Further to my report on Tuesday some gradual progress is being made to form administrations in town halls where the council elections earlier this month resulted in no overall majority.
In Moray an arrangement has been agreed between Conservative and independent councillors to run the Council – much to the displeasure of the SNP. However in Dumfries and Galloway a Labour/SNP coalition has been formed – even though the Conservatives were the largest single group.
South of the border there is disappointing news for the Conservatives in Cornwall. The local elections saw them overtake the Lb Dems as the largest party. However the independents have agreed a coalition with the Lib Dems.
Oxfordshire see a Conservative minority administration continue – after the backing of a couple of independents.
In Cumbria the uncertainty will continue – with the meeting to decide on the administration postponed until after the General Election. The Conservatives are the largest party there – but Labour and the Lib Dems combined have more councillors.
In Wales arrangements have been agreed in Ceredigion to a Plaid Cymru/Independent coalition. In the Vale of Glamorgan – where the Conservatives just missed out on an overall majority – the situation has not yet been resolved.
President Lyndon B Johnson is often quoted as saying:
“The first rule of politics is that its practitioners must be able to count.”
It might seem odd for the largest group in a council chamber to be in opposition. Some of those who voted for independent councillors may have done so in the expectation that they would conduct themselves in a politically impartial manner. They might further feel that would mean allowing whichever was the largest group to form in the administration.
But if other groups can gather the numbers to form an administration then it will come about. No matter how frustrating or odd it might seem. There might be jibes about “coalition of losers”. It might be that such an administration would not even last very long. Yet however improbable or short lived it will have to be accepted.