Yes, Labour won South Shields
So what? It was going to happen. The UKIP claims of “giving Labour a bloody nose” were bloody stupid, typical Farage shouty bravado in the vain hope that someone will believe him.
Despite the pitiful 40 per cent by election turnout, Labour pretty much kept their share of the vote and held on to their percentage majority. They managed this with actually very little campaigning. Such is the nature of the confidence in South Shields’ electorate.
UKIP got what they wanted: second place. They put a lot of money into their campaign and bussed in supporters from outside the town, supporters who to their credit worked very hard, no matter how silly I think their politics are. The result gives Farage a chance to claim that UKIP are now the second party in Britain. Such a claim would be more than optimistic: UKIP are yet to get themselves in parliament. In South Shields, they’re merely the new Tories on the block, and will likely see their vote drop at the General Election in 2015.
What should be remembered is that this was a by election, where sometimes the electorate throw the dice on a protest vote, but it looks like the only ones protesting were Tory and Lib Dem voters.
The way I see it, the top three parties in the vote are all tied to a neo-liberal economic model which values money over people.
It’s been a while since South Shields voted a left wing party into parliament. I find that saddening.