One of the big surprises of election night for many was undoubtedly when Karl McCartney beat Labour’s Lucy Rigby for the Lincoln seat in the general election. McCartney was a controversial figure to say the least, while Rigby had waged a great campaign with very few blemishes. So how did McCartney end up increasing his majority?
McCartney’s local work
You can attack McCartney for many things, and his opponents certainly did, but his record on local issues was not one of them. Pretty much every local campaign, whether it was against crime or for infrastructure, had McCartney involved somewhere. One that will have really helped McCartney was the beginning of work on the East-West Link Road and High Street level crossing, both projects which should reduce the amount of waiting time at the train barriers.
Rigby not local enough
One of the more disappointing elements of the election was when some Conservatives allegedly gave Lucy Rigby a train ticket back to Islington. But while this move was crass, it may have represented a bigger problem that Lucy couldn’t defeat. While she is indeed a Lincoln resident, it seems she never could shake off the Islington set reputation she gained, making Karl more ‘relatable’ than his opponent.
Rigby accepting Blair’s money
In the first line of Lucy Rigby’s Twitter bio, she mentions she is a “forces baby”, and she expands further on her website: she was born on an army base and her father was in the British Army. With Lincoln also having a proud military history, it seemed like a perfect fit. That was all good until she accepted £1,000 from Tony Blair. I don’t think I need to expand on why many parts of the military hate Blair, but when Rigby accepted that money she lost a lot of respect from a lot of the left and the armed forces vote.
Lucy’s vote didn’t show up
While Rigby did gain 2,000 votes, most likely gained by the decimation of the Liberal Democrats, a lot of the votes she expected didn’t show on the day. But where did it go? Well, it seems like UKIP may have taken a lot of the safe Labour working class vote. Labour most likely took a lot of the lost 8,000 Liberal Democrat vote, but the 4,000 vote gain by UKIP most likely came from Labour. Those Tories expected to vote UKIP may have switched back after the ‘threat’ of a Labour/Scottish National coalition. Speaking of which…
The SNP scared Lincoln’s voters
Ed Miliband never seemed to fully convince anyone that he wouldn’t go into coalition with the SNP, and locally that meant that Lucy Rigby would not be taking the Lincoln seat. There were plenty of people who may have voted Labour, UKIP, or Liberal Democrat in Lincoln, but the mass distrust of having the SNP in power for the entirety of the UK sent people to the polls trying to prevent that, and the only clear way to do that was to vote for Karl McCartney and the Conservatives.Tweet