Friday, October 22, 2010

Labour loses the East End

Lutfur Rahman romped to a huge victory in the Tower Hamlets mayoral election. Turnout was low, as it generally is for local elections, but the margin between the candidates speaks for itself:

  • Lutfur Rahman, Independent - 23,283 (51.76%)
  • Helal Uddin Abbas, Labour Party - 11,254
  • Neil Anthony King, Conservative Party - 5,348
  • John David Macleod Griffiths, Liberal Democrats - 2,800
  • Alan Duffell, Green Party - 2,300

This is a wholly deserved defeat for the Labour Right, who have already proven their inability to command support in London with their inept campaign for Oona King. They must have thought that in seeing off Respect in the 2010 elections, they had seen off the leftist insurgency in their own back yard, as it were, and go on a purge. But it doesn't work that way. And it's as well it doesn't because, as I say, this was as much about fiscal priorities and the cuts as it was about anything else. The new mayor will have enormous executive power over budgets, and has said that he will oppose the cuts. Whether or not he intends to put something behind his promises, the vote shows that Tower Hamlets residents are not in a compliant mood.