Last week saw local elections in much of the so-called “Red Wall”, which defined the general election result of 2019 and where the Conservatives emerged victorious.
The wall that Labour was defending this time around, with many of the seats last up in 2016/17, significantly turned blue – a near ward-to-ward repeat of the Conservatives’ general election wins in 2019.
Despite gains by Labour in the more affluent and metropolitan parts of the country, such victories proved too small and minute a detail when a blue wave of Conservative swings were consuming the party’s heartlands.
The losses didn’t all go straight to the Tories: Green, Liberal Democrats and local independent wins all contributed to what was a disappointing night for Keir Starmer’s Labour party.
If Labour now wants to win these wards back, the scale of the challenge ahead is clear.
[See also: Tony Blair: Without total change Labour will die]