Contrary to the message carried by the MSM and BBC this morning, that the PCC elections were a dreadful failure, I'm beginning to think they were more of a success than they look. The grudging reluctance with which the same press are reporting UKIP's thrashing of the LibDems for 3rd place in Corby is part of the same thing.
What we're seeing are the first probes by voters not quite convinced that a political life without Labour, the Conservatives or the LibDems is possible. The decision of the dinosaur parties to stand PCC candidates on party political tickets was a huge mistake; voters have shown that if they are to elect local officials, that they want those officials to look to their immediate constituency for their remit and not party HQ in London. The scale of victory for independents is unprecedented. And even where candidates standing on a party ticket were perceived as independent locals rather than apparatchiks - such as Air Chief Marshal Sir Clive Loader for Leicestershire - they won handsomely.
If any encouragement were needed for a 'Vote for anyone but the Big Three' campaign for 2014 and 2015, this is it. The incumbent parties have been whipped raw. Any move now to award themselves more money from our taxes will only hasten their demise.
So while the political class - the MSM, the centralist parties, their corporatist sustainers and all the dags on the fringe - continue their own inward-looking and exclusive political dialogue far removed from the real concerns of voters, the ice is cracking beneath their feet.