Hayward predicts Corbyn will be a winner

LABOUR members across the borough borders in both Westminster and Barnet are trying to keep a lid on their growing belief that they could turn those two Tory councils into Labour-controlled authorities at May’s local elections. The quietly confident approach is proving difficult to contain, however, and I’ve spoken to one or two members in both boroughs who think once unthinkable victories are now within sight. I’ve also heard it suggested that Camden Labour’s own swollen membership should forget trying to completely wipe out the opposition on this side of the boundary and help get their party over the line in Conservative-led areas when the London elections ground war begins as we get closer to May.

All this means the thrust of the Evening Standard‘s front page exclusive tonight comes as little surprise to their campaign builders, as Conservative election analyst Lord Hayward – uncle, to our former Labour council leader in Camden, Sarah Hayward – tells the paper that Jeremy Corbyn’s party can seize Barnet for the first time, while the Tories face “the fight of their lives to hold on to Westminster”.

“On the evidence it looks like a bad night for them [the Conservatives],” said Lord Hayward, who spotters will remember chaired the open primary in Hampstead and Kilburn which saw Simon Marcus selected to stand against Tulip Siddiq ahead of the 2015 general election.

“And a good night for Jeremy Corbyn.”

It’s this kind of prediction for the capital which has stirred Labour campaigners to believe they can gain Camden seats in Tory held areas like Swiss Cottage and Belsize on polling day… while the rest of the council chamber looks across the way to red Islington, where only one seat in the house is held by an opposition councillor.

In their heart of hearts, they know that kind of scenario isn’t great for democracy on a local level, but Labour activists, understandably I guess, say they owe it to their supporters to try and turn their votes into as many seats as possible.

6 Comments on Hayward predicts Corbyn will be a winner

  1. Nick Harding // January 2, 2018 at 8:27 pm // Reply

    It reminds me of the local elections now many years ago, when Labour, not least Camden, did so badly that Blair was forced to say that he wouldn’t stand again. (Correct me if I am wrong). The upshot was the LibLab coalition in Camden and the end of Blair’s reign. The latter being the right thing for the wrong reason..

    The similarity with the May local election is that if Labour wins in Barnet etc and it is seen as being a Corbyn success, that could translate into a general election victory for Labour, due to some of those Corbyn critics crossing the floor. Note Zoe in today’s Guardian. Are you listening, Polly?


  2. Look, Labour are going to do extremely well in London for the simple reason that Tory-minded voters are moving out of the capital in droves and have been doing for about 15 to 20 years. If your voters desert you, there’s no way you can carry on winning. It doesn’t really mean Labour have achieved anything though, because a lot of those Tory voters will be moving to marginal seats outside London.


  3. Paul Braithwaite // January 2, 2018 at 11:33 pm // Reply

    Does Islington’s Council, with just one opposition Councillor (Caroline Russell), auger well for such a melt-down scenario in Camden? I think it could/will be an appalling failure for democracy. Council’s NEED opposition to hold them to account. Islington shows what happens without it.


  4. Val Stevenson // January 3, 2018 at 9:20 am // Reply

    It depends on whether the many people who lent the Labour Party their vote in the GE in protest against Brexit transfer their votes to an anti-Brexit party.


  5. Might Paul Braithwaite elaborate? “Islington shows what happens without (an opposition)”. What exactly does Islington “show”?


  6. Terence Flanagan // February 5, 2018 at 4:16 pm // Reply

    Islingon shows that they are far removed from that lovely outfit the ROYAL yes of course ROYAL Borough of Kensington and Chelsea whose caring disposition is apparent to all !!!


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