Business as usual?

By Professor Colin Copus | 17 March 2015
  • Professor Colin Copus

There are many lessons to learn from the tragedy that occurred in Rotherham (and now Oxfordshire). But one of those lessons won’t be clear until May: namely, what does Rotherham tell us about the integrity of local elections as a means of accountability.

Putting aside the matter of elections by thirds and the shift to all outs in 2016 ordered by the secretary of state, and that the General Election is on the same day, committed localists will view the Rotherham result with considerable interest.

Will the voters of Rotherham punish a ruling party of long-standing and with a large majority but which has been in office during one of the worse scandals to hit local government? Will voters sweep away Labour candidates in a fury of electoral retribution and by so doing display that local elections can indeed be driven by local issues, not traditional voting patterns?

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