Voter Apathy in Rightwing Croydon and Sutton (2016)

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In the early 2000’s, I was engaged in two anti-rightwing projects – one was against the British National Party-supporting Herald Express of Torbay (South Devon), and the other was against the xenophobic Sutton Guardian (South London).  Both newspapers a priori support the Tory Party and pursue a rightwing political agenda that often mirrors the racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Disability, anti-multicultural and xenophobic rhetoric of the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph.  The results for the 2016 London Assembly Elections for Croydon and Sutton are as follows (Source: Croydon Advertiser):


  • Steve O’Connell, Conservative – 70,156
  • Marina Ahmad, Labour – 58,542
  • Amna Ahmad, Liberal Democrat – 18,859
  • Peter Staveley, Ukip – 18,338
  • Tracey Hague, Green – 13,513
  • Madonna Lewis, All People’s Party – 1,386
  • Richard Edmonds, National Front – 1,106

After five years of murdering Disabled People through benefit-cuts and the withdrawal of medical care and Social Services (at least 10,ooo have died as a result), and the fact that the Tory Party and LibDems privatised the National Health Service (NHS) and dismantled Welfare provision, the naturally rightwing Sutton voters endorsed this selfish destruction of British society and replaced their LibDem Member of Parliament (MP) with a Tory MP.  In the recent London Assembly Election – despite the fact that Labour have won the Mayor and a majority of seats on the London Assembly – the electorate of Croydon and Sutton returned the incumbent Tory MP.  What is going on here?  Of course, voter apathy is a major issue.  Many working class people feel excluded by a middle class system of voting and refuse to partake.  This leaves the field open to the middle class voters and their rightwing political interests.  A major issue is the rise of intolerant and racist parties such as UKIP, the BNP and Britain First.  In fact so racist are some people in Croydon and Sutton that the previously defunked far-right ‘National Front’ (NF) stood a candidate!  A reminder that racism is still very much a problem in the UK is the fact that over 18,000 people in Croydon and Sutton voted for the racist message of UKIP (nearly as many as voted for the wishy-washy platitudes of the LibDems).  Over 13,000 voted for the Greens – a party that has in the past supported ‘Austerity’ and has had an alliance with UKIP – whilst over 1,000 voted for the neo-Nazi National Front.  The only solace in all this is that the All People’s Party managed to amass slightly more votes than the NF. Education is the way forward.


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