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Labour Win As UKIP Stride On In By-Election

No big surprise for Labour, but UKIP slap-down the Tories as the Lib Dems go missing

Written by . Published on February 17th 2014.

Labour Win As UKIP Stride On In By-Election

LABOUR's Michael Kane has won the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election following the tragic and untimely death of popular long-serving MP Paul Goggins in early January 2014.

“The point about democracy is you should see who the candidates are, see what their agendas are and then form an opinion. That is not happening and it is reducing, frankly, these by-elections to farces.”

Kane received 13,261 votes (53% of the total vote), UKIP’s John Bickley came in second with 4,301 (18%), shoving the Conservative’s Rev Daniel Critchlow (a 26-year-old Church of England vicar from St Hilda’s Church in Firswood) down into third with 3479 votes (14%).

Kane said: “I will be an MP speaking out on the issues that matter to you: Fighting for a fair deal for Wythenshawe A&E. Exposing the cost-of-living crisis felt by families and pensioners across our area and beyond. And on the unfair and disproportionate cuts to local services –Wythenshawe and Sale has said tonight: enough is enough."

New MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Mike KaneNew MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Mike Kane

The misfiring Lib Dems received only 1176 votes (less than 5%) and ‘lost their deposit’ - something political commentators like to drop in as a big humiliating kick in the ballot box. It simply means that the party did so ruddy badly that they have to surrender the £500 they put down to be in the running in the first place (you have to achieve above 5% to keep your £500).

You could even say (while guffawing into your Port) that LD now stands for Lost Deposit, as this is the eighth such time the Lib Dems have lost their deposits in fifteen by-elections since 2010.

Particularly sobering stuff for the Lib Dems, who in 2010 took second place with 22% of the vote in the same Wythenshawe and Sale East seat. Now they languish down in fourth with less than 5%. Ouch. Sell your soul to the Coalition, -17%, lesson learned.

Still, Labour landslide in Manchester, no big surprise here. Manchester is safer than a safe locked in a really safe safehouse. Jabba the Hut could have retained this seat.

Second place: UKipper John BickleySecond place: UKipper John Bickley

The interest here lays with those Tory-bothering UKippers, the party who are fast becoming the opposition of choice in the North of England. A party that have jumped from fifth place in 2010 to second place in Wythenshaw and Sale East and a party that in the last three by-elections have polled 21.7% in Rotherham, 24.2% in South Shields (two working-class Labour strongholds) and 27.8% in Eastleigh.

Still, UKIP leader Mr Farage wasn't entirely chuffed with the result which saw his party increase its vote-share from 14.5% to 18%.

Farage did state that the by-election had shown “really good solid, steady progress," but complained that the by-election had been "as dirty as they come," with party offices in Wythenshawe vandalised with 'Nazis' graffiti, verbal abuse towards UKIP campaigners from 'red rosette' supporters and alleged theft of equipment and leaflets.

Farage also complained about the way the by-election had been organised, with postal votes issued three days after the poll was called.

Farage said: “The point about democracy is you should see who the candidates are, see what their agendas are and then form an opinion. That is not happening and it is reducing, frankly, these by-elections to farces.”

'Nice one John''Nice one John'

A Labour spokesman stated: “Nigel Farage’s wild accusations are nonsense and a desperate smear to distract attention from the issues. Ukip are silent on Wythenshawe Hospital and offer no answers for the people of Wythenshawe and Sale East.”

Smear or not. UKIP certainly have many Westminster bums shuffling (and not just Tories), the question is whether UKIP can rise above 'pub-party' politics and convince fenced, swayed and uneasy voters that they are the only credible local force to oppose Labour in the North. The times are a-changing. 

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