The starting pistol for the 2018 London elections has only just been fired – and already there have been some surprises
London’s Mayoral election last year confirmed a growing trend; it’s increasingly a Labour city and that looks set to continue when Londoner’s next vote in 2018 for their shiny new set of local councillors.
But whilst London continues to lean towards the Left, despite the Party’s often poor national poll ratings, the internal battles within Labour look set to play out across the city as councillor selections – who will stand where – are already taking place.
In Newham, Sir Robin Wales’ journey to becoming the Labour Party candidate was not without its difficulties. Recently concluded in his favour, he was only successful in winning the backing of 9 out of the 11 wards in the Borough, but was re-selected with the help of the unions.
In Lewisham the battle to succeed Sir Steve Bullock is just about to begin with a range of councillors considering their options in this heavily Labour Borough and in Lambeth, there look to be some challenges in certain wards in a Borough with a traditionally strong socialist tradition.
Elsewhere the pressures are different. The Labour Party has never governed Harrow for two consecutive four year terms and will be looking to hold on, and in neighbouring Barnet the Party will be looking to take the two seats it needs to take overall control of the Council.
Perhaps the most intriguing development this week has been disgraced former Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, planning a spectacular return to political life after starting legal proceeding to challenge his five year ban from office.
So whilst London has and will continue to be dominated by Labour, don’t expect all the faces to be the same come the end of May 2018.