You might have thought last week’s defeat would wake smart Labour people up to the need to persuade those who don’t belong to their party or who, in an ideal world, would prefer a different party to wield power, to back them.
Over on Twitter – the self-reinforcing bubble where they endlessly bragged of the “great receptions” they got in areas where no-one subsequently voted for them – there are grumbles because Green party members might back the greenest candidate in next year’s Mayoral race.
Last year I quoted Green party peer Jenny Jones as saying there’d be “no chance” of her party advising supporters to back someone who is pro-road building.
I added: “In a theoretical run-off it’s possible that enough Green supporters could prefer airport bashing, environmentally friendly Zac Goldsmith to bridge supporting Sadiq Khan to give the Tories a third term at City Hall.”
Over on ConservativeHome, Boris’s former campaign advisor Alex Crowley has some reasons why he or another Tory big hitter should.
What Labour figures should take from the potential loss of Green second preferences is that the onus is on them to pick a candidate with cross-party appeal.
Instead, some are resorting to the usual ‘how dare they?!’ rattle-throwing which Labour types are prone to whenever they discover someone might not vote for the candidate behind the red rosette.
If Green members and activists were minded to automatically vote Labour, isn’t it likely that they’d already be Labour members and activists?
Like non-aligned and Liberal Democrat voters, London’s Greens will need to wooed, persuaded and convinced that Labour’s candidate for Mayor actually shares their values and will implement them in office.
‘How can you claim to be of the left yet vote for Goldsmith?’ tweets will persuade exactly zero voters to lend Labour their second preferences. Picking a candidate with as wide an appeal and a manifesto they like more, will.
Labour just lost one election because, in part, it lazily assumed that after five years of a Tory-led Government people would hate the party and come flocking ‘home’.
If it takes – or even looks like it’s taking – the same approach in London, the party risks seeing Boris Johnson hand the Mayoralty over to Zac while its members spend another four years bleating and griping about the horrid old Evening Standard.