As results were announced some relieved faces underlined the fear Labour councillors had of losing control in Southampton after four years of carrying out Tory cuts and their vote falling by over 6%.
The results give a glimpse of different trends that the establishment and Blairites in the Labour Party would like to gloss over in their haste to bury Corbyn. Notably it was the fall in Tory votes by 6% that saved Labour, underlining the unpopularity of endless austerity.
Debate rages over whether the Corbyn factor was positive or negative. Indications are that it was positive in some areas with Labour winning in Portswood for the first time in 35 years despite no campaigning and not putting out a leaflet.
Questions will also be asked of the campaign waged by Unite and Unison local council branches. Having carried a one-page ad in the local paper asking questions of candidates as to how council jobs and services could be protected in fear of a Tory victory, activists were sent out to Coxford, where local anti-cuts candidates Keith Morrell and Don Thomas have been re-elected with big majorities in the last two years, to campaign for Labour.
Despite this, underlining the support Keith and Don have built in Coxford in opposing cuts and defending council services, anti-cuts candidate Tammy Thomas was elected with 45% of the vote and Labour nearly 500 votes behind.
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