Due to the delay in the count at Tower Hamlets, I didn’t get the London results for the European Parliament until the following morning. Labour have four out of eight seats in London. In 2012, after the London Mayoral’s I had hoped that Labour would get four seats, but had come to assume this was beyond us. Obviously not, Labour’s 36% gave it four seats, the Tories two and one each for UKIP and the Greens. The LibDems losing their one seat. Labour won the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th seats.
Many have written and considered why, UKIP’s appeal is limited in London. London was not unique and it needs to be considered that in the cities of the North West they also did poorly. At least one factor in London is the left led, eight year, politically confrontational approach taken with racism and the ultra-right. These anti-racist campaigns seem to have almost acted as an immunisation and certainly acted as a political platform for success. Labour’s leading campaigners were firm in their rejection of UKIP as led by racists and misogynists which was reinforced by the diversity of the slate. London’s racial diversity is a second factor in UKIP’s inability to make progress. The victims of racism wont vote for it and at the end of the day neither will their close neighbours.
While I was under-whelmed by Labour’s failure to address the European issues of the austerity porgrammes, the right wing leadership of the Commission and the spitzenkandidat, the results suggest that in London and the short term I was wrong.