There is a crack, a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in –Leonard Cohen
What if Rawmarsh isn’t an aberration? What if two things are going on here? A national swing to UKIP and a Labour vote in Rotherham that is sick of their Councillors reputation for greed, cronyism, nepotism, manipulation, sleight of hand and deception.
If the swing to UKIP is big nationally, it was ginormous in Rawmarsh. My spies in UKIP were telling me before polling day that faith in the local LP’s honesty is at an all time low. As predicted the selection of Ms Wright was an especiallly bad political choice that had UKIP rubbing their hands.
Local LP analysts will point to the low poll at Rawmarsh and the Labour vote not turning out. Normally such is caused by apathy, but in Rawmash doorstep returns suggest that it was a positive withdrawal of support.
Can the local LP recognise that many good Labour supporters are appalled by their leadership?
Will the local LP choose the “it’s an aberration” ostrich response, the one that was so successful for Cameron?
Or are they capable of looking at themselves and revitalising their politics. Can the better LP members use the crack to help throw some light on local political processes and thereby reinvigorate the Party?
Personally I won’t hold my breath on this one.
If not, and if Rawmarsh wasn’t a one off then 2014 Council elections perfectly illustrate how the crack may lead to a collapsed building. There are now no safe Labour seats, and for once their opposition has a national platform.
Polling returns analysis shows that even If Labour do a bit better in 2014 than at Rawmarsh then;
Seats going marginal or too close to call:
Dinnington, Holderness, Hoober, Rother Vale, Rotherham East, Valley & Wickersley
Seats where Labour is dead in the water:
Anston & Woodsetts, Burton, Boston Castle, Brinsworth & Catcliffe, Keppel, Maltby, Rotherham West, Silverwood, Sitwell, Wales & Wingfield.
As for Respect, well if they merely nibble at the Muslim vote in Akhtar’s seat then it is goodbye to him. Expect unpleasantness.