No lead for Ukip in South Tyneside

Despite all of the optimism, Ukip failed to win a single ward in South Tyneside in yesterday’s local elections.  They did however raise their poll ratings, Labour stayed in poll position. Ukip even lost a seat (although you could argue they never gained it in the first place), after the fickle voters of Fellgate decided they weren’t happy with Councillor Steve Harrison abandoning his independence to pin his flag to the Ukip mast.

Publicly, local Ukip members will make a great deal about their gains, and rightfully they will have hope that this translates into seats next year, but privately they must have some serious concerns that they didn’t even win one seat from Labour, and lost one of their stars to Labour.

The Conservatives will also have some worried introspection, after Ukip have taken so many of their votes.

But Labour prevailed again in South Tyneside.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many people, who like me voted tactically yesterday. I haven’t voted Labour since 1997; before the illegal wars, PFI/PPI and the beginning of the privatisation of the NHS.

The ward that I live in here in South Shields, Harton, had a very limited field of candidates: Labour, Conservative or Ukip. Three parties wedded to the blind hand of the market and beholden to their millionaire donors. I would have preferred a left wing party to vote for, so the decision came down to not voting, or voting for the least worst. Not wanting a Ukip councillor, I opted for the latter, and Labour were definitely the least worst. Despite this, it was still a hard decision to make. Labour will crow about holding on to their lead in South Tyneside, but although a victory, it’s one where many of those who voted for them who are also deeply disappointed with the Tory-lite that Labour has become.

I don’t like voting in such a cynical manner, for a party I don’t believe in, but the ignorance, bigotry and negativity that Ukip stands for has no place in a fair and civilised society, and sometimes these difficult comprises have to be made.


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