I always follow the results of elections, be they local or national, or even European! Such can signal a sea change in a variety of aspects that affect us all. Today's emergence of UKIP , admittedly largely in England, has seen them gain 136 seats across various Councils. This will set off alarm bells amongst the other main parties, indeed because , first of all, it suggests UKIP is a party that can influence matters and can no longer be regarded as fringe! The excuses for failure from political parties, exaggerated declarations of success and drastic change will no doubt bore everyone over ensuing days. The fact of the matter is that there's been a significant change associated with the political balance scales, to deny it would be sheer lunacy!
As far as environmental matters are concerned what might all this mean? In terms of the influences on local issues it's difficult to see what UKIP will bring to debates and decision making as their declared policies on environmental matters, even in a general context, are difficult to pin down. Fewer Tory councillors might alter things, of course, and where additional seats have been gained by the Labour Party, hopefully a more sensitive approach will apply.
My hopes is that this significant upset will suggest to the Tory leadership that , if they want to achieve success in 2015, win back voters etc, they might be less inclined, for example, to introduce the self serving policies which DEFRA have excelled in bringing forward, and that they will be more responsive to pressure. This is a time for us all to ask questions about environmental policies, make our views known, and put all Parties under pressure so that they are more than aware of what the views of the electorate are in advance of 2015.