London’s CLPs have long political traditions – Islington has been synonymous with the left since the early 1980s and the SDP’s defections, while Harrow and Enfield were – reflecting the politics of the craft unions that once organised so many of the local workers – fortresses of the right.
The rise of the Corbynites upset all that – everywhere was now controlled by the left or soon would be. So in Harrow West last year Momentum swept the board.
That ended this week after a combination of some assiduous organising by local moderates and – even more importantly – a widespread disenchantment with a chaotic year saw Momentum lose every contested election in the CLP.
It’s hardly a turning of the tide – one local wag said “it’s more Dunkirk than Stalingrad but we’ll take it”. It does, though, suggest that more traditional patterns of politics are reasserting themselves in some places.
The pattern is uneven, though – in the next few weeks Momentum will be pushing hard in their inner London heartland to take some of the CLPs that held them off last year.
Last week’s LabourLive showed that the era of Corbyn-mania looks like its over and Jeremy is Just Another Labour Leader after all, The next few weeks will probably emphasise that reports of the death of moderation have been exaggerated.