Friday, May 05, 2006

ON THE COUNCIL ELECTIONS

Nationally, not a good night for Labour, leading to today's inevitable reshuffle. And not a good night for community and race relations, with both RESPECT and (more worryingly) the BNP making gains. One positive result was RESPECT National Secretary John Rees failing to get elected in Bethnal Green South, where all three seats went to Labour. Good.

But it's not all doom and gloom in East London. The eight wards in my area had no BNPers standing and only two RESPECT candidates, both of whom were trounced - even the lone Green got more votes. As I'd predicted, the LibDems had a fair showing in my own ward, giving Labour work to do in the future. Perhaps they won't take their supporters' votes for granted next time.

And there was no David Cameron bounce in sight - in one ward all three Tory candidates finished well behind the Greens and only just (~ 30-60 votes) ahead of someone purporting to be from Socialist Alternative. In fact, three of the LibDems gains were made at the expense of the Tories.

All in all, the results for my council look remarkably middle of the road. Seats were only won by the three major parties with Labour out front and the LibDems and Tories battling for second. How very 1997. Reassuring though, that despite the mixed ethnic make-up of my borough (40% of residents are non-white according to the 2001 Census), neither the BNP nor RESPECT have made any in-roads. Either they're putting something in the water (it tastes a lot nicer than the usual London muck) or else people are just a little bit more chilled round my way - long may this continue.

For those with time on their hands, the BBC have a great map you can use to find out exactly what went on around the country.

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