The abandonment by Nick Clegg of the boundary change package as a response to its rejection by Tory MPs is an opportunity. The boost to Labour’s electoral prospects is only slight and not the point. The survival of the unelected House of Lords is temporary and the proposed manner of reform was in any event questionable so Labour should not regret the stance it has taken. The opportunity is for Labour’s membership to make sure that the additional 25 or so Labour MPs that will be selected are committed to a permanent break with the politics of New Labour.
The end of the uncertainty surrounding the boundary changes is welcome, as are the arrangements which the party was making to deal with them which, as usual, gave too high a priority to protecting the jobs of existing MPs and not enough to accountability.
No doubt, the party will now move swiftly towards reselections and selections on the old boundaries. Since we know the boundaries, the Left must not delay in its organisation. Find local candidates wherever possible but make them good ones, with real Labour movement experience and beware the SPaDs!