Peter Mandelson allegedly said that traditional Labour voters in the North would vote Labour regardless because they had “nowhere else to go.” Well it seems they have now.
The local Labour Group has very much reflected the Mandelson attitude, treating members and the electorate like dirt, as an inconvenience. They have been lazy, in a few cases corrupt and often insulting to local people. The cronyism, nepotism and corruption within the candidate selection has led to a Group with too many numpties, small time cheap chisellers and moonlighters who see the town merely as a stepping stone.
Yes, the 2014 elections result show a significant national swing, however in Rotherham that swing was 45% greater. Compared to our South Yorkshire neighbours where UKIP advanced only modestly, Rotherham LP was exceptionally poor in fighting them off.
In other words there was a local effect, that can only be explained as based in the dreadful performance of this Labour dominated Council.
Can Labour turn it around for 2015? Personally I doubt it. Others have identified and I can confirm that the local LP Councillors are in denial, both as to their role in the defeat and ideas for improvement. Their recent Cabinet selections reveal an inability to change and an almost suicidal hanging on to what was.
They have no plan of any consequence to counter UKIP, primarily because all potential actions require work or sacrifice on their part. Believing as they do that UKIP is a phenomena created by the recession they’ve become dependent on the Tories bringing back the good times to help them defeat UKIP.
Looking to the history of right wing groups born in recession, they do not seem to understand that such tend to hang on for some years, certainly long enough to see off labour in Rotherham.
Looking at 2015 I’ve not taken a statistically based psephology to forecast the elections. Local election votes tend to be too small to benefit from the grander analysis applied to national swings. Instead I have done some simpler but possibly more accurate analysis. It goes like this….
If UKIP were to take the seats in the Wards they took this year they would have another 10 seats, with Labour losing 9 and the Tories 1.
Labour Councillors losing their seats would be would be:Havenhand, Andrews, Hamilton, Kaye, Foden, Swift and Sharman.
Plus both the Leader and Deputy Leader – The Dodger and Lakin
There are an additional 5 Labour seats where their majority is less than 75 votes. If UKIP could get those votes Labour would see Dalton, Roddison, Pitchley, Beaumont and Doyle go.
Of course the big fish are the three MP, none of whom can rest easy. This might even be justice, as all have been aware of the woeful condition of the local party, yet have done nothing about it, such as reporting them to the NEC. Maybe they will now…““““““““““““““““““““““““`1