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What do the local elections tell Labour? There are no easy Brexit solutions

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03.05.2019

The easiest game to play as a political pundit is to say: this set of election results proves I was right and vindicates the strategy I have recommended. But anyone claiming that these results offer clear answers for Labour are simply expressing what they would like the party to do. Some voices are arguing that Labour is being punished for not backing a second referendum; others that it is being damaged for whipping its MPs to vote for it twice; and many contend that Labour is being damaged because it is triangulating over the dominant political issue of our time. They are all correct. That does not, however, offer a guide as to what the party should do next.

One thing is clear: for the Tories, these are catastrophic results. Ignore the party’s cynical attempt to massage expectations, this is comparable to the shellacking Gordon Brown’s disintegrating government received during its death throes. As for the Lib Dems, that their revival is being presented as sensational is more indicative of just how far into the abyss the party fell. These seats were last contested in 2015, when the party was virtually wiped out as a national political force; they are reviving in what were their traditional heartland seats. Yet simply conflating all of the Lib Dems’ surge from oblivion with remain’s revenge is simplistic. As John Curtice – Britain’s most distinguished psephologist – puts it: “So it seems easier to interpret this as evidence of Liberal Democrats........

© The Guardian