A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Thoughts at 2.20am

Unlike the BBC I am not particularly hung up about projected national vote share. I don't know anyone in active politics who is - it's not a real measurement - what is real is losing or gaining council seats or control of councils.

I think we probably got the results at a national level we deserved tonight - voters have rightly punished us for the 10p tax rate abolition which was indefensible and a complete self-inflicted wound.

Sadly the people paying the price tonight are good Labour councillors losing their seats who had nothing to do with creating this policy.

We managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, just as with Charles Clarke and the prisons issue in the run up to May 2006 - which is a great shame for Labour groups locally in areas where they had expected gains right up until a few weeks ago.

Given the national context great credit needs to go to the local campaigns that have won through, and have proved that there are still no "no-go regions" for Labour:

Bolton +1
Broxbourne +1
Colchester +1
Hastings +1
Ipswich +3
Liverpool +3
Oxford +4
St Helens +2

31 Comments:

Blogger John Doe said...

In my opinion your political career hasn't ended tonight with that post, it ended five years ago with your support of the Iraq war.

Any predictions on George Galloway's chances of winning a London Assembly seat yet?

2:48 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can see a picture of where Luke is sitting RIGHT NOW over on Iain Dale's blog.

http://www.iaindale.blogspot.com/

2:49 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Blair fan said...

Luke, yes, those are my thoughts entirely. The past isn't a good guide to the future in these new political waters.

However, whatever people think of Blair, they know he was too much of a politician to implement a tax rise on the poor before an election. Brown needs to raise his game from now on.

2:56 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said!

2:57 am, May 02, 2008

 
Blogger John Doe said...

If Brown had raised taxes on the rich he might have done better...

2:59 am, May 02, 2008

 
Blogger stuart said...

"it's the economy, stupid"
Why are tonight's results such a surprise? This Labour govenment has appealed to people's lower instincts time and time again, on 42 days detention, 22p tax cuts etc. Why is it such a surprise when those same voters turn against local labour councillors in droves as fuel, energy and food prices soar, mortgage payments are on the up...Appeal to basic instinct, get a basic response..

3:00 am, May 02, 2008

 
Blogger Alexander Redpath said...

He could also have defended the uniion a bit

3:08 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Blair fan said...

Good point from Andy Burnham. There has never been a Labour government for this period before in history, therefore you cannot make comparisons with the past.

3:10 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Andrew said...

Seems ridiculous to suggest that we "deserve" defeat today for something that was announced in the 2007 budget. It has simply become a damaging political issue at the wrong time.

What's "indefensible" is, once again the laughable handling of it. Don't get me wrong, it was a horrendous move, but only through severe incompetence could it negatively impact Labour in this election

3:17 am, May 02, 2008

 
Blogger John Doe said...

"Seems ridiculous to suggest that we "deserve" defeat today for something that was announced in the 2007 budget. It has simply become a damaging political issue at the wrong time."

So if you did it after the election (or last year) it would be more righteous? Typical Labour fraud. Regardless of when it is done, you deserve to pay the price for it. This is what you get when you neglect the lowest income people in society.

3:21 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great night for the Tories. It would appear the public have shifted to the right. The pundits even say Ken has probably lost.

3:25 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Blair fan said...

What Andrew said.

3:26 am, May 02, 2008

 
Blogger John Doe said...

The public are fucking idiots. Democracy obviously doesn't work. I say we all grab a gun with Ken and stage a coup. Lets make Britian a socialist republic.

3:26 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Andrew said...

john doe:

You honestly believe Labour councillors will neglect the poor more than their Tory counterparts who stand to gain? Where I live, the Tory council is selling off the housing for low-income famillies.

It's absolutely absurd to suggest that Labour councillors should be suffer because Brown made a bad political move over a year ago.

3:29 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous BurnleyJane said...

The worst thing about projected national shares and things is seeing ridiculous recalculations that put a Parliamentary majority for the Tories of 138! When I was younger and the Tories did have a Parliamentary majority I used to get excited at such projections working the opposite way and predicting massive Labour majorities so I hope Cameron and his cronies won't be too disappointed come the next General Election! - And I hope we in the Labour Party do learn a few lessons from these elections to ensure Cameron and his cronies' disappointment is maximised at that next General Election!...And one final thing: have you stopped thinking since 2:20am?

3:29 am, May 02, 2008

 
Blogger John Doe said...

You honestly believe Labour councillors will neglect the poor more than their Tory counterparts who stand to gain?

Fuck no, but the public are idiots.

3:38 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous ex labour voter said...

Labour sold out its socialist values a long time ago. Gordon managed to maintain an illusion of running the economy well for a while but his smoke and mirrors have now been uncovered and in desperation he raided the wrong people in his latest tax grab.

Mind you losing the next election is probably the best thing for Labour now. Who would want to take over the mess that they have made?

3:50 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous PeterD said...

You have rightfully had your nose bloodied and your shins kicked and then a wedgy, bought on yourself and things will not get better. We have a paper Prime Minister and the country is for a turning, get used to making excuses, this isnt the end.

6:18 am, May 02, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

It is a shame what happened in Liverpool, my guess the Lib Dems are likely to be punished for it next time around.

Please don't place your head in the sand when it come to the share of the vote analysis. This is bad for us and to suggest otherwise smacks of arrogance. A far better better thing to have said would have been we have been given a bloody nose by the public and we need to reassess our policies.

The "return of Farmer Jones/Tories" tactic has blown up in our faces. With people believing there is no political difference between us and the tories they are prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Gordon has squandered a great opportunity to reinvent the party, and before I am accused of wanting us to morph into a far left clique, I wanted to see a soft left approach to governace rather a continuation of Blairite/neoliberalite agenda. Ofcourse I would have liked a hard left Labour government/leadership but I believe the soft left is where the majority of the party are and what people expect of a truely caring party.

Maybe we should have had that snap election (like I said at the time).

9:13 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's George Galloway?

9:55 am, May 02, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Ravi: knowing the state of Liverpool politics, I can see a further defection - given that it will only take a single switcher to remove their majority. I can't believe that they have the discipline to hold it all together!

10:20 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's defecting or are you merely sh*t stirring?

10:34 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Zokko said...

About the only sensible thing John Major ever said was: "One can never be humiliated by democracy". Let people find out what its like to have a Tory council ( ghastly ), and they'll vote Labour again in 2010. Always look on the bright side of life, Gordon.

10:56 am, May 02, 2008

 
OpenID lettersfromatory said...

No sympathy with the Labour councillors - people have every right to get of people who represent a party that has let everyone down.

11:19 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let everyone down?

I can only assume you are a fool or a liar. Which is it?

11:26 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can we bring back tony?

11:49 am, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Dave Ward said...

Luke said...

"voters have rightly punished us for the 10p tax rate abolition which was indefensible and a complete self-inflicted wound."

indefensible eh? I've been telling everyone who will listen since budget day 2007 that the 10p abolition was stupid but, having checked back on your blog Luke, you praised the budget at the time and went on to criticise Saint Polly of Toynbee for an article in which her main thrust was against the cut to 20p in income tax, funded by abolishing the 10p rate.

It's all very well complaining now but were you and the vast majority of the PLP and the rest of the Labour Party raising the issue then? No you weren't. Suddenly dicovering it in the last few months now that it's hitting real low earners is far, far too late.

Dave

2:14 pm, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same could be said of the tories to be fair.

It is interesting that they are making political capital out of it without stating they would re-instate it. (The same could be said of the Lib Dims)

The only people who have voted Tory or Lib Dim because of this issue have been hoodwinked.

2:39 pm, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't about time this government moved to the left and stopped trying to copy Blair.??

4:57 pm, May 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed I think there is a huge potential for a centre left party with the focus on ethics rather than spin and the political game. Especially as the Tories have no real substance and the Chameleon emulates Blair.

And no the Lib Dims do not fit the bill, if anyone knows about their own chameleon tendencies depending on who they are competing against.

5:31 pm, May 02, 2008

 
Blogger Richard Gadsden said...

Not a criticism, but St. Helens was only +1 compared to 2004 - the other gain was a seat regained from a defector

7:59 pm, May 02, 2008

 

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