In a result that had been a foregone conclusion for some time, Labour has won a landslide victory and will be the next UK government. But, despite winning a massive number of seats, they have done so on a lower vote share than Jeremy Corbyn achieved in 2017. Turnout at 57% is the lowest since 1918. Starmer himself received 10,000 fewer votes than he got in 2019. And, it looks increasingly likely that the final vote count for Labour will be below the number Jeremy Corbyn received in 2019, let alone 2017. So, this is hardly a ringing endorsement of Starmer’s strategy. But like all charlatans Starmer and his disciples will simply ignore any facts that do not fit their narrative.

As we pointed out in our Election Special (and if you have not read it there’s still plenty in it that is relevant) the ‘rightmare’ has started. Coverage of Reform was far greater than their share of the vote, and whilst some of the coverage was challenging their racism, the overall result gives them far more of a foothold than we were predicting. Reform now have MPs in Ashfield, Clacton, Great Yarmouth and Boston and Skegness.

What does this mean for the future? There will be no parliamentary challenge to Reform. Labour agrees with them on the substance of their prejudice, on immigration. The Conservatives will be so shell shocked at their loss that inevitably they will either merge with Reform or adopt more and more extreme policies to try to win back their voters. The challenge to Reform will have to start at the grassroots. The media will continue to swarm all over Farage. He is now an MP and it would be extraordinary if he did not begin to advocate for PR, long a favourite policy of many on the left.

But the other story is the left. What happened to Independents Day? What happened to the Workers Party? What of TUSC? George Galloway narrowly lost to Labour’s Paul Waugh. Which was the end of the night for the Workers Party and his promises that they would stand in every seat (they didn’t) and that they would give Labour a scare, turned out to be what we had suspected. They were empty rhetoric telling people what they wanted to hear rather than providing a real analysis of the challenge facing people. TUSC, who only stood 20 candidates, received only 12,562 votes, though that was a marginal improvement on their 2015 vote share.

The independents did better. Apart from Jeremy Corbyn, Shockat Adam in Leicester South is now an MP, Adnan Hussain took Blackburn from Labour, in Dewsbury and Batley, Iqbal Mohamed beat Rachel Reeves’ former advisor and Ayoub Khan is MP for Birmingham Perry Bar. Leanne Mohamad was only 500 votes away from beating Wes Streeting and other independent socialists also came a close second to Labour in a handful of seats. But this support was highly localised and across the country most independents failed to make an impression. The Greens also had a good night. They took over 1 million votes, and Carla Denyer, their co-leader in Bristol Central, was elected an MP along with three others. She is also advocating PR incidentally.

But gaining MPs is not where socialist politics thrive. It is nice to have supportive MPs and elections are exciting events in their own right, but socialist politics are best when they are campaigned for locally and in the workplace. Nothing has changed very much. If you were poor on 3rd July, you remain poor. If you were homeless on 3rd July, you are still homeless. If you were on a zero hours contract on 3rd July, you are still on a zero hours contract. If you wanted a politics based on compassion, empathy and the pursuit of peace, you still want those today. And the only way to achieve these things is to begin to organise outside of the electoral system.

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