So take a bow, Simon Zeigler of UKIP, who polled 6.1%, and Anthony Slaughter, Green Party, with 4.1%.
At the time, this was a good result for UKIP. But since last November that party has – even in Wales – increased in popularity so that with the perspective of 11 months, this looks disappointing for them. But let’s not be churlish. The three previous Westminster contests for this seat have seen them sending off a postal order for £500 to HM Treasury, so that’s money in the bank for their next campaign. But given the lower overall turnout, despite them getting a record proportion of the vote, the total number of votes was only 34 more than Zeigler’s previous performance. Steady progress, then, rather than the Eurosceptic revolution he’d been hoping for.
The Greens have stood in this seat in 1992 and the three elections (including this one) since 2005. For them, this result was bitter-sweet. Sweet, because topping 4% was more than double their previous share of the vote (in 2005) with their highest total number of votes. Bitter because they lost their deposit, which would have been retained with 172 extra votes, and because the Greens – like several other of the lesser parties – would expect to register their highest share of the vote in a by-election when people aren’t voting for who’ll form the UK Government (not that they’re doing that during a general election either, but that’s a well-kept secret).
The surprise at the rear end of the voting order was that the Socialist Labour Party pushed the Communists into last place. The surprise isn’t that we’d expect the Communists to do well in Penarth, or even Cardiff South, but that their candidate Robert Griffiths is local, well-regarded by people who hear him speak in public forums, and is long-standing Chair of the anti-incinerator campaign in Splott (of which you can read Penartharbyd’s take here). Andrew Jordan (Socialist Labour) was anything but local and didn’t appear at the hustings so we have no way of knowing what his stage presence is like, although he’s taken to social media with gusto.
Socialist Labour haven’t stood in Penarth and Cardiff South before (although confusingly Socialist Alternative (1997 and 2005) and Socialist Alliance (2001) have). Andrew polled fewer votes than any of the previous Socialist incarnations, although 1.2% is the joint best result in terms of share of the vote (thanks to the poor turnout).
And Robert Griffiths garnered 17 more votes than in the 2010 Westminster election, getting just over 1% of the total.
And what of the other parties that have contested this seat? It’s disappointing to see that the electoral colour provided by parties such as “Freedom from World Domination” (1983), “Natural Law” (1997), “ProLife Alliance” (2001), “Christian” (2010) and “Rainbow Dream Ticket” (2005) has faded to nothing.
Imagine – just 165 people wanted freedom from world domination back in 1983. Makes you think, eh?