STAPLE TYE is one of the key seats that Harlow Labour will be very keen to take. This became a UKIP seat in 2014 under Bill Pryor. Bill isn’t standing. This year, it is UKIP stalwart Mark Gough. However, at the risk of repeating ourselves, their race (for now) has run.
Like 2016, it is now a question of where will all those votes go?
In 2016, Labour won by 91 votes and it is probable that they will win by over 100.
This is a ward that, like many Harlow wards, has its fair share of opportunities and problems. From potholes to policing, it does need ambassadors and advocates. Communities such as Berecroft have flourished but there are also those whose lives are blighted by crime and unemployment.
The Labour candidate in 2018 is Laura McAlpine. Laura is also the prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) for Labour at the next General Election.
Laura has come from nowhere to be part of the new breed of energised, committed socialists. A founder member of Harlow Momentum. Their brand of conviction politics combines old fashioned socialism with tecchy savvy use of social media. Whether it is clean up days, pothole protests or events in pubs, there is a vitality and freshness that has attracted a lot of new members.
On the other hand, there are those who feel that the Corbynistas/Momentumites have more in common with cults and that a left wing coup is slowly developing at Harlow Council. They say the first casualty was Jon Clempner. They mostly being Jon Clempner but Laura’s selection prompted Mr Clempner to go on Twitter and say: “The likelihood of my standing as an independent candidate in Harlow at the next general election, whenever that is, have just significantly increased”. Vox Clamantis.
But who knows, Robert Halfon was selected in 1999. He wasn’t elected until 2010. Laura McAlpine may be at the beginning of a political journey that may not come to fruition until 2030. Laura should be allowed, especially by chippy journalists, to breathe.
The Conservative candidate is Essex County Councillor Mike Hardware. Mike is a real asset to the Harlow Tories and you get the feeling that it is essential that they get him on board as a councillor. One can see him as part of that bowling attack on the opposition benches in the council chambers.
As we said, it is always good to see Mark Gough standing. You always feel that it would be a shame if Mark faded from political life in Harlow.
YH Prediction: Labour gain.
Mark Gough UK Independence Party
Michael Hardware Conservative
Laura McAlpine Labour
Popularity: 1% [?]