Sunday, 7 June 2009

local elections - Labour in meltdown

According to BBC News, the final results for the local elections show Labour on an astonishingly low 23%. The Tories have majority control of 30 out of 34 councils which went to the polls. Labour has lost well over 200 council seats, representing a collapse in many areas.

The expenses crisis has made things even worse for an already discredited and loathed government. It has served as a lightning rod for a mass of discontents. The spate of resignations in recent days indicates a deep crisis for the Labour high command. While we can't be sure what will happen next, Gordon Brown is obviously very vulnerable - the results of the European elections might just finish him off.

There's also a wider crisis for the parliamentary system, reflected in low turnout and the common refrain from voters (or, more likely, non-voters): "they're all the same". The danger, of course, is a boost for the BNP. Initial analysis of local election results - examining areas where the Nazis stood - is inconclusive in predicting the Euro results tonight. We'll wait and see.

Here in Tyneside there's a major public meeting on Tuesday, organised by Unite Against Fascism, to sustain campaigning beyond the elections. As well as this, the Left needs to start discussing how to offer a united alternative - to a government on its knees, a political mainstream discredited in the eyes of millions, and the threat from the fascists. Those discussions need to start now.

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