Express & Star comment: More shock votes could be coming
The disappointing turnout to vote across the Black Country in the local elections on May 2 reflects the current deep disillusionment with the state of politics across the country.
Voting patterns in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton demonstrated the drift away from the traditional main parties that has also been experienced all over the UK, despite the Conservatives making gains including taking control of Walsall Council.
In Dudley, The Black Country Party won a lot of votes in many wards without landing seats.
Now, with the European elections to go ahead after all on May 23, it will give Black Country voters a chance to have a free hit against the main parties with the new parties like The Brexit Party and Change UK looking set to benefit at the ballot box.
Politics in the UK is truly in a state of flux and the reality is we are rapidly approaching a tipping point that could deliver a major shock as voters look for an alternative against which to place their cross.
Never before has the electorate been quite so disillusioned with the main parties and how the House of Commons operates.
Politics now seems to truly be broken with the long wrangling over Brexit having left voters exhausted and genuinely shocked at how some MPs seem to treat it all like a game, joking and laughing at what is rapidly developing into the biggest crisis for this country since the Second World War.
The sooner that politicians on all sides realise the contempt that so many people have developed for them and for the whole system of party politics, the better it will be for all.
That contempt is unfair to some of the really good local councillors from all parties who are in it for entirely the right reasons and to the majority of hard-working constituency MPs in this region.
If the low turnout levels from the local elections are repeated – with only one in five voting in some wards in the Black Country – and the traditional parties are rejected with even more force on May 23, it could sound an even more strident warning bell for the future of politics in this area and the wider UK.