Socialist Worker

Labour gains seats in elections but future looks less rosy

Issue No. 2352

Some 80 percent of the areas that saw local council elections on Thursday of last week have a Tory MP.

Labour gained 291 council seats—the same number the party lost when elections were held in these seats in 2009.

There were two mayoral elections and Labour won both.

In Doncaster Labour beat an Independent who was originally elected as an English Democrat, and in North Tyneside it replaced a Tory.

Labour regained control of two of the four county councils it lost in 2009, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. 

Yet the results have pushed down Labour’s projected national vote.

Labour was last year projected to win a 6 percent lead over the Tories in the next general election.

This has now dropped to 4 percent.

Labour lost no seats to Ukip. But the risk is that Labour will use the results to drag itself even further to the right over immigration.

The Labour Uncut group argued, “The electoral gravity exerted by this type of fourth party shock should pull Ed Miliband towards the political centre.”  

It added that the party should distance itself from unions and offer even less resistance to Tory attacks for fear of alienating a supposedly right wing electorate.

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