The UKIP damp squib

A number of Southend’s bloggers have written about the West Leigh by-election result. Some have been matter-of-fact whilst others are talking up the UKIP result. I was a little surprised by the UKIP performance, but my surprise comes from it being so poor.

Third place and twenty per cent of the vote is no surge or signifier of big things to come. The look on the faces of those Ukippers who turned up at Thursday’s count did not tell a story of jubilation, but rather of disappointment.

Of course UKIP will have an impact – that twenty per cent is coming from somewhere, the bulk of it judging by the numbers is from disgruntled Conservative supporters. Of course, this is a superficial analysis – the UKIP vote could be made up of those who have not voted in recent elections, and the Conservative decline may be made up of abstentions. Either way, Tory HQ in Southend will be worried.

What it does show is that the council chamber is not about to see significant numbers of UKIP members – their spoiler vote is still not showing signs of breakthrough, although I admit that West Shoebury does give them cause for optimism.

Tino Callaghan said it all when he spoke after the count of him being “a one-man band”. UKIP’s vote comes almost in spite of them.

On another note, Matthew Dent has mentioned that I ignored the spoilt ball papers when writing about the result. There is no hard a and fast rule about this, but if we are to report on ballot appears issued that did not contribute to any candidate’s vote share then we could equally include the postal votes that were not returned. Just a thought.

Anyway, read what others have written about the result:

A Mad Man With A Blog – Predictable election ends predictably

The Rambles of Neil Monnery – The story of the West Leigh by-election is the rise of UKIP

Shoebury Blogger – West Leigh By-Election Result

Councillor Nigel Holdcroft – Well done Georgina

Councillor Paul Collins – Lib Dems miss taking West Leigh by 55 votes

markflewitt – Georgina…..now serving West Leigh

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3 Responses to The UKIP damp squib

  1. markflewitt says:

    A thoughtful comment with value, i agree with the UKIP conclusion. Any voter needs to cast their vote for as near their true view as possible, otherwise we will end up with no direction and Independents under another name.

  2. their spoiler vote

    “Spoiler” presumably because it was a no hope candidate (probable reflection on the situation not the individual) that probably robbed some vote off the Conservatives and possibly risked the seat changing hands due to the lottery effect of “spoiler votes”. UKIP came third and almost spoilt the Conservative’s party.

    How does this differ from the fourth place candidate:
    A no hope candidate (probable reflection on the situation not the individual) that probably robbed some vote off the Lib Dems and possibly prevented them from taking the seat due to the lottery effect of “spoiler votes”. Who spoilt the Lib Dem’s party(In West Leigh last Thursday that is)?

    Surely you are not complaining about someone else muscling in on the old three party fight?

    (We both know the best way to get rid of the spoiler effect. But the Cons campaign against such a change as do most of your comrades.)

  3. My definition of ‘spoiler’ in this context is that their vote, in my somewhat inexpert opinion, was cast largely in frustration. UKIP appear to be the latest recipients of the anti-politics vote, although in the mix is a combination of true adherents plus those who thought they stood the best chance of ousting a Conservative.

    Labour has stood in this ward for every election I have records for (barring the 2006 disaster) and our vote has been reasonably consistent, if also a long way from success. Those West Leigh voters who have stuck with us have clearly done so through principle rather than opportunism.

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