Weird – I thought we’d all been told local elections weren’t worth bothering with, as an indicator of support for the Labour leadership.
Perhaps the right-wing media – including LabourList, it seems – are only interested when Jeremy Corbyn is losing.
To paraphrase the Huffington Post, though, This Writer is not convinced this will translate into a General Election disaster.
The result quoted in detail by LabourList is for Tupton in northeast Derbyshire, where the Liberal Democrats recorded a 38.3 per cent increase in support (indicating they had none at all there previously) and Labour lost 32.4 per cent. That is indeed a shocking result.
But this is in a ward where the sitting Labour councillor stepped down after admitting he had bitten a teenager on the nose.
I know what you’re thinking: He did what?
He bit a teenager on the nose. That is bound to have had an effect on public opinion of the Labour Party.
Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats are enjoying a small resurgence, after being battered into near-oblivion in 2015. It seems entirely likely they saw Labour’s weakness in Tupton, following Mr Lilleyman’s unseemly behaviour, and turned it into an opportunity.
This was an entirely local defeat for Labour, and it is the local party that will need to re-style itself as a result.
The fact that the drop in popularity was so precipitous suggests a certain degree of complacency, as well – reflected in LabourList‘s headline. No political party should consider itself to have “heartlands”; the SNP’s victories in Scotland show that every election must be treated as a fresh contest, with previous records wiped clean.
You win by going in with no pre-suppositions.
Then, every victory is cause for celebration.
Labour rival camps were today battling to put their spin on the results of council by-elections which included another shock by-election defeat to the Liberal Democrats.
Centrists activists claimed the defeat in North East Derbyshire, in which Labour’s vote collapsed nearly in half, was an indicator of the public’s lack of faith in Jeremy Corbyn.
Supporters of the leader pointed, however, to Labour local authority wins in Carlisle and Newcastle.
The Tupton by-election was triggered when Wayne Lilleyman, the sitting councillor, stepped down after admitting biting a teenager on the nose.
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