Analysis

Labour loses 3 London boroughs, cancelling out 3 wins for zero net progress

Croydon and Harrow switching to the Tories and Tower Hamlets to an independent cancels out Keir Starmer’s one supposed bright spot from a disastrous set of local elections

Keir Starmer’s wonky-wheeled attempts to claim this week’s local elections were a win have come completely off the rails after Labour lost three London boroughs to cancel out the three boroughs gained that Starmer has been trumpeting as a supposed sign of progress.

Starmer focused – he had to, there was little else he could talk about – on Labour’s wins in Barnet, Wandsworth and Westminster to try to spin his way out of taking responsibility for the rejection of his policy-free, status-quo-friendly dronery around the country. But Labour lost to the chaotic, murderous Tories in Harrow – next door to Barnet – and Croydon, and to the much-smeared Lutfur Rahman, standing for his own ‘Aspire’ party, in Tower Hamlets.

The supposed progress was in fact zero. The so-called ‘mainstream’ media have not yet corrected or updated their headlines to reflect what really happened.

Meanwhile, Welsh Labour – led by left-winger Mark Drakeford – made far bigger progress despite Drakeford’s struggles with his party’s right-wing limpets dragging him back. As usual, however, the media are spinning on behalf of Establishment creature Starmer and underplaying Drakeford’s wins.

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19 comments

  1. Is this correct? Croydon and Tower Hamlets have both announced new mayors (Tory and Aspire respectively) but I can’t see the council seats having been settled yet (BBC says Sunday for Croydon). Welsh Labour probably achieved the same modest results as Scottish Labour, both better than the English party but it would require some contortion to think that the public want the left-inflected Labour of the valleys yet not the right-leaning Labour of the shires – neither appeal.

    1. There are no longer any Tory run councils in Wales. Councillors – yes. Councils – no.

      I think Wales deserves congratulations, all round.

  2. Tim White, I wouldn’t call the results in Wales modest, they are very good results taking into account:
    -Labour is the Party in power in Wales and with the more seats in Local Authorities to start with, it is difficult to grow from a higher base that your opponents. Hence, for Welsh Labour to increase its number of Cllrs to 66 on 22 Local Authority elections is a very good result.
    -I agree with you in describing the result in Scotland as modest to win 20 seats out of 32 LA’s election, for the SNP to outperform Labour by winning 22 and already starting form a higher base, for the LibDems to gain 20 seats (same as Labour) and the Green 16, the results are very modest indeed.
    -In England the results aren’t modest they are a disaster. 146 Local Authorities are selecting Cllrs and so far Labour has only managed to increase is numbers by 51 and in the process in areas Labour needs desperately to win has lost seats to the Tories.
    My educated guest is that Labour is going to lose seats in Tower Hamlets for sure and maybe even in Croydon.

  3. In 2003’s Locals, the then Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith saw his party gain 566 councillors with Labour losing 833 on a 35% Conservative to 30% for Labour vote share.

    Later that year, in November 2003, IDS was given the boot because his party viewed him as an electoral handicap.

  4. I simply cannot bring myself, in any tiny part, to endorse Starmer’s lying misdirection of my former Labour Party. Much as I despise Johnson Starmer’s crowing voice causes the greater wince.

    1. Yes, from Johnson it’s expected – just, another day.

      We, at least, expect the leader of The Labour Party to be a little more honest – not triumphal in these circumstances.

  5. Just had mail from David Evans inviting me to apply for a trainee organiser position. Being in my seventies feel this might be a bit beyond me but what puzzles me is the message talks about “ fantastic success “ yesterday with “gains all over the country “. Wonder if it was written before the results were known.

    1. Jim, you would almost certainly do a better job than the Labour Student clones that they normally appoint to such jobs.

    2. Don’t think so Jim, Evans is most likely delusional.
      Question:
      -how many positions for trainee organiser is the Party advertising for? At least 18? Two per Regional Office?
      -what is the salary on offer?
      -a more pertinent question is how are they are going to be paid from? Or are they expecting people to volunteer?
      We know what Chukka did, don’t we? So maybe the Party is going to offer free training and the opportunity to gain “valuable skills” and references in exchange for free Labour.
      I believe this needs further investigation.

      1. According to the letter it is £28000 pa with a £5000 car allowance. Says there are 21 posts. By my reckoning,so probably wrong that’s over half a million a year. You are right Maria where’s the money coming from especially as they will have to be paying Starmers fine soon.

  6. Maria, you have me bang to rights – having called out Steve Walker’s too-hasty wishing into reality of yet another tribulation of Job upon Starmer I did rather gloss the distinction between Welsh and Scottish results in order to advance my own partisan position that has no desire for a Labour of the Left or the Right to form the government. There is enough in the results to suggest that the flavour of Labour under Drakeford is winning acceptance in Wales so I was wrong. I am, nevertheless, buoyed by the widening of the franchise to include 16 and 17 year olds in Wales, which, combined with STV as seen in Northern Ireland, would hopefully give us a vote where we might chose from a broader selection of parties who could each claim to be fully behind the values they espouse.

  7. On a related point, can anyone ‘do the math’ on The Guardian’s front page
    https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/16820/production/_124629129_theguardian-nc.png
    Tabulating ‘Council Seat Changes’ they show
    Con -344
    Lab +224
    Lib +157
    Grn +82

    These figures, save Labour, could equate to England, but even if Eng+Scot+Wales Labour wouldn’t have 224 and all the other figures would be wrong. Is there a metric for ‘seat changes’ than differs from seats won that seems unique to The Guardian, is this The Grauniad being error prone or are they fabricating data to suit their own perspective?

    1. Tim White, the Gurdian is manipulating the figures. In London these elections have been fought on new boundaries that have resulted in an increase in Cllrs.
      Hence, it is newly created positions that the Guardian is reported as “Labour winning” rather than the previously existing positions that Labour has actually won from other Parties.
      According to the BBC In Wales the figure of seats won by Labour is 66, 20 in Scotland and the last time I checked 51 in England. So far still waiting for Croydon and Tower Hamlets.
      Hence, a total of 137 seats won by Labour so far. I expect for this figure to go down rather than up once Tower Hamlets report the results.
      I hope it helps to get clarity.

    2. The Grauniad seems to be living in its own little world. No surprise there.
      All the data I can find indicates that, if we’re just talking about England, the scores were
      Con. -341
      Lab. +35
      LD. +191
      G. +113
      Ind. +45
      RP. +10
      If we’re looking at GB (i.e. not NI) the scores were
      Con. -490
      Lab. +121
      LD. +221
      G. +137
      Ind. +38
      RP. +10
      Plaid. -6
      SNP. +22
      In both sets of data the figures do not give a zero sum.
      Maybe there were Ukippers and other oddballs who lost seats.

      1. timfrom, the quotation marks were intended to price in annoyance at the US disfigurement of the phrase, apologies if it caused palpitations.

  8. Check out the Old/New Labour rout in Nuneaton and Bedworth. A tragedy long in the making.

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