BY-ELECTION WATCH: UKIP Lead The Charge Against Corruption
There are always local by-elections happening in the North East, and in UKIP’s stronghold of Hartlepool in particular, there have been several this year alone. After spending many hours helping out over last weekend, it seems that despite the many lies as well as much spin, deceit and fake news the poisonous media are attempting to propagate against UKIP, these messages simply are not reaching voters.
Hartlepool is what I would call a microcosm of Labour communities particularly in the North, but also right through the wider country as well. After speaking to just a few voters on the doorstep, it very quickly becomes apparent exactly why the turnout in the by-election of Victoria Ward this Thursday is expected to be as low as 15%. Voter apathy is rife here with many voters simply not interested in politics at all, tired of the corruption, mismanagement of public funds and wastage by Hartlepool Council. Whether it’s the services the local Hospital is losing on an almost daily basis, the so-called ‘vanity’ projects which Labour are building right around the city with no value whatsoever— at the same time as cutting vital services— or even the 31% expenses increase Labour Councillors have passed themselves, local residents have much reason to be angry at the local Council, and indeed the way Labour is running their city into the ground all for their own purposes.
The UKIP candidate, Jacqui Cummins, is a lovely lady who is quite possibly, the single most professional local election candidate I have ever seen in my life. Jacqui is a carer and has lived in the ward at three different points in her life, her husband is a lawyer and she has run her own business for 15 years. Even now she lives only just outside of the ward while all other candidates live miles away, completely isolated from local issues living in a warped reality. She is completely on top of all local issues and when speaking with residents on the doorstep Jacqui would rather speak to a single resident and make sure they have a real chance to raise all their concerns than speaking to everyone with no real value.
This by-election is a unique opportunity for UKIP with the only contenders being the Labour Party, despised by almost everyone spoken with, the Conservative Party, which has never received more than 163 votes in that ward in its history, and UKIP. Since UKIP are already the main opposition in Hartlepool now with 6 Councillors, this crucial by-election this Thursday presents UKIP with the very real possibility of changing the balance of power in the Council with Labour holding on to their majority by a single seat going into the local elections next year.
The Labour candidate, while not only very young and inexperienced, has many connections to other officials who are distasteful. It seems that despite the poison campaign being actively run against UKIP by an angry establishment, hell-bent on revenge after Brexit, this is not reaching through to voters on the doorstep. Even those voters who are not interested at all are actively turning to UKIP when the repercussions of not voting and yet another Labour Councillor are explained. The once mighty, glory-seeking, jeering Labour Party is actively being reduced to rubble.
This by-election is essentially a unique two-horse race between the corrupt, establishment forces of the Labour Party and the anti-corruption forces of UKIP who want to clean up Hartlepool Council and finally end wastage- giving the power back to the people.
Whatever the result this Thursday, voter apathy is rife and it will be very close- much will depend on the turnout on the day; there are simply not that many postal voters with everything to play for. However, I genuinely believe that if voters can rise up in enough number against the establishment, which seems increasingly likely, then Jacqui will win. If the Labour Party does succeed in their mission to bleed Hartlepool dry and get a third Councillor elected back into this ward, then residents have lost much more than simply a seventh UKIP Councillor and a strong voice for their ward on the Council. Hartlepool is ready for a change in management- and only the anti-establishment force of UKIP can deliver that change for residents. UKIP is now, beyond doubt, ready for that position. All residents must do is vote for it.