Ignore the nay-sayers—Jeremy's messages are getting throughby Richard Burgon / May 13, 2016 / Leave a comment
It’s twelve months from our General Election defeat which left us feeling devastated. Last May we were seven points behind the Conservative Party—having won 30 per cent of the vote—and in Scotland we were virtually wiped out. The result left the Parliamentary Labour Party 26 MPs smaller overall and in the local elections that took place on the same day we lost over 200 seats.
Last week, where elections took place Labour pulled ahead of the Conservatives. We won the London, Bristol, Liverpool and Salford Mayorlities and performed better than the Conservatives in the council elections.
The nay-sayers had said we were doomed. Some commentators had demanded clearly impossible targets of 400 and even 900 council seat gains, whilst other—more calculated—estimates predicted we were set to lose 150 or 200 council seats. A disaster on 5th May was predicted for months.
If “a week is a long time in politics,” then five years is almost an eternity. A worse result last Thursday wouldn’t have guaranteed defeat in 2020 just as a better result wouldn’t have guaranteed victory. History doesn’t work like that. The unusually good election results in 2012 showed that.