“Labour hold” says the BBC News election page, which doesn’t quite do it justice really. The sitting MP Heidi Alexander did a bit more than ‘hold’ the seat, she increased her majority by over 12% bringing in more than 32,000 votes…
Our brave Willow Winston by hard contrast garnered just 355 votes. A tough result when so much effort went into the campaign by her and the Millwall Community generally.
Well done to Heidi Alexander. The extraordinary national trend toward Labour from the Conservatives clearly played out in the Lewisham East constituency as much as across the nation. Almost everywhere non mainstream candidates took a whupping as the great Muhammed Ali used to say.
Looking through the other local results, only the BNP’s 738 in Eltham came close to the four figure private target that I had hoped for back when Prime Minister Theresa May called her – now disastrous – snap election just two months ago in April. How the world turns upside down nowadays , as her hopes of annihilating Labour blew up in her face.
From the Millwall Community perspective, I have to be honest in feeling disappointed not to have reached the 1000 vote mark. That said, we generated a huge amount of media attention for both the club and indeed Willow’s cause. From The Sun to the Guardian, from the Evening Standard to Sky Sports, the spotlight was very much turned on to the shabby and indeed bullying treatment meted out to local residents by Renewal-Lewisham Council.
This blog’s Twitter feed alone has had some 832,000 views in the course of the last 28 days.
The campaign displayed the potential loss of our beloved club to the borough for the the world to see, as well as the murky Lewisham Labour elite’s links to this highly questionable developer.
So was it worth it?
Absolutely it was. The speed of the election caught us all unawares, none of us are politicians and to say this was a steep learning experience is an understatement. Yes there were a number of areas where we would look to improve if we do it again.
Will we? Well let’s just say that we are looking at the local Lewisham council and mayoral elections of 2018. Having dipped our toe in the water in 2017, we will approach things with a different mindset next time around.
Would we prefer to have a strong bond and understanding with the ruling Labour group at Catford Town Hall? Yes, very much so. Our door is open to anyone who wants to work toward a real South Bermondsey community based regeneration.
Finally, a big thank you goes out to Willow. She was a magnificent candidate and made a wonderful representative for all that is best about our club. Our best wishes collectively go out to her.