Sunday, May 09, 2010
After 13 years in Government it was always going to be difficult for Labour. In fact about a year ago we looked on course for a wipe-out and even a few days ago we looked like coming third in vote share. The national campaign was lack-lustre and the debates threw us off balance. It could have been a nightmare!
What saved us however was the massive hard work of our members, supporters and party staff on the ground and in regional and head office. This coupled with unstinting support from Trade Unions and 'The Daily Mirror' allowed us to turn the corner in the last five days as Labour supporters horrified by the prospect of a Cameron Government came back to us.
That allowed us to deny Cameron his Government and see off the Cleggmaniacs but it was very far from a victory.
We need now to ensure we get a proper discussion in the party about where we are now and how we go forward. On the NEC we need to ensure that the views of party members are properly represented in the decisions to be made over the coming days and months, thats why I have been calling for an early NEC meeting and I have had some success-we will be meeting now on Tuesday to discuss the situation.
It looks to me like Clegg is going to back a Tory Government-what a surprise! He has always seemed a bit of a Tory to me. Both he and Cameron will have difficulty selling it to their people as both have diminished standings due to throwing away potentially winning positions.
Gordon has a duty to try to form a Government to save our economic position,however we need to acknowledge that if Clegg is determined to sell his party to the Tories there is nothing we can do to stop hom.
What we mustn't do is give the Lib Dems a blank cheque in return for backing us-short term gain,long term loss for both the Party and the Country.
In terms of individual results there were some great results locally in Bolton West and Oldham East and Oxford East was a brilliant result as was Edgbaston. The results in Withington,Crewe and Ipswich were hard but we will be back soon.
Many thanks to ALL our members and supporters-we will be back soon building a fairer better Britain.