6 May 2012

2012 Election predictions reviewed...

1) Well it was closer than we thought, but I was right. Somehow,almost inexplicably, the crass buffoon Johnson managed to joke and smarm his way into running the most important city in Europe for another four years. The attacks on Livingstone by the Blairite continuity wing in Labour is unjustified - no other candidate could seriously have mustered up a better result. Livingstone himself has blamed media bias but I'm afraid the reason is fundamentally demographic - London is becoming the playground of the rich. Whilst the assembly result for Labour is more encouraging the trouble is longer term. If Ken or a credible Labour candidate can't win now, when can they ever?

2) If anything, I underestimated the scale of the Labour comeback, particularly in the south. But, again, this isn't a national election and you cannot use local elections as a serious measure for those. And more importantly my point stands - many people have elected Labour councils effectively unable to challenge the budgets they have been set by the Tories. This could in the end prove to be even more damaging to Labour, unless it builds a strong counter-narrative and campaign on the ground against cuts.

3) Well I was two per cent out on the Tory vote share, but I was in the ballpark. The fact is that almost a third of voters are STILL backing the party with no credible economic strategy other than telling us all the UK economy is like a giant credit card which we need to pay off. Even though, using the same analogy, the credit limit is being increased whilst our repayments are shrinking on it, making the problem worse. The tories and libs swapped some seats in the south, but no real pattern emerged.

4) The BNP were wiped out where they stood and the NF barely registered. Whilst the EDL represent the newest fascist threat to society, they are poorly organised weekend drunkards and not a political organisation just yet. UKIP lost seats in my own area, and didn't score the numbers we had been promised even if the vote share was up slightly. The Greens overtook the Lib Dems in London - a politically seismic event in many terms, and Respect took seats in Bradford thanks to the Galloway effect.

5) I was almost entirely right on the mayoral referendums, other than in Doncaster which voted to keep their crypto-fascist English Democrat in power and Bristol. North of the Watford Gap was pretty clear that people refused to be conned into believing a local "hardman" was necessary to replace council leadership.

6) The problems besetting the far left are fundamental and terminal. Indeed, the TUSC results have been presented as a "good first step", utterly ignoring the fact the biggest and most active component part of TUSC, the Socialist Party of England and Wales, lost its final sitting councillor in England at this election. Whilst a handful of results were slightly encouraging, the reality is that the TUSC Assembly list result, in crisis-hit, recession Britain was dire at 0.8% and less than half of the vote achieved by the Socialist Alliance in boom-time 2000. Until the left recognises and seriously addresses its failures and problems without pretending we sit in year zero and any result at an election above zero is a major success, then it will continue its journey into the sectarian cul-de-sac.


redscribe said...

Here's a fairly broad brush treatment of the elections that addresses some of the problems of the far left you refer to.


Loz said...

Thanks for this.

You are not wrong that this attempt to build "Labour Mark 2: The More left wing younger brother" is being undercut by the small but noticeable shuffles to the left under Labour.

That said I consider the TUSC brand to be unelectable in its current form in any case. Voters are not in a mindset in 2012 Britain to elect trade union reps to parliament explicitly on the basis they are trade union reps. Any far-left electoral fightback needs to broad and encompass the many elements of society being battered at present and TUSC given it's name and constitution simply does not allow for this.

Interesting analysis though and it is good to see socialists recognising the subtle changes within Labour - many are too ready to write it off as "no different" to the Tories, even though the vast majority of workers in England do not see it that way as proven by the election results.