The general wisdom that Labour politicians will anticipate and themselves propose will be, in short, that on Thursday large parts of the British electorate told their Labour Government to pull up its socks, and put it on notice of a general election defeat if it failed to do so.
Sadly, this is a total misreading. On Thursday the voters told Labour to - well, let us say “push off”. By their votes and abstentions they indicated that they don't like the Government any more. They said they've gone off the new Prime Minister in a big way. They didn't mention anything about being ready to change their minds and I don't for a moment believe they are disposed to.
It's over. There was nothing constructive in the voters' message. These elections were not an invitation to change. They were a big two-fingered salute, a raspberry, a pressing of the de-trousered national buttocks to the window of the polling station.
May 03, 2008
Matthew Parris writng in the Times on Labour's defeat in the local elections:-
Posted by George Junior at 8:25 AM