Thursday, May 13, 2021
May 6 aftermath: Sadiq, Unmesh & Farah win well; Newham Democracy Referendum narrowly loses; Wales keeps Red as does some regions (but crushing by election defeat)
Now I have had some time to recover from electioneering and reflect upon last Thursday 6 May - some thoughts:-
Congratulations on Sadiq being re-elected as London Mayor; Unmesh re-elected as our local City & East Assembly member and Farah winning the by election in East Ham Central with over 52% of vote. Newham turnout was 35% which is by any standards unacceptably poor. We did not get out the Labour vote in Newham that we should have had.
The Newham democracy referendum on replacing the Executive Mayor with a Councillor run committee model was lost by 44% to 56%, which is a shame but the narrow majority shows the concern felt by many residents about such governance arrangements. I supported the "Newham for Change" campaign and hope it will continue to argue for greater democracy and transparency in government, both locally and nationally. Certainly we should support the opposition to the Tory led referendum in October to change Croydon Council into a Mayoral system.
My UNISON colleague Lola came second in the Kent Police and Crime commissioner election, doubling the Labour vote from the previous election & having the highest single candidate vote Labour has ever had in Kent.
I was so pleased that Wales kept "Red" and Labour had one of its best ever assembly votes despite the very high Welsh brexit vote. Unlike the dreadful by election outcome in Hartlepool.
Welsh Labour shows that we can win back our traditional working class base with a left of centre pragmatic socialist programme (and working in partnership with trade unions).
Labour did well in many areas but overall it was not good and we need to get much better, we need to unite around Keir and get our policies across better.
I did suggest at a recent meeting of UNISON Greater London Regional Council officers, where we compared the strong support for Labour in our region and the principality, that perhaps London ought to consider leaving the UK and forming a political union with Wales? It was just a thought....