Andy Newman writes:
There is no doubt that last night’s election result in the Mile End ward in Tower Hamlets was a very disappointing one, and stands in stark contrast to the brilliant win in the Shadwell ward just over a year ago.
Respect campaigners were expecting to do better, and to give Labour a run for their money – canvass returns and general impressions of the campaign were giving grounds for confidence. So there needs to be some calm reflection and analysis on why the vote was not higher.
There is no doubt that the accrimonious split with the SWP has left both sides weaker. but we should also be clear that George Galloway, Salma Yaqoob and Respect have built up some considerable political capital; particularly strengthened by the absolutely correct alignment with Ken Livingstone during the mayoral election. The challenge now is to see how that political capital can be built upon.
Mile End East by-election result:
Liberal Democrats 110