The reports of our death are greatly exaggerated!


Well, the people have spoken, and they have said a resounding NO! The British people in their wisdom have decided to keep the fair system of one person, one vote, rejecting the ridiculous Alternative Vote system. 69% voted no to the unfair system, and with this no brings, thankfully, an end to the debate on electoral reform for at least a generation.

The result of the AV referendum was no surprise, however, the locals were. Common sense prevailed as the Conservatives held their council positions, gaining seats across England. Labour, however, performed poorly, gaining less seats than William Hague did in 1999 during the honeymoon of Tony Blair and New Labour. With Labour shrinking back to their heartland in the North and an embarrassing failure in Scotland – the leadership ability of Ed Miliband has taken a serious blow.

In Scotland – the SNP and Alex Salmond achieved the first majority in the history of the devolved Scottish Parliament. Labour and Ed Miliband were hoping to do well in Scotland, but failed to make progress loosing 7 seats, while the SNP won a majority with 69 seats. The Scottish result is interesting; not only does it show a huge rejection of Miliband’s leadership, but the first SNP majority government also raises the question of a probable referendum on independence.

It has been a good night for the Conservatives; the Tories held their ground across the country and as a result David Cameron stands as a stronger Prime Minister, as the country supports our agenda for government. Principally, sorting out the economic mess left by Labour and getting Britain moving forward again. However, more importantly, tonight has been a tremendous victory for democracy, the people have spoken and now we must respect their decision! 

Tim Hasker


10 thoughts on “The reports of our death are greatly exaggerated!

  1. I’m not sure how this could be a poor performance on Labour’s part. Admittedly this was far from any 1997 moment but gaining over 800 councillors (where ever they may be) and the best ever result for Labour in an Welsh Assembly election means I fail to see that. Yes, Scotland was poor, but that’s primarily due to the complacency of Ian Gray and Scottish Labour who failed to take it upon themselves to have a major strategic rethink in the wake of 2007.

  2. “I’m not sure how this could be a poor performance on Labour’s part.Admittedly this was far from any 1997…Yes, Scotland was poor” – so it was a poor performance

    • A distinction needs to be made between the overall picture and the result in individual regions.

  3. I don’t think it was a ‘poor’ performance from Labour by any means. But any triumphalism would be stupid. I think the primary lesson that must be learned by the labour leadership is that the Liberal vote will decline naturally as people become aware of the damage coalition policies are doing, because their voters in 2010 in the end voted against immediate cuts, and are more than aware they have been betrayed.

    As I have been arguing for some time, the people the opposition need to influence and persuade are those people who voted Tory at the last election, as has been shown by the impressive Tory electoral showing. These people voted FOR immediate cuts in 2010, even if they may have been partly motivated by a ‘get rid’ attitude to Browns labour.

    Labour strategy, if we intend to win the next election, must be focussed on stressing, explaining, and demonstrating the damage a conservative government will do, not simply through cuts opposition (as these tory voters support a degree of fiscal conservatism, at least in the current climate) but also through showing that Tory ideology, the ideology that is truly driving the cuts agenda, is fundamentally damaging to society, and must promote a Labour alternative.

    Keep an eye on BULS blog for my take on the strategy of Ed’s leadership in the next few days.

  4. Oh and I also noticed, “Labour, however, performed poorly, gaining less seats than William Hague did in 1998 during the honeymoon of Tony Blair and New Labour.”-Completely untrue, in 1998 Hague secured a net gain of a single council during those local elections, it was only the year after did he achieve significant successes at local level.

  5. A very good piece. I think It was a poor performance from labour- they largely gained from disillusioned libdems- the tories held strong. Set in the context of cuts and university funding, it’s impressive any gains were made at all. The Tories are streets ahead- with a hundred more councils and double the councillors of labour. Scotland poses an interesting challenge, and I wait to see how the devolution issue is handled: I predict stormy waters ahead.

  6. Again not entirely true. Yes it was mainly former Lib Dems but Labour also benefited from “other” parties and some Tories. To see the latter you only have to look as far as Blackpool where Labour gained the council from the Conservatives after the latter lost 13 councillors and Labour gained 15. It’s just that the Tories also benefited from the slump in Lib Dem (and “others”) support primarily in the south which meant there share of the vote stayed the same

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