As the dust settles on Labour's desperately poor election showing, it's worth exploring in more detail what went wrong and what happens next for a beleaguered Labour Party. It's clear that there was no one single factor that led to the party's night of humiliation, rather a catalogue of mistakes and misjudgements that made defeat inevitable.
I am a member of the Liberal Democrats, but I write this piece as a member of the left more generally. And it's really quite a simple one. Looking at the results of last week's election, we fundamentally failed and were catastrophically wrong. Parties on the left have stopped responding to the electorate, and started talking at them instead.
Our position in the European Union is one that is a benefit to us as a country, and the renegotiation process has already begun to ensure that the United Kingdom can secure better terms.
To get there, we could do with fewer "Tory scum!" Facebook statuses and a more intellectually engaged, politically aware approach to the left. Being open to correction is a strength in a political position. Being intellectually curious is a virtue in a person. This involves giving a sh*t about actual policy over the next five years, not just in April 2020.
My friends in Scotland, many of whom used to be Labour supporters, have now left Labour to join the SNP or the Greens. There is no mystery to this. This is not about 'nationalism' it is about values; it is about justice. Scots are saying that they have more faith in themselves than they do in London.
The Labour Party lost the election because its policies and campaign lacked coherence; it appeared to be a collection of policies that did not have a common arching principle to connect them. The leadership always appeared to be on the defensive, and unable to reply with a counter narrative to that presented by the Tories.
Changing public consensus on party beliefs can sometimes take up to a decade. Unexpectedly, there won't be another snap election for any party to test the water anytime soon. At least not until the Conservatives come down from their euphoria, giving way to the party's Eurosceptics to start causing trouble. But that'll take years...probably.
The malaise within the Labour Party runs deeper than even its most sternest critics could have conceived. It is measured in the fact that Ed Miliband's defeat in the election and demise as leader was a cause for celebration not only by a victorious Tory Party but also by the Blairites within Labour's own ranks.
Now that he finds himself without a day job, maybe it is time for Galloway to focus his energies on what he does best. Maybe he will do a greater service to society as an activist and speaker fighting for the causes he believes in rather than a salaried MP who doesn't seem to create enough of an impact to get re-elected.
No matter what your talents may be Chuka, whatever new dawn for Labour your tenure would represent, unfortunately, I don't think the UK is ready is for you yet.
Ultimately, I believe that we have seen two great and pleasant surprises: firstly, the election of what I believe to be the best government in the circumstances, and secondly the continued ability of the public to make up its own mind and not to be swayed by vacuous social media wars and the increasing emotional blackmail and shaming that generated so many shy Tories in the first place...
A record number of ethnic minority MPs have been elected to the House of Commons - 41 non-white MPs enter the new 2015 parliament compared to 27 at the last General Election, according to British Future's analysis of the constituency results... With approximately one in ten voters being non-white, the House of Commons remains less ethnically diverse than the electorate it serves, but there has been a rapid acceleration of progress.
With so many risks on the horizon, the euphoria of this result could fizzle out rather quickly.
Small business needs continuing support from the government and I believe that the outcome of the election gives small to medium businesses the best chance at increasing their positions as the employers of tomorrow.
There is no point pretending that this is anything other than a disastrous result, yes especially in Scotland, but in England too. Perhaps one of the reasons we are in this position is because we took so long to elect a new leader after Gordon Brown lost in 2010 that we allowed the Tories to frame the politics surrounding the economy for the entire Parliament, and we did not rebut their attacks on our overall record with sufficient clarity or vigour, nor have arguments and policies able to build a coalition of support across the centre and the left of the political spectrum. Likewise clearly whatever strategies we thought we had for dealing with the nationalist surge in Scotland, they were not adequate.
For all the memes, Vines and hashtags, the old school trounced the new school in the most digitally mobile election ever. When the time came, Tory relations with wide swathes of the traditional media (i.e. print, TV, radio) lead to an old fashioned pincer movement of divide and conquer.