The evening after
1. The BNP have done abysmally, not least in their key seat Barking, where they have lost all of their councillors and the entire council is Labour. Credit mainly to Hope Not Hate I'd say.
2. The horrific George Galloway did abysmally too, getting a smaller vote than the utterly un-charismatic, non-celebrity Lindsey German got in the last election. In fact, Jim FitzPatrick increased the Labour vote in Poplar and Limehouse, despite Ken Livingstone and the Islamists spreading all kinds of lies and rumours about him.
3. Rushanara Ali also retook Bethnal Green and Bow from Respect. Brockley Central: "We can offer this exclusive insight on the new MP - she is very nice."
4. The Conservatives failed to capture London.The Boriswatch analysis:
Inner London stuck with Old Labour, basically, who fought a good campaign (which, since it was led by Ken’s old Chief of Staff Simon Fletcher will annoy the tits off Andrew Gilligan). Karen Buck holding on in Westminster North and Andy Slaughter in Hammersmith (beating high-profile Look-the-Tories-aren’t-racists Shaun Bailey and his gang of PR merchants, no less) were indicators to me that good local Labour MPs with a personal following were resistant to the Boris charm. Conversely our Brownite MP Ann Keen lost, a victim of expenses and, if truth be told, not a great constituency record, and Tony McNulty suffered the same fate again due presumably to expenses. [...] Jon Cruddas was safely returned and John McDonnell in Harlington too. The two Islington constituencies remained Labour, crushingly so.
So where does this leave Boris? Well, when elected he was supposed to use his charisma to deliver London to Cameron, which would have won him the Premiership. Instead Boris has been decidedly low-profile, after being opportunistically beaten up by Labour over the East London Line opening (which was then delayed) he rather skulked – apart from that he’s done walkabouts in key areas, which don’t seem to have produced much – where Labour seats were lost there appear to have been extraneous factors like an undefendably low majority or expenses scandals rather than a Boris Halo – even then his walkabout in Feltham doesn’t seem to have damaged Alan Keen much while high profile visits to Hampstead nearly pulled it off, but Jackson held on by 42 votes with the Lib Dems a very close third.
Perhaps, then, he spread himself too thickly in the West – Angie Bray in Ealing Central & Acton won fairly comfortably, while the real damage was being done out east where a string of supposedly wobbly Labour seats returned a red rosette; Eltham, Erith, Poplar, Dagenham. Perhaps pissing off the entire South East London area by scrapping transport schemes and reneging on the impossible promises over tidal flow in the Blackwall Tunnel may have lost Boris’s old mate Cameron the chance of power and paradoxically opened the way for a Boris-led right-wing coup? It’ll be interesting to see where the ambitious Mayor goes from here, particularly with the borough election results.OK. I'm going to look at the Lewisham Council results and then return.
Update 1: The Lewisham Mayoral results are in. John Hamilton got a respectable 6000 in the first round but Steve Bullock won comfortably. I think he has been a very poor mayor, but he is clearly preferable to Chris Maines. The council results don't seem to have appeared yet.
Update 2: Lewisham council elections are likely to come in after I go to bed, so in the meantime here's some analysis of the Greenwich council results. Congratulations to Darryl Chamberlain, gracious in defeat, who got a very creditable vote and would have made a great councillor. Hopefully next time. As with Bullock keeping Lewisham, Labour total domination in Greenwich is not a good thing, but it is good to see the Tories routed there. (See the Boris factor above.)
Update 3: What my favourite bloggers are saying: More on the BNP in Barking from Barkingside's Flesh is Grass. Here's George S's morning after. Francis with some George G schadenfreude. And I just caught up with Martin, who appears to have had more or less exactly the same thoughts as me at more or less exactly the same moments. Here are some extracts:
Great to see so many women and young candidates (re-)elected for Labour. It struck me that, on the whole, Labour's candidates look like modern Britain - generally, the Tories (viz. Zac Goldsmith) don't.
I'd been wondering what ordinary Lib Dems would make of the prospect of shoring up the Tories - and especially those who joined the SDP from Labour. But I've just heard David Owen on the BBC insisting in his usual abrasive and pompous way (a fair match, then, for his interviewer, Paxman) that Cameron has the best claim to govern...confirming the Labour prejudice that, for many, the SDP was just a stopping-off point on the way to Conservatism, and that Lib Dems have always been more viscerally anti-Labour than anti-Tory.
Update 4: Starting to go through Modernity's long list of links. Here's his take on Galloway: "I imagine George will now embark on another fund raising tour of the Middle East or make more of an effort to push his media career at Press TV. Either way expect more inflammatory language from him."
Update 5: One striking thing about the election results is the absolutely disasterous vote for the hard left parties. Apart from Respect, whose vote was, I believe, a vote for communalism and identity politics rather than a vote for socialism, socialist candidates did very badly. Looking at the numbers which Phil lays out, almost none get four figure votes - starkly contrasting to the four figures BNP candidates were getting. Dave Nellist - unusual in that he is both a well-known, highly respected, hard working man locally with some national profile - was one of the slightly better performances, and his share of the vote went down. I guess the low vote is for two reasons. First, the reason I voted Labour: the tribal instinct when the chips are really down brought a lot of socialist voters back to the fold. Second, because the hard left is totally and utterly out of touch with its original core constituency, ordinary working class people.
Update 6: OK, I'm going to bed. The Lewisham Council results are not yet in, although indications are of Labour success. My last link of the night is to Max Calo, on his way to the count, gracious towards Heidi Alexander.