I thought it was interesting to look at how the vote has changed in Prittlewell during the last dozen elections. In the 10 years since UKIP started fielding candidates, the Tory vote has mostly declined in proportion to the rise in UKIP’s – 2015 saw a large rise in the Tory vote when UKIP didn’t field a candidate, although the fact that the General election took place on the same day and voter turnout was up in the 65% region (as opposed to the usual 30% at locals) may have had a large effect too.
The Lib Dems seem to be in terminal decline since their heady days in the run-up to the 2010 General election – their coalition with the Tories in Westminster has virtually destroyed the party.
Of the rest, the Greens occasionally pop onto the ballot paper, seemingly the only effect being to help split the anti-Tory vote a little further and sometimes, perversely, helping the Tories to win.
The Independent group, or non- party, have never made an impression here, the only exception being in 2015 mainly by default – their candidate, Paul Ryder, was originally going to stand for UKIP but due to some party in-fighting jumped ship and hence no UKIP candidate in 2015.
Labour looks to be making steady headway in the ward. After two years of being the driving force in Southend’s Joint-administration, voters are seeing we are a party that can be trusted to run the town efficiently with resident’s best interests at heart. Unfortunately, although we in the Labour party increased our number of seats across the Borough in 2016, other parties failed to hold onto theirs, meaning the Tories have now signed a pact with UKIP to take control of Southend.