Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as Labour leader, winning 61.8% of the vote. He vows to bring Labour back together, saying “we have much more in common than divides us” and insisting the party could win the next election as the “engine of progress” in the country. More than half a million party members, trade unionists and registered supporters voted in the contest. To see the video click here.
This is not just support for the leader – often said by detractors to be unelectable. The party under his leadership had Labour’s best council by election result since the General Election – reported David Hencke. In his blog he recorded yesterday that Labour councillors had been elected in the Midlands, North West and Scotland: Results:
- Labour won two Conservative-held seats they won a seat in Cockermouth with a 5% increase in a solid Tory ward in the town.
- Arley & Whitacre, North Warwickshire, where there was a high Conservative vote in the general election, was gained by Labour (+33% of the vote).
- Labour won a seat from the SNP
- Two Conservative seats went to the Liberal Democrats.
- Plaid Cymru took a seat from Independents.
- Last month in North Ayrshire Labour came from behind to win, though challenged by Nicola Sturgeon’s father.
Hencke comments that in both cases the STV system helped Labour gain the seats. What appears to be happening is that more people voting for opponents of SNP end up switching eventually to Labour rather than helping the SNP hold the seat. He noted a 20% rise in support for the Liberal Democrats which pushed the Tories into third place.
He adds that UKIP continue to do badly. In Gateshead they got 1.3% more of the vote but the Lib Dems did better. In other places UKIP got a small share of the vote – for example coming bottom in Coatbridge with just 63 votes compared to over 1350 for the winner.
On present performance in council areas it is the Liberal Democrats rather than UKIP that are re-emerging as the challenger to the Tories in the rural shires and to Labour in the cities.
And all is not lost for Labour on this performance, provided they unite.