Socialist Worker

Local elections were not a great day for Tories and Liberals

Issue No. 2000

The Tories were crowing that the elections had opened the way towards a general election victory for them.

But many Conservative gains were simply a local reflection of seats they won at the last general election, such as in Croydon and Hammersmith & Fulham.

Tory leader David Cameron had to prove he could make new inroads—and here he failed completely, as the Tories won no seats at all in Manchester, Liverpool or Newcastle.

Nor is there a single Tory councillor in either Oxford or Cambridge, where the Tories lost their last seat this time.

The Tories took 39 percent of the vote on Thursday of last week. Former Tory leader William Hague did nearly as well in the 2000 local elections, winning 38 percent of the vote.

A year later he was humiliated at the general election.

Nobody should be panicked by fear of the Tories into backing Blair’s Tory policies.

Nor were the elections a triumph for the Liberal Democrats. Pundits said they would have to win 100 seats to show that Menzies Campbell was an effective new leader. In fact the party gained just two!

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Sat 13 May 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2000
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