But sinister developments elsewhere as a small, economically illiterate extremist party gain 14 seats.
UPDATE - more extremists in the Black Country.
UPDATE - wise (if grammatically dodgy) words in Socialist Worker.
"Labour is not going to fall apart over night. It took them decades to build the support and the loyalty that secured them office nationally and locally. But sections of that support has deserted it and dissatisfaction is spreading remorselessly."
Birmingham results are interesting. I'd assumed the Repect win in Sparkbrook was a result of the People's Justice Party not running. Turns out they've joined the Lib Dems. They retained their Bordesley Green seat, but lost Aston to Labour (although you have to make allowances for Labour's unique methods of boosting the vote in Aston).
So the Respect win in Sparkbrook is a straight steal from Labour, as voters with conservative social views and a dislike of Jews find their true home. I wrote this time last year :
"Traditionally Labour has been the party of immigrants, but a point will be reached at which they (Labour) are not needed any more and with a cry of 'so long and thanks for all the outreach workers' the Muslim vote will depart. The divorce will be messy."
One last pointer from Birmingham for those worried about BNP gains elsewhere.
Despite getting around 15% of the vote where they stood in the Birmingham and Sandwell elections, in some constituencies they did very poorly. In Aston, for example, where over 3,200 papers were counted for Labour's Ziaul Islam against only 2,700 for the Lib Dem Abdul Khalique (and Tory Mohammed Mushtaq came a poor fifth), only 200-odd papers were counted for the BNP candidate (Dennis Gary Phillips).
Similarly in Sparkbrook, over 4,300 papers were counted for Respect's Salma Yaqoob, 2,700 for Labour's Mohammed Azim, and 990 for Lib Dem Adil Rashid. Only 100 ballot papers were counted for BNP candidate Matthew Benton.
(Note - in such wards it's better to express the results in terms of ballot papers counted rather than the old-fashioned concept of who most people voted for. The parties have moved on from that.)
Assuming, say, that 30% of the Respect/Lib/Lab vote is the result of vote fraud, that is still an overwhelming rejection of the BNPs bigotry and hatred (although an endorsement of Respect's bigotry and hatred).
So Aston and Sparkbrook hold the answer. If only every ward in the country was like those two, the BNP wouldn't be an issue. What's their secret ?