SIR KEIR Starmer’s Labour Party comfortably holding a leave-voting seat in a by-election is, on the surface, welcome news for the faltering opposition party.
Paulette Hamilton fended off challenges from both left and right to increase the party’s vote share in Birmingham Erdington to 55.5 per cent.
At the same time, however, Sir Keir and the centrists may want to temper their celebrations.
A paltry 27 per cent turnout does not exactly indicate much enthusiasm in the Labour Party at the minute.
As Redaction has mused previously, there is a direct – and quite obvious – correlation between canvassing numbers and vote share. Under Sir Keir, Labour has struggled to draw the same enthusiasm for door-knocking as they did under his predecessor.
Labour may have held this seat, but the turnout is indicative of the state of the party. Shouldn’t progressives win when the vote share is higher, not lower?
It’s no secret that Boris Johnson, despite riding out the first stage of Partygate, is struggling with the electorate.
His party has plummeted in the polls, leaving many analysts predicting a small Labour majority in the next General Election.
But considering the PM’s troubles, this isn’t a particularly good result for Labour.
One would expect a much larger swing – though other factors do come into play.
RISE OF THE LEFT?
Labour and the Tories dominated the contest, sweeping up 90 per cent of the vote.
But in third wasn’t the Lib Dems, nor the Greens or even Reform UK. It was the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, who acheived their best ever parliamentary result with 2.1 per cent.
It may not sound like much, but Starmer doesn’t need an organised socialist party attracting some of the disgruntled Labour Left in the next General Election.
There’s also numerous other factors that have come into play. The Russian-Ukraine conflict has rightly dominated headlines, while local coverage of the by-election was said to be minimal. Redaction won’t extrapolate definite wider trends from Thursday – but this election shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a win for Starmer.
THIS WEEK’S BEST FROM REDACTION
Redaction will continue to bring you exclusive analysis about the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
How will the war in Ukraine affect Polish politics?
Professor Aleks Szczerbiak explains why Poland’s raised international profile as a key regional diplomatic and military player, together with the tendency for citizens to rally around political leaders at a time of national crisis, are likely to boost support for the country’s right-wing ruling party.
Russia-Ukraine explainer: How has Putin almost triggered World War III?
With Russian troops advancing further into Kyiv and the prospects of negotiations looking slim, it’s worth noting how the region reached this point of no return in the first place.
Russia Today: The case against a blanket broadcasting ban
RT can be criticised, held to account and perhaps boycotted by politicians and guests alike. But banning it has put censorship on a dangerous path.
You can also keep up with our video content on YouTube.
Redaction cannot survive without your help. Support us for as little as $1 a month on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedactionPolitics.