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Massive congratulations to my colleagues who I’ve worked alongside for the past few months as we managed to wrest control of Oxford City Council from the Lib Dems last night [1]. Alas, every silver lining has a cloud and I unfortunately lost the ward I was standing in after the second recount by 4 votes, denying the group overall control. Also, commiserations to Richard Stevens, PPC in Oxford West and Abingdon, who missed out in Northfield Brook ward to the Independent Working Class Association.

On the whole though a good night (4 gains, 2 of which from the IWCA) against a pretty awful national picture. I’m sure there will be more than enough soul searching and possible murmurings about the leadership in the weeks ahead. For now, 3 things are certain:

1. A swing to the left isn’t likely to recapture our core vote in the north: the Tories are now picking up seats in Sunderland and Tyneside. It will also mean certain anihilation in the south-east.

2. Changing leader isn’t going to change anything. GB is who we’ve got: we need to deal with that and focus on three things:

a) who we are

b) what we stand for

c) what we will do for the man in the street

Until we can answer these questions and start communicating better than we have been we are nowhere.

3. Opposition is not the answer- there are siren sounds who say we should try and regroup in opposition. That’s the mindset the Tories got into in the mid 90s. It’s fatal. The place to rebuild and restart is here and now. It’s going to be a long-hard slog over the next 2 years but the work has to start today…