Despite what was pretty good results for us in Southend-on-Sea, let us not be under any delusion – the Tories had a better night. Three gains put them back within touching distance of regaining control in the local council chamber.
The hotchpotch that is the Joint Administration is now four groups.
If the Tories have a similar set of results next May then they will be back, and we will once again be in opposition, powerless to help those who depend on us.
Of course, it is not a given that May 2016 will be a mirror of May 2015, but I am not prepared to trust to luck on that one. I have already been back out canvassing, and I know some of our colleagues are planning their campaigns already.
In my opinion we must be on the attack, and discover a love for pavement politics. Leaflets have their place, but nothing beats doorstep conversations. We also must be prepared to talk to everyone – there is no natural Labour majority in the borough.
Winning elections is all about finding our vote, nurturing our vote, and encouraging it out on polling day. We also have to win people over, especially those we have lost to the likes of UKIP and the Greens. We have to be the ones who are active in our community, and we have to be the ones that residents see all year, not just when elections are imminent.
I think we need to fight 2016 as hard as we fought this year. Join us, and help Labour grow in Southend-on-Sea. We have keep our opponents at bay.
My campaign showed that there are possibilities for us in a number of places beyond what we currently hold. With your help we can make gains, and by making those gains help make Southend-on-Sea a better and fairer place for everyone.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading.
Secretary, Leigh Branch Labour Party