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Football First or Political Priorities? Andy Higgins loses out in Blackpool South
Friday, 8th May 2015 15:19 by Editor

As Ed Milliband seeks solace in a bacon sandwich, Nick Clegg looks over his divorce papers from David Cameron and Nigel Farage heads down to the pub, there was one result on Thursday night which won't have got any recognition nationally but locally made for a good story. Andy Higgins was standing as an Independent with the slogan: ‘Promoting Blackpool – Put Football First’.

In the end he picked up a very creditable 655 votes (Comedian and Pub Landlord Al Murray only won 318 in Thanet) which was in the same order that the Greens and the Liberal democrats polled. Andy's manifesto was a simple one. The objective is to raise awareness of the plight of the football club, hold its owners to account and emphasize the need for greater community / supporter involvement at every level. Along with his campaign came this video:

Of course Andy had much against him in Blackpool South. For a start the majority would have had no interest in Blackpool FC, the town, the football or even registering to vote. As a football team our fanbase comes from far and wide and that area of the town would only have a small percentage of them living there. However some have said that the result was disappointing. Comments reacting to the result included "Looks like the good people of Blackpool South bottled it. Every Blackpool fan in that area should have voted for Andy and they haven't done. More apathy I'm afraid" and At face value 655 votes looks a poor effort from the Blackpool South public and more specifically BFC fans. There are clearly more than 655 people in Blackpool South who support and care about BFC. Where were they? Where did their votes go? Questions which I think need answers.

It's interesting that questions have been asked about Blackpool fans commitment to protests, boycotts and spending money at the club and so is this another example of Seasiders supporters not willing to fight for their club. Whilst passion and dedication to the cause is commendable, maybe it's time to accept that Blackpool FC for most is an 'enjoyable' pastime, a chance to get away from the everyday life which politics has a more significant role in and to meet up with mates and let off some steam for two hours? Whilst Billy Shankly once said "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that." maybe it's time to accept to the majority it really isn't any more important than that?

The full result for Blackpool South:

Gordon Marsen (Labour) 13,548
Peter Anthony (Conservatives) 10,963
Peter Wood (UKIP) 5,613
Duncan Royle (Green) 841
Bill Greene (Lib Dems) 743
Andy Higgins (Independent) 655
Lawrence Chard (Independent) 73

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Mr_Brightside added 15:41 - May 8
Not in Blackpool South but whilst supporting Andy's effort am not sure he would have got my vote. When you look at what the winner got surely it was just a protest and no one really expected he would win the seat. Would much sooner vote on someone who will affect me and my family than who puts football first (again - no disrespect!)

JesusIsATangerine added 18:11 - May 8
Would have put an X next to his name if it was on the yellow "local" card where we had two choices, unfortunately I was only able to place one X on the local card as I wasn't voting for any of the others :( Good effort Andy, and sorry I couldn't cast my vote your way in the General Election, although I did spend some time in that booth hovering between you and the other choice I had! UTP, OO!

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