In a 1984-like misrepresentation, the BBC – and of course the right-wing owned media and Blairite Labour back-benchers – have painted Labour’s significant gains in Thursday’s local elections as a failure.
Coincidentally, many of those pushing the ‘failure’ line have also independently decided to push a ‘have we reached peak Corbyn?’ line as well.
Here are some objective facts from the night that you might be excused for being surprised about based on the majority of ‘MSM’ coverage:
- Labour had its best local election results in London since 1971 – almost fifty years – and its second-best ever
- Labour had its best results nationally since 1996
- Labour took 600 more seats than the Tories
- Labour held twice as many councils
- Labour made gains – while even with a boost from returning UKIP voters, the Tories still made a net loss
- Labour had a huge swing to take Plymouth Council in the mostly-Tory South west
- Labour took Kirklees – a council it hasn’t held since 1999
- In Westminster and Wandsworth Labour took more seats than at any time since 1986
- Labour now hold a record number of seats in Croydon, Ealing, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.
- Labour have never won Barnet under any leader. Ever. But in spite of a constant media narrative of antisemitism problems, Labour’s vote increased by almost 3% in a borough with the highest percentage of Jewish residents in the UK
- Labour are now the largest party in Trafford. The Tories lost control of their only council in Greater Manchester
- In the last result to be declared, Labour took control of Tower Hamlets in London, almost doubling its seats to forty-two:
- The Tories lost almost every seat that Theresa May visited during the campaign
Share the good news, because there will be a lot of people believing a very different version of events – and a lot of people pushing them to believe it.
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This article originally stated that Labour’s overall results were the best since 1971. It has been corrected to reflect that these were its London results and that the national results are the best since 1996.