Friday, May 4, 2012
Labour puts up an astonishing performance to wipe out the Tories and Lib Dems in English elections, Baroness Warsi says early looks like "bad night"
Right at the start of the BBC election coverage in England, Baroness Warsi said it was going to be a bad night for the Tories.
Of course that was an understatement of what was to follow, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have been told loud and clear by the public that their policies are no damn good.
The Labour Party completely steamrollered all opposition to win big gains in local elections south of the border.
Key councils such as Thurrock, Harlow, Southampton, Birmingham, Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Chorley all fell to the Labour Party.
It was Ed Miliband's night as he and his party benefited from the unpopularity of the coalition government.
In a compete slap in the face, the Prime Minister also witnessed the embarrassment of losses in his Oxfordshire constituency.
Labour took the seats of Witney Central, Witney East and Chipping Norton.
With around half of English and Welsh votes counted, it became clear quite early on this was Labour’s night and in a big way with more than 470 new seats and a predicted tally of overall gains of more than 700.
As to the Lib Dems, their troubles are continuing, Clegg and Co have buried the the party by jumping into bed with the Tories.
Lib Dems set to lose about 200 seats and in places no representation by a single member on a council.
Speaking outside his London home, Mr Miliband said:
"We are a party winning back people's trust, regaining ground, but there is more work to do."
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is a political liability for his party, the longer they stay in government, an unpopular government the less chance they have of rebuilding their party.
He said he was "really sad" at his party's results but insisted they would "continue to play our role" in Government dealing with the economic crisis.
The public will not be forgiving at the next Westminster election.
"I am really sad that so many colleagues and friends; Liberal Democrat councillors, who have worked so hard, so tirelessly for so many years for communities and families in their local areas have lost their seats and I want to pay tribute to all the great work they have done."
They lost their seats because of him!
Foreign Secretary William Hague sought to play down the scale of the Conservative losses by the usual its mid term and governments do badly.
But the reality is that it is more than that, it’s systemic.
"These results - while it is never a good feeling to lose councillors - are well within the normal range of mid-term results for governments and I think not so good for the Opposition who are not getting 40% of the vote. You wouldn't look at this and say Labour was on track to win a general election at all."
On the mayoral votes for whether to have mayors, the Tories didn’t have a good night on that front, Manchester, Nottingham and Coventry voted against it.
Birmingham and other cities are expected to follow suit.
If there is a crumb of comfort for Cameron it will be to hope for the silver lining of victory for Tory Boris Johnson in the London mayoral election.
Even non Tories want Boris back as a momentum of a massive no to Ken Livingstone developed; even senior Labour won’t back Livingstone and were saying so openly.
Several Tory MPs are saying that the solution to their problems is a massive shift to the right.
Tory MP Gary Streeter said party supporters were "gagging" for some more traditional right-wing policies in areas such as law and order which is the road to speed up political failure.
It is the opposite that is required, a shift left of centre on social economic front, talking tough on law and order is entirely meaningless politically.
Its old Tory, it’s dead Tory!
It was an incredible result for the Labour Party, it gives Ed Miliband breathing space as questions round his leadership were floating about, but the Labour Party isn’t out of the woods yet.
It is alright sitting on the opposition sniping but there is still a credibility gap in many policy areas to be filled.
Miliband has many fights to take on and some of them are with his own lot.
But for now, the Labour Party can bask in glory albeit at the expense of a disastrous Tory/Lib Dem coalition which is losing support hand over fist.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University