The Socialist Unity Network

You better start swimming

Jim Jepps

Labour has taken a drubbing at the polls. The Home Secretary David Blunkett has described his reaction as "mortified" at the fact that Labour has lost something like 350 councillors, with the Tories gained 213 and the Lib Dems 115.


The results for the three main parties are approximately...

Tories 38% (and they have gained control of two councils)

Labour 36%

Lib Dem 30%


Now it is important to remember that this is not what a general election would look like but never the less Labour are not happy.


What is clear from the local elections is that whilst most people are to the left of Labour (not hard of course) the organised left is far from capitalising on this mood on the ground.


Of course it is nice to see Blair in pain, but we need joy on the streets as well, otherwise at best it will be the Lib-Dems who capitalise on this gap in the market and at worst the darker forces in society will fill this space.


As I write this report the Greens have gained eight councillors three extra in Norwich for instance and UKIP of all people have gained two. It may be as some commentators have speculated as a good night for the 'others'.

update; Forward Wales has now won its first seat!

In this time every decent vote for a left candidate is a step forward, and every defeat a set back. We will have to wait until Sunday to see whether the Euro elections strategy the left has taken will prove successful, but what is clear from some of the initial results (Preston's council vote for instance all topping 20%) that there are good signs around, no matter how the count goes this weekend.


Below are the overall results from the BBC


  CON 335 56 1675 13 0 51  
  LAB 84 560 2197 7 15 39  
  LD 243 111 1254 2 4 9  
  PC 17 45 172 0 2 1  
  RA 17 3 37 0 0 1  
  GRN 10 1 24 0 0 0  
  LIB 2 2 20 0 0 0  
  BNP 7 3 13 0 0 0  
  IKHH 0 8 8 0 0 0  
  UKIP 2 3 2 0 0 0  
  OTH 104 93 556 0 2 3  
  NOC 0 0 0 17 16 61




June 2004

bad night at the polls for Labour

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