Contrary to some other blogs, the Liberal Democrat collapse was not the only reason Ipswich fell to the Socialists at the Local Elections on Thursday. Labour also managed to find supporters who do not always come out at every election, indicating they had a good Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign. And when I say good, I mean they concocted a series of “cuts” lies, cleverly confused County and Borough and generally did well at scaring people to vote Labour.
The Tory vote held up, which is encouraging for Conservative Party members like me, but it does seem a tactical error was made for Ipswich Conservatives to just concentrate on winning Rushmere and Whitehouse. Our message also has to be questioned: if your opponents are playing dirty, you can’t just take the moral high ground, you have to take the battle to them and that means going negative. This is not 2005, when going negative would only have served to increase Conservative losses under Michael Howard’s leadership, but 2011. We are now in a different political ballpark. Something which should have been remembered by the Tory high command during the General Election campaign – but that is for another day.
The Local Elections in Ipswich were always going to be very difficult for the Conservatives. A perfect storm was in place for Labour to win power, with the Liberal collapse, Andrea Hill factor and the “cuts” narrative. There is not much you can do in this situation other than defend what you have got already.
As we head into a new working week, Labour will be gearing up to enter Grafton House to try and start implementing their Socialist Utopia. This will inevitably lead to greater borrowing and debt (which Cllr John Carnall skillfully reduced during his tenure as Finance Portfolio Holder) and higher council tax. Not something any right-minded person will be looking forward to as we head back to work to pay for Labour’s excess (past and future).