What if Rawmarsh isn’t an aberration?

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.

Wil Ewart

22 thoughts on “What if Rawmarsh isn’t an aberration?

  1. I do think that UKIP will take more seats in Rotherham. I have been asking about different groups and local membership rates and resources and even though they are a bit behind they seem very determined. I think that the comments raised about Labour are true to some extent but there is so much good that our local labour councillors achieve in our name. As a labour/socialist leaning extremely to the left I do not understand why people in this area do not research UKIP. If they dislike the conservatives just wait for UKIP!


  2. From lifelong Labour voters in the Rawmarsh ward the message was clear, we have had enough!

    Enough of the greed, enough of the mismanagement, enough of the snouts in the trough behavior.

    The same message will see Labour Cllrs loose to UKIP in 2014, Caven Vines may be a single UKIP Cllr, I have no doubt he will punch above his weight opening the door for more UKIP Cllrs.

    UKIP, draw up a Rotherham specific local election manifesto, include the judicial review into the child abuse scandal, cut the number of highly paid officers, invest in front-line services and watch the votes pour in.


  3. If Respect put up a credible candidate in Rotherham West then the convicted thug Akhtar is surely vunerable. The Labour Party de-selcted him after his conviction for affray, but that was after his term of office ended, for he did not have the principle to stand down immediately and carried out his community service as a serving Councillor – what a disgrace he is, yet he’s the vice chairman of the Police and Crime Panel!


  4. I do not think the victory for UKIP in Rawmarsh was an aberration, the electorate decided enough was enough. Todays poll shows Labour are on 35%,Conservatives on 24% and UKIP on 22%.
    A Labour lead of 11% after 3 years of a Tory led coalition is very poor and if the economy grows by only 2/3% before 2015 Milliband is toast. What might happen is right-of-centre voters split the Tory and UKIP vote and Milliband slides into Number 10 but at the moment Milliband is not trusted.
    Both Labour and the Tories concede UKIP will win next years Euro-elections and when Farage builds on that success the future of British politics is going to be changed forever.
    UKIP is the only political party that will challenge the status quo, the others will just rearrange the deckchairs.


    • Hi Colin,
      There were in fact two polls published today.
      The Survation one you quote from: http://bit.ly/12JFAMR
      … and one from YouGov, for the Sun newspaper, that had significantly different results:
      Labour: 39% (down 1 from YouGov in the Sunday Times)
      Conservatives: 31% (up 2)
      Ukip: 14% (no change)
      Lib Dems: 10% (up 1)
      Labour lead: 8 points (down 3)
      Government approval: -34 (up 5)
      You can find it here: http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/05/21/update-labour-lead-7/
      This may help to explain why: http://bit.ly/14u1Qee
      but I think it’s worth looking what other pollsters find over the next couple of months, just to see how the figures settle down, before cheering. … and given our 1st-past-the post voting system for the HoC, UKIP has a really big hill to climb to .replace the Tories.

      Certainly UKIP is doing very well, if ICM – who have a very good recent track record, are to be believed:


      • Yes, but YouGov is run by a Lefty and the husband of Baroness Ashton, high priestess of the EU.

        So, I’ll not read too much into any of their surveys on UKIP.


      • Funny during the Eastleigh election, UKIP polled double the surveys, beating the Tories and Labour. This will become more widespread across the country. I love UKIPs Swiss style democracy and anybody who wants a true democratic country will. The EU referendum will be the start of true democracy. Those who don’t like it, better leave for the EUSSR.


  5. Most people show their disdain for the establishment parties and the corporate media that support them, by not voting. Rawmarsh shows that at least the protest is expressed at the polling booth. The continuing heinous racial and religious hate crimes of ‘grooming’ white children and the lack of effort by the new labour pcc may have added further motivation to the anti establishment vote here . I don’t fully agree with UKIP, as the concept is fundamentally flawed as Nigel Farage found out last week in Scotland, each home nation wants different things and UKIP to a Scotsman is just another English party. I hope it [the rebellion] continues and revitalises democracy.


  6. I am an ex Tory, who stopped voting for them in the 1990’s, because I thought they cared more about their rich friends, than spreading the wealth. Even though I did very well. I could never vote Labour, but thought they would at least re balance the economy, back towards the manufacturing sector. Over 12 years Labour jumped into bed with the banks, created far too much welfare dependency and forgot about the other 95% of the population. Labour got in two illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which resulted in I dread to think how many deaths. How many soldiers have we lost in Iraq and Afghanistan and that doesn’t account for those who were seriously injured and lost limbs. Labour as far as I am concerned entered into a project to ethnically cleanse our population, this was done in a covert way, rather than through the normal channels. Even though I don’t believe UKIP to be perfect, they are some where between Labour and Conservative, no matter what lies the left wing try to spread. UKIP will march onwards.


  7. A week is a long time in politics and there’s only one poll that counts and that’s at the election. Who can have forgot the polls for the 1992 general election that said Labour and Neil Kinnock were going to win and they turned out to be illusory!


  8. Over Heard from a certain labour cllr that the labour group has blocked certain labour activists from.standing for years. That it was costhey were outspoken and likely at times to resist the whip on principle.


  9. I totally agree RESPECT have got a good chance in Rotherham West to win the seat.
    My opinion is Lord Naz resigned, all of ASBO Akhtar support gone to the left to RESPECT Party, trust me Respect Party seems to have a upperhand in Rotherham West.


  10. It is not unheard of for a former fringe political group to make a breakthrough and we have seen examples elsewhere in Europe. Look at Italy where the party led by former comedian Beppe Grillo took about 25% of the vote. Similar things happened in Greece with the left-wing Syriza and in France support for the Front National increased at the expense of mainstream parties. The jury is still out on whether UKIP or any of them will be able to make the bigger step into power but even if not they have changed the political landscape and others will need to address the concerns of the electorate which they articulate.

    Will there be a ‘Rotherham Spring’? Will Labour’s grip on one of its rotten boroughs be loosened? Or will they find a way to cling to power? One thing is certain Labour will try to play off the various opposition groups and parties against each other in the hope of splitting the growing anti-Labour vote. Time for some tactical thinking?


  11. Anonymous: do mean UKIP and the BNP should come to an accommodation not to stand against each other in wards where votes for one party could jeopardise the chance of the other, because I do not think thers’s much chance of either of them coming to a accommodation with Respect!?


    • Malcontent, I was not actually suggesting any formal agreements as these would be difficult to negotiate in the absence of mutual trust. Simply that groups which wish to play a constructive role should look carefully where they operate, concentrate on the areas they see as fertile whilst leaving more barren ground to others with hopefully a better chance. Of course not every group will wish to play a constructive role as we can see from their past words and actions.


  12. I’m left wondering what the Labour party will do to overcome voter apathy? Offer free burgers,chips and kebabs at polling stations? Or canapes and a glass of Pinot Grigio in more affluent areas?
    Why not? They’ve wasted enough of our money in the past.


  13. ‘Haven’t they already tried that Colin, with Pak supermarket and ‘specialist’ Foodbanks ? ‘
    I must be an innocent! I understood these two initiatives were to help vulnerable people, not to score political points? Unless of course you have to be a registered Labour voter to get help.


  14. Pingback: Wil Ewart called it right a year ago | Rotherham Politics

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