Back in 1999 I had only been a Councillor for a year and a half, we had just won the third seat in my old Council ward of Barlow Moor, retaken the third seat in Withington with Brendan Jones and made a breakthrough in Didsbury ward with David Sandiford returning to the Council after a 4 year absence.
So what changed so much in 10 years? I think there were 3 big events that changed the political landscape in the Constituency. First of all in 2001 we overtook the Conservatives in the General Election and established once and for all the 2 party fight in the Constituency. Then in 2003 Tony Blair took us into an illegal war in Iraq, which alienated a lot of former Labour voters who vowed never to vote Labour again. And then finally we had all-out elections in 2004 where we made several gains in the Constituency, leaving us with 16 out of 21 Councillors across South Manchester, and Labour in disarray.