One of the great failings of the first past the post system is when the electorate use an election to send a message to one level of government, by voting in another level of government election in a particular way, it can have unfortunate consequences.
It does seem to me that a system where local governments seem to be selected to a great degree by dissatisfaction with the national government of the day, is not a particularly good one.
Here in Kent it is fairly obvious that it wasn’t the electorate’s intention to give the Conservatives a resounding mandate, which is what happened.
I don’t expect even most hard-line conservatives really want to operate with just one opposition councillor, from Thanet and 10 from the whole of Kent the previous situation with 27 opposition candidates was probably healthier for both debate and scrutiny
Here in Ramsgate I believe a rather peculiar thing happened due to the parish council elections occurring at the same time and will run the idea past you to see if you agree.
I believe that many of the Ramsgate voters when faced with only a choice of labour or Conservative candidates, didn’t want either party in overall control and voted for one of each.
Once having got this idea because of the limited choice of parish council candidates I think they may have carried the idea over when they voted in the county elections.
Certainly the result of the parish elections means that the two independent candidates won’t be marginalised and I am hoping that Ramsgate will benefit from this.
As a method of registering a protest against government in general while still exercising ones democratic right and duty to vote, voting for one of each parties candidates is certainly a method for future consideration.