Softly softly (Rochford by-election)

If Matt Softly ends up winning next week in the Rochford by-election you can blame me; he became an activist after I knocked on his door one day. Sure, my blame is only partial, but I was there, at the beginning.

The candidates for Thursday’s (26th November) by-election :-

UKIP – Nicholas Cooper
Liberal Democrats – Daniel Irlam
Conservative – Michael Lucas-Gill
Labour – Matthew Softly

The following table shows the vote share percentages for the four parties standing in Rochford, in local elections in this ward since 2002.

  UKIP Lib Dem Con Lab
2002     48.9 51.1
2003   7.7 38.6 35.0
2004     60.5 39.5
2006     52.9 47.1
2007     68.7 31.3
2008     48.6 20.3
2010     55.7 25.6
2011     59.6 43.7
2012     51.6 48.4
2014 26.2   31.4 34.5
2015 30.6   40.2 29.2

UKIP are johnny-come-latelys here, and the Liberal Democrats rarely trouble themselves to stand in this neck of the wood. It has been a two-horse race for many years, even when other candidates have stood. It is either the Conservatives or Labour who triumph here, and I would be surprised if anything other than this was the case this time around.

It will come down to turnout, I expect. In some quarters this will be seen as another test for the new Labour leader, although I have to wonder why some think that. UKIP’s presence introduces a test for their credibility after a poor General Election and a lot of in-fighting in Essex. The Conservatives will consider themselves favourites, if only because they are the most recent winners and their candidate is the widower of the recently deceased councillor who, tragically, is the cause of this by-election.

However, I am calling a narrow Labour win here, a gain that will double Labour’s presence in Rochford District.

One Response to Softly softly (Rochford by-election)

  1. Pingback: Labour gain in Rochford at the expense of the Tories | Julian's musings

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