Just one in seven

I was over-optimistic – the turnout in Southend-on-Sea yesterday was more dismal than I had predicted.

18307 voted in the Borough – a miserable 14.03%.

It looks like Mick Thwaites won on first preferences in Southend, although I cannot see anything but a Nick Alston victory across Essex. We shall find out later today.

Any analysis based on these elections will have to be aware of the bigger picture, but a Tory failure in a town with two Tory MPs, and where they still control the council, is something they will privately worry about. 2014 was always going to be difficult for them, and this election will do nothing to calm their nerves.

It looks like Labour have done poorly in Southend too. Low turnout always hits us disproportionately badly. It does look like those who could be bothered to vote, a paltry one in seven, have cocked a snoot at party politics.

The biggest losers in Southend are the Liberal Democrats. Despite Nick Clegg’s insane insistence on a November election date his party could not be bothered to stand anyone. Mr Thwaites past flirtation with the Lib Dems should not give them any comfort.

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