COMMENT: Ukip vanquished as Hampshire turns a deeper shade of blue

Tories will be smiling handsomely after tonight's Hampshire County Council election results.
Tories will be smiling handsomely after tonight's Hampshire County Council election results.
Picture: Hampshire Constabulary/Twitter

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IF this was the dress rehearsal then the Tories will love the opening night.

Despite talk of a Liberal Democrat fight back, a deeper shade of blue has been added to Hampshire as the Conservatives swept aside the Ukip vote in ruthless fashion.

From holding 10 councillors in 2013, the eurosceptics have become a party without a cause in light of Brexit and are now stumbling around the political playground without a purpose and most importantly, without a single councillor.

As politicians knocked on doors and handed out leaflets in the build-up to this vote, Theresa May’s snap election has come as a curveball, with local issues replaced by national agendas.

While the Lib Dems have managed to hold on in places, notably in Portchester, where a long-term councillor managed to fight off a resilient Tory effort, the party will see the result as a missed opportunity.

Nationally, they are attempting to make a splash and see themselves as a viable alternative to the Conservatives and a poor Labour effort will encourage them, but make no mistake this was a night of celebration for the Tories.

The polls would have you believe June 8 will be an extension of tonight’s events, it is now up to you to decide if that needs to change.