Socialist slippage

Marilyn Leach is remarkably complacent in her satisfaction with regard to the showing of the Labour Party in the recent local elections in the north-east (Letters, 5 June). As one of many examples of the steep decline in the Labour vote in this most loyal of "socialist" areas of the UK, I can mention a ward I contested on behalf of the Conservatives in the May elections in Sunderland: the result saw the Labour candidate poll 815 votes, enabling him to secure a winning majority of 353. In 1994, the Labour candidate in the same ward polled 1,916 votes and had a majority of 1,628. That we are three years into a (supposedly popular) Labour government is nowhere near a satisfactory explanation of these statistics.

Michael Dixon
Sunderland, Tyne and Wear