Are Suffolk Tories going to lose control of the County Council?

With the massive majority of 35 out of only 75 councillors they have enjoyed since 2009 it scarcely seems possible that the 2013 elections could see the end to Tory rule in Suffolk. It was clear that 2009 was a high water mark of dissatisfaction with the Brown Labour government and that several urban seats would head back to Labour for sure in the 2013 elections. The 2011 District Council elections began this trend with Ipswich back under Labour control and Waveney on a 50/50 knife edge.

But the rise of UKIP makes it seem likely that we are going to see more than a re-balancing in Ipswich and Lowestoft. Nigel Farage is positioning his party as a protest vote party for all comers and with many in Suffolk still angry at the mess the Tory administration made at the start of this term of office with the Andrea Hill (‘that woman”) debacle and all that followed the presence of UKIP might mean that Suffolk Tories end up paying the price at the ballot box.

A council with no overall control looks a likely scenario now.

But Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer yesterday warns that it isn’t just the Tories with something to fear from UKIP:
A Ukip vote is not mainly, if at all, about making a choice based on an assessment of policy. More than anything, it is about expressing an emotion – usually a feeling of intense rage about how Britain has changed and how they are served by the established political parties. It is a howl against the modern world, a scream against the establishment. There's no arguing with that. Or, if there is a way of dealing with it, none of the main parties has yet discovered what it is.
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