Posts Tagged ‘London mayoral selection’

The status quo in London is not an option

16/05/2012, 07:00:59 AM

by Rob Marchant

As the post-election dust settles, we must hope that the party is, somewhere, currently holding a quiet post-mortem, to take away the lessons for next time. There are many positives we can take away, of course: that the locals went swimmingly and so did the London Assembly. And that we held Glasgow, that vital first step in turning around the Scottish party, a task which is, in turn, a sine qua non for preserving the very Union.

However, in a post-mortem, the biggest lesson to learn – and the easiest to forget if, as in this case, things have gone well – usually comes from what went wrong, not what went right.

In this case, it’s staring us in the face: we lost the mayorals to a mediocre candidate whose party was fairly unpopular, while our London result overall was a resounding win. And what went badly wrong was not the policy offering or the party’s campaign tactics, but the Livingstone candidacy itself.

What is the long-term lesson for Labour, then? How should we be fine-tuning our London strategy? There’s no need to go through again how the election was thrown by the candidate (although, if you need one, there’s a summary here). But he is just one man, and now he is gone. So, job done, right?

Well, no. Labour’s pressing task now is to ensure this can never happen again. And, by the way, he is not gone.


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