These two incidents virtually sealed the fate of the Labour party, as it were. In the city of London especially, a meltdown in the support for the Labour party was almost certain.
Since the Labour party came to power in 1997, the Tories have been showing better and better performance at local elections. The Tories had a bigger share in the local government than the Labour, and they have been putting in some good performance. Hence the Toreis naturally had an upper hand. Still, it was a tough fight for everyone involved, and the key battleground for the three major contesting parties - the ruling Labour party, their main opposition the Conservative party, and the steadily rising Liberal Democratic party - was of course the city of London with its 32 boroughs. London accounted for 40% of the 4,361 seats contested across England (Woodward 2006).While the Tories and the Libs aggressively pushed for positive gains, the Labour assumed more of a defensive stance, desperately bent upon doing damage control. The Labour braced up to face heavy pressure, while the Tories were poised to win a string of councils in the London suburbs from the Labour (Sherman et al. 2006).
As it turned out, the Labour lost Crawley, ...
That the Labour government was able to secure 2012 Olympics for London seems to have counted for nothing. The whole tide was against them. It may have to do with cost of living or "quality of life" issues, broadly speaking, or with more particular areas like crime and transport where the Labour government seems to have fared bad. Some say the Labour failed to protect the working man. According to another view, their wavering educational policy distanced them from many of their potential supporters (Sanderson 2006). The heavy losses the Labour party took necessitated a serious analysis on its part as to the reasons behind such depressing defeat, and while some are obvious others are not. But the most obvious, almost luridly obvious, were the sleazy sex scandal involving the Labour MP John Prescott that erupted shortly before the election day, and the row over a decision executed by the home minister Charles Clarke to release a number of serious offenders, all of them being prisoners of foreign origin, on tenuous and unjustifiable grounds.
The Conservatives too performed poorly in the northern cities like Machester, Liverpool, Sheffield, and Newcastle. However, they have been able to compensate for their losses by securing a strong foothold in London, as well as in some areas of South. Overall, the Conservatives came out with the biggest percentage of election results - nearly 40 percent. The Labour and the Liberal Democrats found themselves lagging behind at about 27 per cent each (Webster, Sherman 2006). In all, Labour lost 19 councils and 298 seats (Woodward 2006). It was a disaster alright for the Labour, though not quite