Labour support grows in London
13 May 2015, Blog
In an election that was defined by Conservative and SNP gains, London quietly bucked the trend. Indeed, contrary to Labour’s performance in other areas, its share of the capital’s seats grew from 38 to 45. This rare, concentrated success will provide much needed solace for a party that many claim to have been brought to its knees by last Thursday’s results.
East London provided a degree of continuity for Labour, with popular figures such as Rushanara Ali and Jim Fitzpatrick comfortably achieving re-election. Of the seven Labour gains in the capital, it was perhaps the defeat of Lib Dem veteran Simon Hughes that raised the most eyebrows. Hughes had served as MP for Bermondsey since 1983, only to be dethroned Labour’s Neil Coyle after a ‘knife edge’ battle.
Labour’s success in London is all the more remarkable in light of what many consider to have been their adoption of ‘anti-London’ policies. Tony Travers, Professor at the London School of Economics, claimed that policies such as the mansion tax and capping bonuses “led to the impression that Labour doesn’t care about London.’”
Labour must now look to the upcoming mayoral election in 2016 if they are to consolidate their control over the capital.