All the votes have been counted and every ward accounted for, we now have the official results for both our national and local political representatives and everything's now the same but different.
In many respects the general election is the less important locally. Helminthdale has failed to prosper under governments of so many stripes and ambitions as to make no difference in that respect. The passing of the baton from home party to another just means that one faction in the local media will divert its bile from the council to the MP, while the other faction moves its darker attentions onto the council. In times gone past, councillors who were making a nuisance of themselves by "growing too big for the council" would be shunted off out of the way to Westminster but that sort of thing has gone the way of so many fine old English traditions.
Just as locally this is a three-way marginal, all three parties are involved in close-fought battles for the parliamentary constituencies. The Green Party once flirted with standing for Helminthdale Central & Catty but felt a deep sense of redundancy on finding the town centre already reverting to its wilderness state. It is heartening, though, to discover that the chappie who stood as an "Independent English Nationalist" because "the BNP is too mainstream these days" lost his deposit. There is some hope in the world after all.
Locally there is a shift in power, though we're not sure where it's going. Any combination of political groups could, and have over the years, get together as a "this is not a coalition, we are just working together for the good of the borough," the key dependency being "which leader of which party is the most hated?" If enough elected members hate you then they'll band together and run the council for a bit. Of course, given the fluid nature of the local politic, plus factionalism and a tendency to be "independent minded," all bets are off as to whether or not anything gets voted through.
One thing's for sure: there isn't any money about and there won't be any extra coming in, regardless of who gets into Number 10. The council's credit rating is right up there with Greece and we have a business income stream that makes Tristan da Cuhna look like Las Vegas on a roll. Cue lots more consultants' reports, strategic meetings and job cuts in front-line services.
Business as usual really.