Party begging for support on ground and turnout expected to be low as new regime inspires apathy at best and right’s racism comes home to roost
Sources in the area say that Labour’s campaign in the Birmingham Erdington by-election is ‘bombing’, with even the party’s right unenthusiastic about the candidate and the left staying away en masse.
The absence of Labour campaigners apart from local councillors and a few MPs drafted in from outside has already been documented – a stark contrast to the grassroots support for socialist candidate Dave Nellist. But local sources say that the response ‘on the doors’ when Labour does manage to knock has been tepid at best, with a mix of outright hostility as residents of an area where more than a quarter of the population is black or Asian bridle against the rampant Islamophobia and racism of the Labour right.
And Skwawkbox has been told that those right-wingers are ‘livid’ about the candidate, as their favourite ‘f***ed up the hustings’. But that has generated no enthusiasm among the left, as Hamilton is seen as too keen on NHS privatisation and has been accused of participating in attacks by the council on its refuse collectors and care workers.
As a result of the failure of the party to generate any enthusiasm and the backlash against the right’s discrimination, turnout is expected to be low and in a seat it has held since the 1940s the Labour regime is reduced to desperately hoping that the apathy among Tory voters will be enough to allow it to scrape through.
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