Dead Men Left

Friday, September 10, 2004

On "letting the Tories in"

Results from yesterday's Millwall ward by-election, in Tower Hamlets, East London:

Simon Paul Rouse - The Conservative Party Candidate 828
Paul Robert Louis McGarr - Respect - The Unity Coalition 635
John Christian Cray - The Labour Party Candidate 571
Andrew Peter Sweeney - Independent 195
Barry Alfred Blandford - Liberal Democrats (Focus Team) 150

After years of "redevelopment", the ward has become split between a solidly affluent selection of riverside apartment dwellers, and a group solidly working-class estates. The Tories' victory is not the "breakthrough" the PA report suggests, being based on a fairly fundamental shift in the demography of the area, rather than a great desire of former Labour voters to support a gang of crooks and bigots even more unpleasantly committed to privatisation and the free market than New Labour. I just hope Tower Hamlets Labour Party has learned a valuable lesson: they can't afford to carry on splitting the anti-Tory vote like this, since it's quite clear only one organisation in the East End can stop the right.