Editor’s comment: Will town hall vote reflect Labour surge?

Islington Town Hall

Islington Town Hall - Credit: Archant

I imagine I am not the only journalist who has mixed feelings about the idea of a second General Election.

On the one hand, to be on the cusp of what feels remarkably like a paradigm shift is incredibly exciting, and it’s a real privilege to be covering it for Islington – like we did with rolling online coverage at the Sobell Leisure Centre on Thursday, and interviews and analysis on the election trail in the weeks leading up to it.

On the other, it’s been an exhausting couple of months, and even without a second Westminster poll we’ll have all 48 Islington Council seats up for grabs in May.

The surge of national support for Labour last week was remarkable – but given the Greens’ decision to stand aside in some seats, and the role of tactical voting to “keep the Tories out”, I don’t think it can wholly explain the landslide in Islington.

So I suspect we’ll see the left and centre-left – which seem to have voted largely as one this time around – diversify again in the town hall polls. Locally, a Conservative victory is so unlikely as not to dictate

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voting tactics for the left, meaning we could well end up with more of a rainbow-coloured council. I certainly hope so: setting aside my own political views, I have long thought it less than ideal that Islington Council is so heavily represented by one party.

But before we get there, the Prime Minister has the small matter of stabilising the executive she needlessly steered off a cliff edge days before the start of Brexit negotiations. And if she is able to do so there will be real questions around the democratic credibility of any

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pact involving a fringe far-right party (to be clear I’m talking about the DUP, not the Conservatives).

So it will be an interesting year – and probably an exhausting one.

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