|>>|| No. 84248
Yes. Historically, even weak opposition parties do well at local elections.
Blair won the biggest landslide in British electoral history at the 1997 general election. The Tories gained 256 councillors in 1998, 1,344 in 1999 and 256 in 2000. They took an absolute drubbing in the 2001 general election, gaining only one seat. The pattern of gains in the locals continued - 121 in 2001, 238 in 2002, 566 in 2003, 288 in 2004, followed by a marginally less humiliating defeat in the 2005 general election.
In the four locals Cameron fought as opposition leader, he gained a total of 1,748 councillors. In the two locals Blair fought before the 1997 landslide, he gained 2,275 councillors. Miliband gained 2,295 councillors over four years and still fucked it at the general election. Even Michael Foot managed a net gain of 755 across his three local elections.
Gaining 59 councillors and winning 35% of the popular vote is a dismal performance for an opposition leader by any standard. For a leader whose election strategy is based on grassroots campaigning on a local level, it's an abject failure.
I absolutely loathe the May government, which is why I'm all the more frustrated by the sad joke of an opposition that is Corbyn's Labour party. I cannot ever remember a more pitiful and ineffectual pair of party leaders. May is leading a fragmented party that is rife with infighting and scandal, but Corbyn still can't land a convincing blow at the polls. I barely have the will to be angry any more, I'm just desperately sad.