire, North Norfolk, Solihull
Leicester South Parliamentary By-election
In amongst the many elections taking place on 5 May there was the small matter of a new Member of Parliament to find.
The by-election to replace Sir Peter Soulsby as the MP for Leicester South was easily won by Labour as Jonathan Ashworth received almost 60% of the vote; an 8.3% swing from last year's General Election.
Elsewhere in the UK
Northern Ireland Assembly Elections
While the changes were less significant than those seen in other areas of the UK, these results clearly represent a strengthening of the position of the DUP and Sinn Fein at the expense of the UUP and SDLP.
Northern Ireland Local Government Elections
With all 582 seats having been declared in the elections to Northern Ireland's 26 councils, there have been losses for the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP and gains for the DUP, Sinn Fein and Alliance.
The DUP won 175 seats, Sinn Fein 138, the Ulster Unionist Party 99, the SDLP 87 and Alliance 44. The TUV won six seats, Greens took three, the PUP two and others 28.
Scottish Parliament Elections
One big story of the 2011 elections is undoubtedly the success of the SNP in Scotland. The SNP now has a clear majority of four in the 129-seat Scottish Parliament. This is despite the electoral system for the Scottish Parliament being designed specifically to make it extremely unlikely that any one party could have an overall majority and raises the likelihood of a referendum on independence.
Welsh Assembly Elections
In advance of these elections there was little doubt that Labour would be the largest party and the major player in the next administration. Rather the question was whether they would secure an overall majority. Carwyn Jones has since the election announced that Labour will seek to govern alone.
More than two thirds of those who took part in the poll opposed replacing the current first-past-the-post method with the alternative vote system. Out of 440 voting areas across the country, the Yes votes supporting change made up the majority in only 10 areas.
The NASUWT will be seeking early meetings with the new administrations, both locally and across the UK, to press the importance of protecting state education and public services.