11th May 2012 at 14:24
As a candidate in the Southlands ward of Adur District Council, this is my brief observation of that election.
Barry Mear won Labour’s first seat on Adur District Council since 2006 by 42 votes. Labour lost by just 6 votes in the by-election in October, so the Tory candidate only had 5 months on the council before being ousted.
Labour came a very close second, with only 8 & 36 votes difference between first & second in Southlands (Richard Jones LRC member) & Eastbrook respectively. The Tories here clearly do not have a strong mandate from the people.
The Lib Dems have completely collapsed in Adur, They came LAST in 11 out of the 13 wards they contested.
So while thanks to all the candidates, and those who gave up time to help campaign, are in order, the low turnout and close results, is a warning to be heeded that people are increasingly disillusioned with the three main parties, and are crying out for an alternative. We must now continue to go out into our communities, with a clear message, that we will fight for them, and resist the economics of austerity, which demands that the rich should be protected, and the poor and vulnerable should suffer. We must ensure that our message reaches out, and restores confidence, that a vote for Labour is a vote for the real alternative that our communities need.
“These elections must mark the first awakenings of Labour’s leadership to the possibilities in front of them. The electorate still feels like saying ‘a plague on all your houses’, but there are opportunities here.
“There is a responsibility upon Labour councillors to become centres of resistance in their communities; to mobilise and organise against the cuts in their communities.”
(John McDonnel MP & LRC Chair)
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