Last year the Conservatives achieved 38% of the vote in the local elections. When these seats were last fought in 2003 they got 35%. This year expectations will be higher and the media will be looking for the 40% breakthrough. As the other parties aren't fighting as many seats I am not sure how the share of the vote is calculated.
Excellent result for the Tories - more than 41%
Good result - anything above 39.99%!
OK result - 38-38.99%
Bad result - anything below 38%
Last year the Conservatives made 320 gains in Council seats. This year there are two and a half times more seats up for grabs, so in theory they should be looking for 700 gains plus. However, this ignores the fact that many of these seats are in Labour strongholds and that when the seats were last fought in 2003, it was seen as a good result for the Conservatives. Nevertheless the party needs to look at gaining at least 500 seats to show that there is momentum.
Excellent result - winning more than 700 extra council seats
Good result - winning more than 500 extra council seats
OK Result - winning more than 350 extra council seats
Bad result - winning fewer than 200 extra council seats
My prediction is that the Conservatives will win 40% of the vote, the LibDems 26% and Labour 24%.
Interestingly the LibDems are already making excuses for their likely patchy performance on Thursday. Take this from Stodge on Political Betting.com
In addition, the LDs are defending a lot of seats (about half our total councillor base) and, given our patchy record on holding seats compared to Labour and the Tories, we will have to make gains to offset inevitable losses. I maintain that to reach Friday evening with the same number of councillors we had on Thursday morning will be an achievement and, to be honest, I’m happy to let the Tory trolls and spinners say what they like. I believe if the Conservatives don’t reach 40% and 500 gains, they can kiss the next election goodbye. If you want benchmarks for the Tory performance, look at 1968 and 1977.Let's bear in mind that if they don't make any gains this year it will be the second year in a row. It's quite possible that they will lose a lot of seats to the Conservatives which would be compensated for by gaining seats from Labour in the north. At this stage in the last Parliament they were consistently polling 21-23%. They're now on 16-20%. A key test of Conservative progress will be to see how many gains they make from the LibDems.
Another test will be to see how many seats the Conservatives gain in the north. I have no great expectations of winning large numbers of seats in some of the metropolitan areas but we do need to get a foothold on a multitude of northern councils. And the party's press people need to be prepared to give the figures I published in THIS post which show that the LibDems and Labour are actually worse at national representation than the Conservatives. This myth that the Conservatives have no seats in the north must be rebutted aggressively. Just to remind you...
In England there are 19 councils without a Conservative, 38 without a LibDem and
a whopping 68 without a Labour councillor.In Scotland there are 8 councils
without a Conservative, 11 without a LibDem and 5 without a Labour councillorIn
Wales there are 10 councils without a Conservative, 5 without a LibDem but all of
them have a Labour councillor. So the totals are 37 councils without a
Conservative, 54 without a LibDem and 73 without a Labour councillor.
It's difficult to tell what is going on in Scotland. The opinion polls have been bad for the Tories, yet the media have been very complimentary about Annabelle Goldie's campaign. I suspect the shy Tory syndrome is at work again. There are few expectations that the Conservatives will make much electoral headway. At the moment they have 18 MSPs. A good result would be holding on to them all. A bad result would be losing any of them.
After a good start the Welsh Tories seem to have made little headway in the last week. Two polls show Plaid firmly in second place, although Welsh polls are notoriously unreliable. Currently the Tories have 11 AMs. They reckon 15 is the most they could hope to win, with about 19-21% of the vote. However, 13 or 14 is more realistic. As in Scotland, the ridiculous electoral system makes it very difficult to predict.