Ok, let’s get it out of the way. Scotland was a disaster. I don’t know enough about Scottish politics, but looking at the statistics, while our vote held up, unlike in England, those leaving other parties weren’t attracted to Labour at all. Not one bit. That’s an enormous worry for Labour in Scotland. There will need to be real questions asked and we need to be ready for uncomfortable answers. As I said, I don’t know the arena well enough to have any clue what those answers are. Ed has already announced a full root and branch investigation and I hope the activists in Scotland hold him hard to that. The harder part will be implementation of the recommendations. Especially if they show answers that would make the English and UK wide Party uncomfortable. That will be a tricky set of negotiations for someone and for once I’m glad that someone won’t be me!
In England, the story is a lot better. Labour look set to gain over 750 seats, one year after our worst General Election defeat in 20 years. Which as this analysisfrom Luke Akehurst shows is actually a pretty good result, if not the fireworks some of us were dreaming of. It’s a great start and will give us some really strong councils to build towards victory on. It’s not a glide straight through the door of number 10. But on the other hand it’s a good, big first step in the right direction. For the first time in a while.
There is – rightly – going to be a lot of concern that the Tory vote has not collapsed at all. In fact they have made some gains though at the Lib Dems expense, not ours. The Tory vote remains strong and motivated to get out. How much the referendum was a factor in that motivation I don’t know. I felt it was right for the first year to keep the focus on the Lib Dems. These were admittedly the easy pickings, but I feel that we will be better able to take on the Tories from now on with the base that eliminating the threat of the Lib Dems has given us. But now it’s time to assign the Lib Dems the percentage of our focus they and their electoral standing deserves and focus solely on the Tories and beating them first in London and council elections not encumbered by a referendum, and of course ultimately in 2015.