Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Is Labour's hold cracking in Sunderland?

cracks in road surface Jan 17 (1)

I spent today in Sunderland helping Stephen O'Brien, the Lib Dem candidate in the Sandhill by-election.  We delivered letters to target voters (and had a pub lunch at the Hastings Hill).

The ward has returned Labour councillors for decades. We were 4th here in May 2016 when it was last contested. The result was:
Lab 1,229
UKIP 579
Con 277
Lib Dem 90
Green 59 

So at first sight, it looks like Mission Impossible for the Lib Dems. But I would hazard a guess that we will make some progress when the result is declared on Thursday. I suspect cracks are showing in Labour's hold on the area. Given the poor state of the roads, including the San Andreas style crack along one road in the ward that I snapped while delivering letters, it wouldn't surprise me if people were a bit fed up with the poor rate of return from Labour run Sunderland. Whether there is enough discontent to cause a political earthquake is yet to be seen.

We bumped into a group of ukippers outside the Hastings Hill. They said their postal vote was "so so" and hoped "not to be wiped out". It was hardly the talk of a party confident of success. Remember - this is Sunderland, the Capital of Brexit.

There may not be a political earthquake on Thursday in Sunderland, but expect a few more tremors and a few more cracks in Labour's dominance.

Sandhill By-election Jan 17 (3)

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