Boris won. That is the crucial result tonight. The local elections are important and for the individuals, towns and cities concerned vitally so, but the national picture has changed forever with Boris as Mayor
That has nothing to do with what he will do as Mayor and everything to do with how it shifts Labours place at the heart of the nation.
In politics how politicians are perceived plays as big a role as what they do in deciding whether or not they are re-elected. Ken was a brilliant Mayor of London. The Labour party we have done some amazing things, (10 years of economic growth, minimum wage, hundreds of thousands out of poverty, devolution, civil partnerships etc, etc) , but no politician wins solely on their record because political support for anyone comes from the heart as much as it does the head.
And if it feels like we are no longer at the heart of things, that affects how people feel about placing their trust in us as leaders.
This condition is not permanent. It is changeable and no-one has the ability to change it like the Labour party has. But the journey is on with huge mountains to climb and some of the toughest terrain any party has ever faced.
And whilst Boris's win is to be acknowledges, the message the Labour party must listen to very hard is something much more than the fact that London has lost some-one special tonight.
Keith Simpson's Christmas Reading List
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