BY-ELECTION SURGE: UKIP 13% Up In Hartlepool
Last Thursday saw a by-election in Hartlepool’s Victoria Ward where Labour, unfortunately, managed to pip UKIP at the post to win. However, it was UKIP’s best result in a by-election in 6 months and shows that as a Party we are still very much a political force to be reckoned with despite us being constantly written off by the mainstream media.
The overall turnout was 15.87% and result as follows:
While it is disappointing that residents did not vote for the change that is so desired within all of Hartlepool, it must be remembered the significant increase of the vote share for UKIP of nearly 13%. It’s equally important to remember the many factors which may well have contributed to the last minute Labour win.
This ward has only ever been Labour in its entire history, it is, what is most commonly called a ‘Staunch-Labour’ ward, and for UKIP to make such a dramatic breakthrough really shows just how relevant it still is and this is in part because of the selfless attitude by UKIP Councillors compared to their Labour counterparts. Whether it’s refusing a 31% increase in Councillor expenses, fighting to save services at the local Hospital or causing disgraced cabinet members of the Council to be replaced over issuing unnecessary Parking Charges, UKIP Councillors are active and working for the people in Hartlepool while the self-serving Labour Councillors are too busy simply collecting expenses, ignoring petitions signed by thousands of people and steamrolling through their manic and unpredictable schemes.
But perhaps the most predictable factor which played into this result is due to the fact there is simply not a lot of interest in Politics- as is the case right across the North East- including my own hometown of Sunderland. After having the North East repeatedly trashed and abused by the Labour Party over such an extended period of time, virtually unopposed, it is undoubtedly going to cause a lot of voter apathy. The Conservatives have done very little to counter this and only have small ‘pockets’ of resistance left to Labour in certain areas. In the vast majority of Constituencies and Wards, UKIP is the main opposition to Labour and this has been proven yet again beyond doubt.
But while Labour may be still clinging onto their majority within Hartlepool Council by two seats (19), they are utterly terrified and in a state of sheer panic at the thought of another by-election, or potentially more dramatically: next Mays local elections. The opportunity is presented to us by the local elections next May to truly annihilate Labour and to strengthen UKIP’s hand to force them into submission— giving power back to the people— is very real indeed. The current make-up of Hartlepool Council consists of 33 seats, which are divided as follows:
Putting Hartlepool First and the Independent Councillors would never go into a coalition with Labour, and neither would UKIP. That only leaves open the possibility of the deeply unpopular establishment parties, Labour and the Conservatives, to form a Council together if Labour is to cling to power. A two-seat Labour majority simply cannot last much longer with the sheer anger, distaste, and resentment felt towards them; UKIP’s foothold on Hartlepool Council was, to quote Sir Winston Churchill— the beginning of the end— and after the local elections next year I am more confident than ever with the enormous increase in vote share for UKIP, Hartlepool will be in an even stronger position to tackle the corruption caused by Labour- finally breaking free. Rome was not built in a day, and while we may have lost a small battle, our troops are back on the ground raring to go, and we will win the war.