"WHAT'S the point, they will always win" and "you could stick a blue rosette on a sheep, and they would win". Phrases I am sure we have all heard across the Skipton and Ripon constituency for many years, rhetoric that is embedded in the local political landscape and culture.

When I first became involved in the local Labour party, I was of the view that nothing is impossible and it was essential that we ended this belief, though recognising that of course it would take time.

Whilst the primary reason for this was to show people they do have a choice at the ballot box, it was also important to expose the deep-rooted complacency and at times, the arrogance, the local Conservative party had, which can only be detrimental to the progress and growth of our communities and its people.

The recent by-election result in Selby and Ainsty caused many surprises nationally due to the massive swing in votes to achieve a Labour victory. This is a constituency like Skipton and Ripon in its urban and rural make-up and in the result at the General Election in 2019. If a swing of 20,000 votes can happen there, it can certainly happen here.

The recent polling on www.electoralcalculus.co.uk shows that Labour has a 54 per cent chance of winning in Skipton and Ripon, whilst the Conservatives have a 45 per cent chance.

The local Labour Party has worked hard over the last few years to increase our visibility and show people they do have a choice. This has resulted in recent successes where now, we have more Labour councillors than any other represented party on Skipton Town Council for the first time ever – which in the recent past, was unimaginable and being a few votes (and a straw) away from having two Councillors sitting on the new North Yorkshire Council, for the first time too.

Nationally, this Conservative Government has been a disaster through their financial mismanagement of the economy, the dismantling of our valuable public services and the consistent lies and corruption through some of their own self-serving desires.

Locally, we have an MP who prefers the photo opportunities of positive things for them, rather than admitting and being accountable to the reality of their party’s failures. This has even resulted in our MP omitting all reference to what political party they stand for on all their social media pages. The question on this is, why?

With the result in Selby and Ainsty, it has given us further inspiration and motivation to deliver what our local communities need and deserve, so we will be increasing our campaigning even further from now until the next General Election, whilst also selecting the right Parliamentary candidate.

I have no doubt that the by-election result close-by to Skipton and Ripon will bring some nervousness to the Conservatives here, but it will also bring hope to voters within the constituency, that another sheep on the same field as the one with the blue rosette, can wear a different coloured one and have a chance of bringing change – and that colour is red.


Brian McDaid

Skipton and Ripon Labour Party