Keir Starmer must be given more time to reverse the Labour Party’s fortunes

Editorial: No opposition leader, and especially not in the strange distorting conditions of a pandemic, could be expected to secure a quick revolution

Tuesday 04 May 2021 21:30

n Thursday, voters across Britain will be able to pass some form of judgement on those who govern them. This is a bumper crop of elections, given that so many have been held over from last spring because of Covid. As the results are released in the coming days, the statistical feast will give the psephologists and the political classes plenty to digest, analyse and spin.

Polls are being held for parliaments in Scotland and Wales; mayoralties in the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, Liverpool, Greater Manchester, London and elsewhere; English local councils; police and crime commissioners and others.

Yet disproportionate interest is already being focused on the single parliamentary by-election in Hartlepool. According to the opinion polls, it seems as though the Conservatives will capture the seat, which has traditionally been Labour. It will, no doubt, be gleefully seized upon by Boris Johnson and his allies as proof that that the public really doesn’t “give a monkey’s” about the allegations of sleaze, nor past mismanagement of the Covid crisis, and that Labour’s “red wall” remains vulnerable to what the prime minister used to refer to as his “people’s government”.

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