The party's local election challenge couldn't be greaterby Peter Kellner / April 21, 2016 / Leave a comment
Published in May 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
Jeremy Corbyn has more at stake in the May elections than any other party leader. In contrast, David Cameron, Nicola Sturgeon and Nigel Farage are much more focussed on June’s European Union referendum. As for Tim Farron, whose Lib Dem party is still on sabbatical, the real recovery will have to wait. So what can Labour expect from London, Scotland, Wales and the English local elections? And what should it expect?
The first question is easy. Sadiq Khan is likely to be elected London’s mayor. Labour will trumpet this as evidence that Corbyn’s leadership appeals to voters. Labour will brush off a terrible result in Scotland as a repeat of last year’s general election, and not Corbyn’s fault. Labour will slip back in Wales, and blame Ukip.
As for England’s local elections, a consensus is emerging that Labour will lose around 150 council seats. This is the…