Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The forgotten by-election

While a lot of attention was focused on the Richmond by-election because of it's high-profile incumbent MP Zac Goldsmith, virtually nothing has been heard about the forthcoming contest in Sleaford & North Hykham.

At the last general election this was a safe Tory seat with a majority of over 24,000 and  56.2% of the vote. Labour came in second place with just 17.3% with UKIP close behind on 15.7%. The Liberal Democrats just about saved their deposit with 5.7%.

Labour's vote collapsed badly in Richmond with the party not only losing it's deposit but getting less votes than the number of members it claims in the constituency. Factional eyes will be watching the result with interest. Most party members have focused their attention of Momentum's growing internal squabble as the comrades fall out with each other unable to agree on a simple notion of each of their members having a vote.

It's not rocket science "comrades".

Meanwhile back in the world of real politics this by-election id wide open with both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats likely to squeeze the Labour vote. The seat (just like Richmond) is not good territory for Labour but the party cannot afford yet another humiliating performance.

UKIP's candidate is Victoria Ayling a local County Councillor whilst the Lib-Dems are fielding Ross Pepper whose views can be found on his blog A Pinch of Pepper.

Labour have put up Jim Clarke a local trade unionist and refuse collector who says:

“People here in Sleaford and North Hykeham need a local representative that is going to stand up for them and be their voice in Parliament.

“It is not right that in 2016 working people here in Sleaford and North Hykeham are having to choose between heating and eating.

“It is not right that Grantham hospital hasn’t enough doctors to keep the hospital A&E open overnight. I will fight for the resources to protect our local NHS and I will stand side by side with local people campaigning to keep Grantham A&E open 24 hours a day.

“We have a Tory Government with no plan for Brexit. Here in Sleaford and North Hykeham 62 per cent of people voted for Brexit. But they didn’t vote to put their jobs at risk, they didn’t vote to lose their rights at work and they didn’t vote for price rises on everyday essentials.

“Immigration played a big part in the Brexit result and I will not ignore that. We need to earn people’s trust and show that we respect will of the people, but will also hold the government to account on ensuring the best deal for Britain, which protects our local jobs.

“I will be a campaigning candidate, and I will be out on the doors from tomorrow, standing up for local people showing them that only Labour will put Sleaford and North Hykeham first.

“I am ready for the challenge to be Sleaford and North Hykeham’s next MP.”

The election result is awaited in the early hours of Friday morning.

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