Havering’s ultra Brexit MPs, Julia Lopez and Andrew Rosindell, didn’t swing the vote the Conservatives’ way in the European elections. The electorate ignored their valiant efforts in parliament. Nigel Farage’s ego-driven Brexit Party trounced the Conservatives, who came fourth behind the LibDems and Labour.1 This bodes ill for Romford Conservatives. They were engulfed from the right, by the Brexit party, and the left, by Labour/LibDems/Greens.
Both Julia and Andrew had huge majorities in the 2017 general election but the electorate is fickle.2
Conservatives are seen as hopelessly divided and incompetent, in part, because of the constant opposition to Theresa May’s deal. Havering, which is solidly Conservative, now has a ruling party which is fourth in a national election.
Taking the European and Cranham elections3 together, they point towards old political truths in a new guise. Democracy is about which voters turn up. The current iron grip on Havering’s two parliamentary seats could change, notwithstanding the enormous majorities.4
UKIP did better in the 2014 election than the Brexit party in 2019. They got 34560 votes in 2014 in comparison to Brexit’s 32,165.
2 The 2017 general election result from Canterbury is etched into their psyche. The Conservatives increased their vote by 1.8% but Labour’s vote shot up by 20.5%. Result: a narrow Labour win.
UKIP got 20% of the vote in comparison to the Conservatives 28% but only won 7 seats.