Whilst we wait and see what arrangement emerges to govern the country, it’s worth reflecting on the impact of Young Fabians during (the first?) general election of 2010.
Over the short campaign, we led YF members to a series of campaign days – and we can see some excellent results and a 100% record:
In Walthamstow, after mid-campaign concern of a post-debate Clegg effect, Labour-Coop candidate Stella Creasy won with a swing in her favour.
Jeremy Corbyn held the safe seat of Islington North – I’ll report later on how the Young Fabian council candidates we supported that day in marginal wards got on.
Our driver for the Hope Not Hate day of action in east London, Jon Cruddas, saw off the threat of the BNP and Conservatives to be elected MP for Dagenham and Rainham.
In one of the worst results of the night for David Cameron’s Conservatives and Michael Ashcroft’s wallet, Karen Buck held on to her Westminster North seat from a much-flouted Cameroon despite difficult boundary changes.
Rushanara Ali took back Bethnal Green and Bow for Labour with a 5 figure majority that helped push Respect into third place.
And our final campaign day – in Harrow West – saw another Conservative disappointment and the return of Gareth Thomas.
Congratulations to all the candidates, and to all the Young Fabians who joined our campaign days over the last month or so for an immense amount of hard work and enthusiasm – it made a difference. Other good news comes from Airdrie and Shotts where Young Fabian executive committee member, Pamela Nash was elected, winning more votes than John Reid had in that seat in 2005 – well done Pamela! As the first ever current Young Fabian executive member to sit in parliament, we are sure Pamela will bring something special to her role of Parliamentary Officer. Elsewhere on our executive committee, in one of the last results to be announced, James Green put in a good showing in the Lib Dem-Tory marginal of Cheltenham – the seat saw a considerable swing to the Lib Dems, suggesting many of James’ supporters opted to vote tactically. And Rebecca Rennison, standing in South West Wiltshire did well to keep the Labour to Tory swing below the national average in this Conservative stronghold.
It’s particularly pleasing for me personally to see members of the Young Fabian delegation to Obama’s presidential campaign, which I organised, go from strength to strength. Both Pamela and James were there as were others who have stood for election and re-election to local government. No doubt they put to use some of the ideas and inspiration from Ohio in their own campaigns. I’m sure we’ll hear more from many of these people soon.
Congratulations again and thanks to all. It is beginning to look as though we will know quicker than I had expected how the new government will be formed. Let’s hope that the values we hold firm as Fabians are central to whatever programme emerges, and are carried forward by a Labour-led government.
UPDATE: I should have mentioned that ahead of each of the telephone debates we undertook telephone canvassing. For the first two debates this was to Tooting, and for the final event, Hammersmith. More success! Sadiq Khan and Andy Slaughter held off high profile Tory challengers.
UPDATE 2: News from Islington as promised. Congratulations to former Young Fabian chairs, Kate Groucutt (who finished top of the ballot in Mildmay ward where Joe Calouri was also elected for Labour) and Jessica Asato (who was elected as a councillor for St George’s ward) and commiserations to another former chair, Conor McGinn and friend of the Young Fabians, Alex Smith of LabourList, and his fellow candidate Gary Heather, who missed out in the two wards we visited last month. It was a good might in Islington though with Labour regaining control of the council with just shy of three quarters of the seats. And congratulations also to Mark Rusling, another former Young Fabian chair, who was elected to Waltham Forest council – it was Mark’s ward we campaigned in when we visited Walthamstow right at the start of the short campaign.