A soft landing
I haven't blogged since eve of poll as I was busy running a committee room in Stoke Newington Central (defensive marginal ward won by 800 votes) then attending as an Agent and council candidate the count from hell in Hackney (lasted 24 hours due to need to separate Mayoral, council and parliamentary votes), then at Legoland with my son for two days.
My local MP Diane Abbott was re-elected with a majority almost doubled from a notional 8,002 to 14,461 after turnout in Hackney North went up by 13% (http://www.hackney.gov.uk/2010-results-mps.htm).
We made six council gains in the wards I was Agent for (1 from the Greens, 5 from the Tories), thanks partly to Gordon Brown's decision to wait and hold the General Election on the same day as the council elections so that council turnout was at General Election levels, and partly to sheer hard work by our candidates and activists. Labour's 15 extra councils and 420 extra councillors are a result of a very wise decision about election timing by our Leader (http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/election2010/council/html/region_99999.stm).
My own result in Chatham Ward is here: http://www.hackney.gov.uk/chatham-result.htm. I won a third term with 2591 votes, a majority of 1690.
The composition of Hackney Council is now 50 Labour (+6), 4 Tory (-5), 3 LD (nc). I think this is the best result in terms of seats since 1978. Full results here: http://www.hackney.gov.uk/2010-results-council.htm
I was also Agent for Jules Pipe, who won re-election as Mayor of Hackney (http://www.hackney.gov.uk/2010-results-mayor.htm) with a 32,545 majority.
The mood in the Labour camp isn't one of a defeated party - it's oddly euphoric. We thought we might come third nationally but Cleggmania turned out to be the biggest joke in political history, and those of our key seat candidates who clung on despite the odds have successfully blocked Cameron from getting the majority he craved and put the Lib Dems in a position where they might go into an inherently unstable coalition with the Tories, leading to their own annihilation amongst centre-left voters at the next election.
One of the unsung heroes of Labour's campaign is the veteran London Labour Regional Director Ken Clark who held the swing to the Tories to only 2.5% as opposed to 6.1% in the rest of England, with his targeting and long-term building of London Labour's organisation leading to key seats such as Hampstead & Kilburn, Islington South, Feltham & Heston, Poplar & Limehouse, Dagenham & Rainham, Westminster North, Eltham and Hammersmith all being held and Labour gaining overall control of Brent, Camden, Ealing, Enfield, Harrow, Hounslow, Islington, Southwark and Waltham Forest councils - our best local government result in London since the heyday of New Labour.
Going forward I think we need to let Gordon make his own decision about whether and when to stay or go as Party Leader, and if he does go members need to be presented with a broad and real choice of leadership candidates, not a coronation.