The Astonishing Achievement of 1st 4 Kirkby
At only four weeks old Kirkby's new political party “1st 4 Kirkby” have firmly put themselves on the political map after putting up a fantastic fight in this traditionally staunch Labour stronghold.
A further 1% swing (9 votes) would have seen their candidate elected in the Whitefield ward, and with a good first showing in two other wards, the party polled approximately 40% of the total vote in the three wards in which they chose to stand candidates.
The defiant leader of “1st 4 Kirkby”, Tony Barton, stated “this a not the end it is in fact the beginning” The candidates have been exceptionally brave in standing against the long established Labour party, the voters equally so, as many are traditional Labour voters who, having wrestled with their conscience, decided to break the habit of a lifetime and vote against Labour.
To add a little perspective to this election battle the most astonishing achievement of their spirited campaign is that “1st 4 Kirkby” who, due to limited time and resources, contested only three seats yet managed to poll more votes than the Liberal Democrats who contested all six. This now makes “1st 4 Kirkby” the official opposition party in Kirkby. We would defy anyone to undermine this magnificent achievement.
As apathetic residents begin to realise that the Labour stranglehold on Kirkby can be challenged, this public display may yet serve to polarize popular opinion against the Council promoted Tesco development plan for a massive retail park and stadium. Only the foolish would now attempt to pass this local election result off as a referendum on the Tesco development, in fact with only 48% of the vote in the “1st 4 Kirkby” contested seats the pro Tesco Labour would have lost!!!
In the early hours of Friday morning, as the Kirkby Suite echoed to the defiant cry from “1st 4 Kirkby” of “our day will come” concerned looks from Labour activists replaced earlier bravado and the more astute amongst them made enquiries about possible meetings to understand what is driving such a worryingly high percentage of Labour voters to abandon the towns traditional representatives and become politically active, a stance that was later repeated on radio Merseyside when George Howarth asked the “1st 4 Kirkby” leader “is it now not time to talk with Tesco and the Council?” to which an incredulous Tony Barton replied “what do you think we've been trying to do George?”
Lets hope this is the beginning of a more productive and empathetic era when the people of Kirkby, politically active and aware of the requirements and impact of regeneration on their town, will be finally listened to by councillors and developers alike.
Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.