2022 Southend West By-election – The Result
I wake this morning to learn of the result of yesterday’s by-election – and no surprise …
The Conservative candidate won by a huge majority. If there is a surprise (although not to some) it is the low turnout, the number of spoiled ballots (1084) and who came second (my friend Jason).
When I did my “2022 Southend West by-election and the English Constitution Party” blog a week ago, one person accused me of being ill-informed (and maybe he was right – I knew less about the candidates than I would like) but then I am probably better informed than most. Besides, it was written from the point of view of how I would approach deciding on who to vote for and with Churchill’s often quoted comment on democracy being a bad form of government (evidenced in this election) in mind.
Few doubted the outcome once the main parties decided they were not to contest this election. Some went on to social media to express their frustration at the choice they were faced with – a candidate representing what was in their view a discredited party that cared little for social justice, with most, if not all, of those who were opposing her having fascist tendencies (an accusation I dispute). It was therefore of no surprise to learn of the large number of spoiled ballots and very low turnout. I hadn’t expected Jason Pilley to do so well but maybe it was because he was the only one people knew. I was disappointed though that Graham Moore of the English Constitution Party did so badly, given the important and often overlooked point he made on the need to return to common law, as discussed in my previous blog. Overall, any surprises were of minor consequence. Beyond that I have nothing more to add other than to congratulate the winner (Anna Firth), who from what I can make out, conducted herself credibly, and commiserate with the losers.
I thought her speech following her victory was encouraging (see here) but if is easy to say things like carrying on the legacy of her predecessor and not do so (like, sadly her Southend East colleague). When I first met Sir David Amess, not long after he became Southend West MP, I told him to be his own man (which he did) and I would do similarly to Anna Firth if we were to meet. David is a hard act to follow and I wish Anna well. I have no doubt many will be interested in how she would handle David’s legacy e.g. his opposition to the government’s position on vaccine passports, and much more besides. Irrespective of politics, if she can anywhere near emulate the accolade many afforded to David of being a fine, outstanding, constituency representative, she will be doing well!