When I wrote yesterday's post (Cllr
Moyies changes sides, again) I almost added a couple of predictions. This
morning, those predictions came true. UKIP on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
is no more as their last two councillors have now joined the Conservative Party.
Southend-on-Sea must have the flakiest
set of councillors in the country, with a political landscape that changes
regularly without the hindrance of convincing the electorate.
Cllrs McGlone and Waterworth may tell
everyone that their switch was conviction based, yet anyone who gives even a
cursory glance at the political landscape in the borough knows that under the
UKIP banner they would have been ejected from the chamber. Now I expect they
will be adopted as the Conservative candidates in St Laurence and Blenheim park
ward respectively. This also helps the Conservatives who appear to be
struggling to select candidates.
Quite what the residents of St Laurence
and Blenheim Park wards remains to be seen, but there will be some who will
feel somewhat cheated.
I can only hope that those with elastic
principles suffer dismissal by their electorate.
UKIP's fall in Southend-on-Sea comes
after a very good set of results in 2014 when they won five wards on 19.1% of
the vote. A year later they won one, and their vote share had almost halved to
10.2% In 2016 they made a recovery to 14.6% of the vote, although they won
nothing. 2018 was expected to be tough for them, and now it looks like being
tougher with none of the six of who was elected for them remaining either in
the chamber or in the party.
However, whilst the news of UKIP's
demise locally may bring joy to many, I remind readers that whilst Cllrs
Callaghan, Davies, McGlone, Moyies, and Waterworth may no longer sit under the
UKIP umbrella, I have seen no evidence that their views have changed.
Today I do finish with a prediction -
there will be a Cabinet re-shuffle in Southend at the next Appointments Full