What next after the local election results?

The analysis of the local election results has continued all week and still much of it has been about its impact on the next General Election not what happens in our local town halls. I plead guilty to being part of that commentary despite my desire to promote local democracy.

There have been some really good blogs with much deeper analysis than I can manage here at View from the Margin. My main hope is to make sense of the multitude of excellent commentators!

The immediate priority for many councillors will be trying to put in place some political leadership at local level. Where parties have a clear political majority this will be straightforward. But in many cases, including those in Charnwood and other parts of Leicestershire Councils have moved into the NoC column – ie No Overall Control by a single political party. A period of negotiation has started as political leaders work out how best to form a stable administration for the next four years.

I will be watching these new councils closely over the next few years. I believe firmly in a localism agenda and we need to see a shift in power from London tot he regions which in tur will drive up voter interest and the quality of our local councillors.

In Charnwood the Labour Party are proposing a deal with the Greens to form an administration and leadership. This will be a new experience for both parties and many new councillors on both sides. It is asking a lot for new councillors with little or no experience. So we shall see how it goes. I hope to bring interviews with some of the key players in the next few weeks about their priorities and policies.

General Election has started

Until then the coverage and speculation about what the election results mean for the next General Election has been in full swing.

What was clear from the election result was the wish of voters to inflict the most pain on the Tories wherever they were standing. as this blog highlights – Actually All IS lost for Sunak. Whilst we can haggle over the final vote share for Labour and whether it is enough for a majority Labour government, I think we can all agree it is currently all over for Sunak.

But those elections are more than likely to be in the autumn of 2024. There is a long way to go. There is plenty of politics still to go. Even for me that is quite depressing as we effectively know the starting gun has been fired on the general election and that every twist and turn will be measured against this finishing line. It is not that governing has ended, but the Tories and Labour will be focussed on this in everything they do and say. We will ALL be very bored by this. Me included. I actually like policy, solutions and delivery leas than campaigning.

First is the reaction of the Tory Party and their back benchers in particular. The mood looked glum at PMQs last week. The tearoom vibe was I understand just as equally gloomy. This is important. MPs who feel they are heading for defeat have nothing to lose. They will be blaming Rishi (Never themselves) and will be looking to be as unhelpful as possible. Already they seem to be lining up to take chunks out of the PM and Cabinet over Brexit. Just as the rest of us are moving on the Tories look to be hading back to those early 1990s Maastricht days when a rump of the Party was tearing chunks out of its own leadership.

Blog themes for the coming year.

There are number of big themes we need to watch over the coming weeks and I hope to cover in these in weekly Blogs. I get a feeling I may need to cover some of these in mini updates rather than full blow blogs if you will bear with me?

First we will be carefully watching the reaction of the Tory Party and their backbenchers. If we look carefully at their words and body language from the last week you know many more now realise the game is up. Many still hung on to the hope that having a little less chaos and a level of competence from Rishi at the helm might just rescue them from their predicted defeat. MPs will have crunched the same numbers as the rest of us. Loughborough MP Jane Hunt will see she is heading for defeat. So many are working on their exit plans.

I have been there. By 2009 I knew it was going to be virtually impossible to win Loughborough. It didn’t matter how much good I could do people had started making up their minds about Gordon Brown and the impact of the global financial crisis on their lives. No amount of rational debate could shift that ‘feeling’. I believe the Tory brand is impossible to retrieve in the coming months and years.

We saw this mood at PMQs this week and from the sombre mood I have heard about in the Tea Rooms and Terrace bars. There is no ‘plan’ to oust Sunak but the grumbling is deep and very real.

We have seen the right wing rump of MPs and Johnson’s die hard backers head into attack mode at their ‘Conservative Democratic Organisation’ conference in Bournemouth this weekend. The language and threats about the future fights to come look like a blood bath ahead. There are a large minority who want the Tories to move EVEN further to the Right and they seem to now have a membership who seem keen to back this drift. The decent wet Tories were driven out sometime ago and the relentless tacking to the right and wars on woke will continue. It isn’t serious politics and hopefully the Tories brand will continue to be damaged. Elections are won from the centre. Any serious political party knows that!

So watching the Tories implode will be part of the fun for the next 18 months. Sadly though we will all be victims of the infighting whilst they still run the country, so it is important to call out their plans, and make people aware of what is happening. The rightward drift will lead to daft legislation and politics by initiative.

What next for Labour ?

This will now be much of the focus for most people. Eyes are now on what a Labour government will do, what it will spend and what policies it will implement. But there is still a long way to go.

Last week in my blog I predicted Labour can win outright. I still think this is possible but as we get nearer to Autumn 2024 I reserve the right to change my mind! The task is so enormous to come from so far behind (the 2019 result was the worst for Labour since 1935) that any slight reduction in Labour’s lead and seat share can mean they will fall short of a simple Labour majority. That’s why there will also be n ongoing focus on coalitions and Electoral reform. I will return to these in detail over the next year.

Electoral Reform debate will continue

Because you can make the case that Labour may fall short of an overall majority we will be spending a lot of time discussing coalitions and Electoral reform. An excellent Andrew Rawnsley column sums this up nicely

I have always been a supporter of Electoral Reform. I was vice Chair of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform for a time. I still find it hard to believe we are hanging onto our FPTP system of votes for the Commons (And not votes for the Lords)

One of the arguments used by opponents against ER is the type of negotiations taking place across many councils this week – about which parties should be trying to create a stable coalition to lead. But I see this as a postive! So I will return to the debate in more detail when there is a gap in the news!

How Radical Can Labour be?

Labour managed to pull back from the brink of an absolute realignment of British politics following the the 2019 result.

I know people who are interested in politics want to see more from Starmer – as I do, but I also understand how much has gone into building the coalition of voters that makes talk of a possible Labour government possible.

If I was advising Starmer, I would want the same level of caution, but now with a little more confidence to start fleshing out what difference a Labour government could make.

Let’s be honest it wasn’t really until the Labour second term that we found the confidence to be radical.

Labour will inherit a country in a pretty desperate state where nothing seems to work anymore and the public services having been the victim of austerity for over 13 years will be on their knees. I really want to write lots more about ‘policy’ and what a different country the UK could be. I have been pretty damning of many aspects of life in the UK in recent years, but there is no point being involved in politics if you don’t think there is a possible better future. I do believe and want to continue my lifelong fight for the Britain I know it can be. It will be more links to my work on happiness, wellbeing policies. Much more too on issues like housing, transport and the cost of living. The levels of inequality in this country are a disgrace and avoidable. We have models of countries across the world that show this is possible, so I will also share stories of hope! And of course some big issues currently not being discussed nationally will be here – like Brexit!


I will be so pleased to see the back of Andrew Bridgen at the next election. How happy does this make you? Hopefully we can consign these two to the history books. https://www.politics.co.uk/analysis/2023/05/11/why-andrew-bridgens-defection-is-different/

One last thing…

I will be moving slowly to Substack to bring all my various writing into one place. I won’t be stopping View from the Margin just yet but it would be great if you enjoy these blogs if you would consider following me here Andy Reed View from the Margin on Substack

4 Replies to “What next after the local election results?”

  1. Could you provide links to those ‘deeper’ blogs?
    One major Labour problem is, who is Keir Starmer? He comes across as all image with no character.
    Will L really lower the voting age to 16? That’d be insane; open the gates to far-right influence and all other stupidity that appeals to young minds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll link back to some previous blogs but those topics (and the questions you ask) will be covered in the next few… votes for 16 year olds worked ok in Scotland?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Another thing that Labour has to realise is that Scotland is its own place, works slightly differently. What works there does not necessarily mean it’d work elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

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