I agree with the broad thrust of this piece by Richard Darlington:
If Labour doesn't realise the extend of our rejection by the electorate in May and accordingly make some big changes to policy and positioning, we face a bleak, indeed short, future.
I was talking last night with a former council colleague whose judgement on electoral strategy I really trust. He was concerned that "business as usual" would mean we (Labour) would face electoral oblivion within a few years and whilst there might still be something called the Labour Party we would no longer have a realistic chance of forming governments. There are just too few people who will now vote for us on a tribal "my party right or wrong" basis, and we are miles adrift of the Tories in seats in places like Kent that we won in 1997, 2001 and 2005.
I'm very proud of what we achieved in 13 years in power but we need to move fast after the leadership election to come up with an agenda for the future which shows we listened to the result this time. I worry that the obvious ghastliness of the Coalition's cuts and the euphoria of getting a wave of new members and winning back council seats will cause people to start thinking we can just get back in on the swing of the electoral pendulum and that we don't have to make fundamental changes.
As you might expect, I don't believe that the change required is a move to the left - i.e. further away from the voters - on a traditional left-right axis.