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ObserverIE
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« Reply #75 on: March 07, 2012, 11:20:26 am »
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« Reply #76 on: March 07, 2012, 11:33:48 am »
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"Perhaps because of this, and Slough’s working-class nature, the town gets a bad press."

The main reason is location. Poor neighborhoods very near very rich people who don't dare go to them always have a wholly exaggerated reputation.

EDIT: Wait; why is Chowdhry standing if he already is a Councillor? What the hell?
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I may conceivably reconsider.

Knowing me it's more likely than not.
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« Reply #77 on: March 07, 2012, 06:00:21 pm »
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EDIT: Wait; why is Chowdhry standing if he already is a Councillor? What the hell?

Probably because he doesn't think he can get re-elected in Central ward in May. 

---

For the three by-elections on 8th March we travel to three of England's towns that begin with S.  There are polls in a safe Labour ward in Slough, a safe Conservative ward in Sittingbourne, and a Conservative/Labour marginal in Stafford.

BAYLIS AND STOKE, Slough Council; caused by the disqualification of Labour councillor Azhar Qureshi, who did not attend any meetings of the council in six months.  He had been taken ill while on holiday in Pakistan and was unable to return to the UK on doctors' advice.

Travel west out of London on the M4 motorway or the Great Western main line, and Slough is the first town you reach.  It's a very atypical town for the south of England, as its economy for many years was based on manufacturing; this really took off in the 1920s with the development of the Slough Trading Estate, which insulated the town from the Great Depression and attracted an enormous number of immigrants from all over the world.  Today the factories are dying off and being replaced by office buildings for multinational companies, attracted by the town's good transport links and closeness to Heathrow Airport.

Perhaps because of this and Slough's working-class nature, the town gets a bad press.  The neighbouring town of Windsor, on the other side of the River Thames, has for years been lobbying Royal Mail to take it out of the Slough postcode area, with a complete lack of success.  Most outsiders know Slough for two things: the Ricky Gervais 'comedy' The Office, which was set in the town, and John Betjeman's 1937 poem ("Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough! It isn't fit for humans now").

Baylis and Stoke ward is a residential area north-west of the town centre and west of Stoke Poges Lane, running from the railway line in the south to the borough boundary (which is closely drawn around the built-up area) to the north.  The 2001 census found that the ward was majority Asian (Pakistani 31.5% and Indian 18.8% to White British 34.9%); 32.7% gave their religion as Christian compared to 31.6% Muslim and 12.7% Sikh.

Slough council politics became a bit fractured in the Noughties with a galaxy of different Independent groups, but this now appears to be settling down and Labour have a large majority on the council.  Baylis and Stoke ward was created in 2004 out of two previous safe Labour wards, Baylis and Stoke, but was won at its first contest by the Liberal Democrats.  Labour took the three Lib Dem seats back between 2006 and 2008, but it took until 2011 for the Lib Dem vote to collapse, almost entirely in Labour's favour with Labour polling over 80% last year.

The list of candidates is a strange one.  Labour have nominated local bank manager Mohammed Nazir, Ivan Dukes is the representative of the council's bickering independents and UKIP are standing here for the first time in the form of Allan Deverill.   Interestingly there are no Conservative or Lib Dem candidates; even more interestingly at the top of the ballot paper appears the current Central ward councillor Pervez Choudhry.  Choudhry gained Central ward for Labour from the Conservatives in 2008, then defected to the Conservatives and became group leader, then had the Conservative whip suspended after being charged with bigamy.  Not that this should stop Nazir easily holding the ward for Labour.

Pervez Choudhury (Ind)
Allan Deverill (UKIP)
Ivan Dukes (Ind)
Mohammed Nazir (Lab)

May 2011 result Lab 2351 C 349 LD 225
May 2010 result Lab 2071 LD 1082 C 1052
May 2008 result Lab 1413 LD 1222
May 2007 result Lab 1359 LD 965 C 282
May 2006 result Lab 1189 LD 838 C 481 Respect 202 Slough Ind 79
June 2004 result LD 1348/1188/1187 Lab 1034/975/958 C 300/271

Parliamentary constituency: Slough


KEMSLEY, Swale District Council, Kent; caused by the death of Conservative councillor Brenda Simpson.

The UK has quite a few planned villages which were built by indstrialists to serve workers at their mills.  New Lanark in Scotland, Saltaire in Shipley, Bourneville in Birmingham and Port Sunlight on the Wirral are the most famous; close to me is the lesser-known planned village of Barrow Bridge, now on the edge of Bolton.  But until writing this preview I hadn't been aware of Kemsley as a place that falls into this category.

In 1924 Frank Lloyd, a paper magnate who already owned a successful mill in Sittingbourne, developed a new paper mill on the Kentish marshes at Kemsley, and in order to house its workers he developed a garden village.  Sittingbourne Paper Mill closed a few years ago, but the Kemsley Mill is still going strong; it the UK's largest recycler of waste paper and one of Europe's largest paper mills. 

There was once a narrow-gauge railway connecting the two mills to docks at Ridham on the Swale, part of which is now preserved as the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway; at the other end of the village Kemsley has a main-line railway station on the Sheerness branch (two trains per hour to Sheerness and Sittingbourne, change at Sittingbourne for London).

Today Kemsley is a suburb of Sittingbourne, the gap between them having been filled in recent years with the construction of the private Church Milton estate, which also transformed the ward from traditional Labour (thanks to the paper mill workers) to safe Conservative.  Brenda Simpson was first elected for the ward in 1988 and had represented it ever since.

The three main parties plus UKIP are on the ballot paper.  The Conservative candidate is Mike Whiting, who is a county councillor for the local division of Swale Central.  Labour have selected Richard Raycraft; the Lib Dem candidate is former district councillor Berick Tomes, while former Tory campaigner Derek Carnell is standing for UKIP.

Derek Carnell (UKIP)
Richard Raycraft (Lab)
Berick Tomes (LD)
Mike Whiting (C)

May 2011 result C 830/797 Lab 461/397 UKIP 230 LD 132
May 2010 result C 1743 Lab 766 LD 616
May 2008 result C 855 Lab 296 LD 153
May 2006 result C 722 Lab 268 LD 180
June 2004 result C 531 UKIP 232 Lab 184 LD 114
May 2002 result C 572/464 Lab 207/157 LD 185

Kent County Council division: Swale Central
Parliamentary constituency: Sittingbourne and Sheppey


ROWLEY, Stafford District Council; caused by the death of Conservative councillor David Allan at the age of 65.  Before becoming a councillor he had served in the Royal Air Force for 31 years and rose to the rank of Squadron Leader.

Rowley ward covers western parts of the town of Stafford.  Running south-west from the Brutalist railway station along the Newport Road, it includes the gentrifying former railway workers' estate of Castletown and runs across open country to the ruined Stafford Castle, a landmark next to the M6 motorway.  However, the ward is named after Rowley Park, a middle-class residential area located around the eponymous park and the private Rowley Hall Hospital.

With the ward mostly having prosperous demographics, you might assume that this would be a safe Conservative ward.  Indeed the ward has returned two Conservative councillors at every election since 2003, but only in 2007 could it be described as safe: the 2003 election had Conservative majorities of 23 and 9 votes, and the majorities at the 2011 election were 109 and 24 votes.  This will gave Labour hope that they can gain a seat here in the by-election.

Both main parties have selected candidates with experience in healthcare: Vi Allen for the Conservatives is a former nurse who now works as a chiropodist, and is also (I now find out) David Allan's widow, while Labour's Anne Hobbs is described as a nurse health visitor.  The Lib Dems are sitting out the by-election after polling dismally last year.  The Greens have selected their regular candidate here Kate Harding, while UKIP have gone for Malcolm Hurst.

Violet Allan (C)
Kate Harding (Grn)
Anne Hobbs (Lab)
Malcolm Hurst (UKIP)

May 2011 result C 868/783 Lab 759/711 Grn 222 LD 146
May 2007 result C 831/801 Lab 552/529 Grn 287
May 2003 result C 662/648 Lab 639/552 LD 231 UKIP 145

Staffordshire County Council division: Stafford Central (Castlefields), Stafford West (Rowley Park)
Parliamentary constituency: Stafford
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http://www.andrewteale.me.uk/leap - UK local election results since 2002.



There cannot have been a by-election here, as I didn't see an Andrew Teale writeup on it. Or else that by-election's validity should be challenged on the grounds that it was held without Andrew's written approval
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« Reply #78 on: March 07, 2012, 07:41:48 pm »
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It seems both Slough and Swale were decade highs (Labour) and lows (Liberals) last year - be interesting to see whether they'll be repeated tomorrow?
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« Reply #79 on: March 08, 2012, 07:25:12 pm »
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Swale, Kemsley

Con 33.7 (-16.5)
Lab 27.3 (-0.6)
UKIP 24.5 (+10.6)
Lib Dem 14.5 (+6.5)

Stafford, Rowley

Lab 48.1 (+10.1)
Con 41.9 (-1.6)
Green 5.2 (-5.9)
UKIP 4.7 (+4.7)

Slough, Baylis and Stoke

Lab 58.7 (-21.7)
Ind (Choudhury) 34.5 (+34.5)
UKIP 3.7 (+3.7)
Ind (Dukes) 3.1 (+3.1)

(Courtesy of Britain Votes)
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« Reply #80 on: March 08, 2012, 09:39:35 pm »

Nice result in Stafford. Kemsley result is certainly... er... interesting.
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« Reply #81 on: March 14, 2012, 01:03:40 pm »
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There are seven by-elections on 15 March 2012, possibly the busiest remaining day for local by-elections before the main local elections in May.  Three wards in the Essex town of Braintree will go to the polls, as will an industrial Tory Nottingham suburb, a safe Lib Dem Portsmouth suburb and a rural ward on the Yorkshire coast which elected a Green councillor last year.

BRAINTREE EAST, BRAINTREE SOUTH, and GREAT NOTLEY AND BRAINTREE WEST, Braintree district council, Essex; caused by the resignations of Conservative councillors David Messer, Stephen Sandbrook and Claire Sandbrook respectively.  All three former councillors have moved away from the area.

Braintree appears to be one of the more determinedly obscure towns in southern England.  It can be found in the rural northern half of Essex, about eleven miles north of the county town, Chelmsford.  The town was originally Roman and is located at the junction of two Roman roads, but it became prosperous in mediaeval times by weaving wool, turning to silk during the Industrial Revolution; the main silk mill here was run by Samuel Courtauld, whose descendants founded the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.  Probably the main reason for outsiders to visit is the designer outlet village of Braintree Freeport.

Today Braintree has boomed with overspill from Chelmsford and London (the town and the Freeport have stations on a single-track branch off the Great Eastern Main Line; there are hourly trains to Liverpool Street, change at Witham on Sundays).  To accommodate the incomers, much new housing has been built, including the modern private garden village of Great Notley to the south-west of the town, which declared independence in 2000 and became a civil parish of its own.

Braintree is in a rural area but this doesn't necessarily translate to strong Tory votes.  The area has had Labour MPs in the past, most famously Tom Driberg in the 1940s and 1950s, when this area was part of the Maldon constituency; more recently Braintree elected a Labour MP in 1997 and (narrowly) in 2001.

Indeed Braintree town is one of the more politically marginal areas.  Braintree East ward (which contains some very deprived parts as well as the Freeport) was fairly safe Labour in 2003, but the Conservatives gained one of the Labour seats in 2007 and held on to it in a June 2008 by-election.  Last May's election again produced a 2Lab/1C split in what was effectively a photo-finish between the top candidates.

Braintree South ward is more socially mixed and consistently marginal.  In 2003 it elected two Labour councillors and one Lib Dem, who stood alone, Labour topping the poll.  The Conservatives got in on the act in 2007, gaining a seat from Labour and making the ward a three-way LD/C/Lab split, the Lib Dems topping the poll.  The Conservatives held a by-election here in June 2010.  The Lib Dem councillor retired in 2011 and the Conservatives gained the Lib Dem seat and finished top of the poll to make the ward 2C/1Lab.

Great Notley and Braintree West ward, however, is safe Conservative as befits the fact that it's almost entirely a private middle-class estate.  At every election here since 2003 the Conservative majority has increased.

The candidate list shows that there are no Lib Dem candidates in any of the three wards, as in 2011; however, in Braintree East former Lib Dem candidate Paul Lemon is standing as an independent.  In that ward Labour are standing Eric Lynch, who lost his seat here last year, while the defending Conservative candidate is chartered engineer and technologist Stephen Nimmons, who fought the Green Party stronghold of Bradwell, Silver End and Rivenhall ward last year.  The Green Party's candidate is Wendy Partridge, who stood here last year, and Phil Palij is standing for UKIP.

Braintree South has the shortest ballot paper with just three candidates.  Abi Olumbori, who won the 2010 by-election here but unsuccessfully fought last May's election in Bocking South ward, is standing again for the Conservatives.  Labour (Martin Green) and the Green Party (Timothy Reeve) have selected candidates who fought Braintree South last year.

Finally, the Conservative candidate in Great Notley and Braintree West is Frankie Ricci, who is up against three candidates who were unsuccessful in other wards last year: Juliet Walton for Labour, Lynne Maynard for the Greens and Gordon Helm for UKIP.

Braintree East
Paul Lemon (Ind)
Eric Lynch (Lab)
Stephen Nimmons (C)
Phil Palij (UKIP)
Wendy Partridge (Grn)

May 2011 result Lab 762/756/710 C 759/691/668 Grn 297
June 2008 by-election C 668 Lab 406 Grn 125 LD 119
May 2007 result Lab 581/541/516 C 546/507/483 UKIP 266 LD 247/244
May 2003 result Lab 597/531/502 C 304 Ind 254/228 LD 219/216

Braintree South
Martin Green (Lab)
Abi Olumbori (C)
Timothy Reeve (Grn)

May 2011 result C 844/806/605 Lab 780/711/709 Ind 408 Grn 291
June 2010 by-election C 351 Lab 316 LD 216 Ind 138 Grn 44
May 2007 result LD 673 C 607/529/498 Lab 582/518/474 Grn 259 EDP 247
May 2003 result Lab 611/563/520 LD 528 C 371/337 Grn 187

Great Notley and Braintree West
Gordon Helm (UKIP)
Lynne Maynard (Grn)
Frankie Ricci (C)
Juliet Walton (Lab)

May 2011 result C 1435/1418/1211 Lab 407/362/306 Grn 274
May 2007 result C 1158/1129/1010 LD 284 Ind 203 Lab 184/148/132
May 2003 result C 862/794/767 LD 341/316/304 Ind 192 Lab 168/158/141


CHILWELL AND TOTON, Nottinghamshire County Council, caused by the death of Conservative councillor Tom Pettengell; and TOTON AND CHILWELL MEADOWS, Broxtowe district council, Nottinghamshire, caused by the resignation of Conservative councillor Craig Cox.

We're in the Greater Nottingham area here, for Chilwell and Toton are two middle-class suburbs of Nottingham, located to the south-west of the city hard up against the Derbyshire border. 

The area's generally middle-class makeup rather belies a recent industrial past: Chilwell first became a major residential area during the First World War to serve a large military ordnance factory which filled the gap between Chilwell and Toton (and which blew up in 1918 killing 134 people), while Toton to the west grew up in the nineteenth century thanks to Toton Sidings, once Europe's largest railway marshalling yard, which received coal from the Nottinghamshire coalfield and sorted it for distribution across the UK.  The military still have a presence and the marshalling yards are still there, but both are now much reduced from their former glories.

The Nottinghamshire county council division of Chilwell and Toton includes the Broxtowe district wards of Toton and Chilwell Meadows at the western end, Chilwell West in the middle and Chilwell East at the eastern end.  Since 2005 all these areas have returned a full slate of Conservative district and county councillors, including a district council by-election in Toton and Chilwell Meadows in September 2009 which the Tories easily held.  The last non-Tory win here was in 2003 when Labour won one of the three district council seats in Chilwell West, which is more socially mixed than the other two wards.

The 2005 county council result in Chilwell and Toton was quite close between Labour and the Conservatives.  This was held on the same day as the 2005 general election, in which then Labour MP Nick Palmer held on to the local Broxtowe parliamentary constituency.  Palmer regularly posts on political/electoral internet forums, including turning up on Britain-Votes' live blog last Thursday night.

Labour made a recovery in the area in 2011; while they didn't win any seats the two Chilwell wards are now marginal, with Toton and Chilwell Meadows being safer for the Conservatives.  Across the three wards in 2011 the Conservatives beat Labour by 48% to 36%.

Despite this, Labour are not going to be gaining a seat in the county by-election for the simple reason that they haven't nominated a candidate.  The Tories have selected local doctor John Doddy to replace Tom Pettengell, a former chairman of the county council; he will face competition from Lib Dem David Watts, a district councillor representing Bramcote ward, and UKIP candidate Lee Waters.

Issues in the district by-election include plans for 800 new homes in the ward and cuts to Toton's bus service.  The Tory candidate is Halimah Khaled, a charity worker and mother of 3 grown up children.  Her main opponent is Jane Marshall for Labour, who was 33 votes away from winning a seat in Chilwell East ward last year; also standing are Barbara Carr for the Lib Dems and UKIPper Keith Marriott.

Chilwell and Toton
John Doddy (C)
Lee Waters (UKIP)
David Watts (LD)

June 2009 result C 3388/3356 Lab 1442/1135 LD 1076/998 UKIP 786 Grn 658/500 BNP 546
May 2005 result C 3971/3920 Lab 3646/3160 LD 1653/1639 Grn 649

Toton and Chilwell Meadows
Barbara Carr (LD)
Halimah Khaled (C)
Keith Marriott (UKIP)
Jane Marshall (Lab)

May 2011 result C 1529/1491/1413 Lab 926/925/837 LD 377/334/304 UKIP 305
Sep 2009 by-election C 1081 LD 474 Lab 296 BNP 58
May 2007 result C 1394/1315/1301 LD 725/719/669 Lab 411/402/387 BNP 205 UKIP 149
May 2003 result C 1183/1126/1118 Lab 504/490/452 LD 446/358
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http://www.andrewteale.me.uk/leap - UK local election results since 2002.



There cannot have been a by-election here, as I didn't see an Andrew Teale writeup on it. Or else that by-election's validity should be challenged on the grounds that it was held without Andrew's written approval
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« Reply #82 on: March 14, 2012, 01:04:50 pm »
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[Part II]

HERTFORD, Scarborough district council, North Yorkshire; caused by the resignation of Green Party councillor Nick Harvey, apparently out of frustration that he was being ignored by council chiefs.

Scarborough is one of those councils where the ward names don't necessarily give you any clue as to where within the district they are.  This is certainly true of Hertford ward, which in fact is a rural ward covering the area to the south and west of Filey. It is named after the River Hertford which here flows away from the sea along the ward's northern boundary into the Vale of Pickering.

The largest settlement within the ward is the village of Hunmanby, one of several places which claim to be England's largest village, which has a railway station on the Yorkshire Coast line (nine trains per day to Hull and Scarbrorough, six trains per day on Sundays); other settlements within the ward include Folkton and Muston on the Filey-Malton road, Reighton on the Filey-Bridlington road, and the Filey holiday camp, which was once Butlins' premier resort but is now operated as a caravan park by the Haven group.

Hertford ward has a rather high councillor attrition rate, this being the third by-election here in six years.  The Conservatives won both seats in 2003, the second seat by just fifteen votes over the Lib Dem candidate, won a bizarre by-election in November 2006 which was a straight fight with the BNP, and held both seats in 2007.  Then in August 2009 Nick Harvey won a by-election for the Green Party with a huge share of the vote, and he was re-elected at the top of the poll last year, the Conservatives winning the other seat.

The by-election campaign appears to have one overriding issue: the closure of Hunmanby library by North Yorkshire county council, despite (according to the current edition of Private Eye magazine) 25 local people being prepared to volunteer to run it.  There is also controversy over a proposed wind farm in the area.

The Greens have not nominated anyone to replace Harvey, so the Conservatives would appear to be well-placed to take the seat back; the Tories have selected a strong candidate, Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff who is the chairman of Hunmanby parish council (and stood as the Lib Dem candidate here in 2007).  The other three candidates are all based in Scarborough: Vanda Inman is standing for Labour, Bob Jackman for the Lib Dems, and Michael James is the ward's first UKIP candidate.

Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff (C)
Vanda Inman (Lab)
Bob Jackman (LD)
Michael James (UKIP)

May 2011 result Grn 1192 C 902/444 Lab 287
Aug 2009 by-election Grn 894 C 356 Ind 94
May 2007 result C 732/709 LD 591 Grn 508 BNP 212
Nov 2006 by-election C 736 BNP 267
May 2003 result C 700/586 LD 571


PORTCHESTER EAST, Fareham borough council, Hampshire; caused by the resignation of Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Brown just before he was to be disqualified for not attending any council meetings in six months.

Like Braintree above, Portchester is a Roman town, located on the northern bank of Portsmouth Harbour between the city of Portsmouth and the town of Fareham.  Unlike Braintree, there are major Roman remains here: the Roman fort of Portus Adurni built to protect the harbour is described as the best-preserved Roman fort north of the Alps, largely because it was so strong that when the Romans left it became an Anglo-Saxon stronghold, then a Norman castle, and ended its useful days as a prison during the Napoleonic wars.  The town of Portchester, which grew up around the fort, was never incorporated into Portsmouth and is now the eastern end of Fareham district; essentially it's a middle-class Portsmouth suburb.

Fareham is one of that handful of councils which have elections by halves, in which half the council is up for election every two years.  The relevant boundary commission mostly ensured that those councils had a uniform pattern of two-member wards, but failed to do so with Portchester East which ended up as a three-member ward.  This means that Portchester East alternates between electing one and two councillors at each election, an electoral cycle it shares with just one other ward in the entire country.

Not that this affects things much politically - Portchester East is a safe Lib Dem ward with the Conservatives running a distant second, although admittedly the last local election here was in 2010 so the effect of the Coalition has not been tested in Portchester yet. 

There are a few articles about the campaign on the local newspaper website portsmouth.co.uk, although as usual the online comments on the articles generate more heat than light.  Issues which have come up include the possible introduction of charging for public car parks in Portchester (with all five candidates coming out against) and whether the sea defences are adequate.

One interesting aspect of the candidate list is that the Lib Dems have selected Geoff Fazackarley, who was one of the Tory candidates here in 2010.  The Conservatives have gone for Alison Walker, daughter of Portchester West councillor Nick Walker.  The Labour candidate is Richard Ryan, who in the dim and distant past was a district and county councillor for the area and still regularly stands here.  The ballot paper is completed by Green Party and independent candidates John Vivian and Manny Martins.

Geoff Fazackarley (LD)
Manny Martins (Ind)
Richard Ryan (Lab)
John Vivian (Grn)
Alison Walker (C)

May 2010 result LD 3554/3178 C 1929/1231 Lab 721/607
May 2008 result LD 1802 C 1055 Lab 326 BNP 323
May 2006 result LD 2394/2105 C 939/820 BNP 389 Lab 345/320
June 2004 result LD 1889 C 1190 Lab 501
May 2002 result LD 2222/1931/1921 C 732/709/644 Lab 688/616/530
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http://www.andrewteale.me.uk/leap - UK local election results since 2002.



There cannot have been a by-election here, as I didn't see an Andrew Teale writeup on it. Or else that by-election's validity should be challenged on the grounds that it was held without Andrew's written approval
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« Reply #83 on: March 14, 2012, 01:35:32 pm »
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Excellent summaries.  I was surprised to read that labour had a county councillor in the area and had to check back when that was - 1981 !
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« Reply #84 on: March 14, 2012, 09:22:14 pm »
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There was a by-election in the neighbouring ward of Fareham West in December 2010, with a 27% swing from Con to Lib and the small Labour vote further shrinking, but it remains to be seen how comparable that is.   
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« Reply #85 on: March 15, 2012, 03:27:28 am »
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IIRC in that case the LD candidate was also the ex-Tory candidate
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« Reply #86 on: March 15, 2012, 07:18:21 pm »
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Broxtowe, Toton and Chilwell Meadows

Con 47.6 (-1.1)
Lab 22.1 (-7.4)
Lib Dem 17.2 (+5.2)
UKIP 13.1 (+3.4)

Braintree, Braintree East

Lab 46.9 (+5.0)
Con 32.9 (-8.8 )
UKIP 11.1 (+11.1)
Green 6.4 (-9.9)
Ind 2.7 (+2.7)

Braintree, Braintree South

Lab 50.2 (+16.6)
Con 40.1 (+3.8 )
Green 9.8 (-2.7)

Braintree, Great Notley and Braintree West

Con 54.3 (-13.5)
Lab 23.7 (+4.5)
UKIP 15.8 (+15.8 )
Green 6.2 (-6.7)

Nottinghamshire, Chilwell and Toton

Con 48.8 (+5.9)
Lib Dem 34.2 (+20.6)
UKIP 17.0 (+7.0)

Fareham, Portchester East

Lib Dem 47.8 (-9.5)
Con 33.0 (+1.9)
Lab 12.7 (+1.1)
Green 3.5 (+3.5)
Ind 3.0 (+3.0)

Scarborough, Hertford

Con 60.5 (+22.6)
Lab 19.0 (+6.9)
UKIP 11.5 (+11.5)
Lib Dem 9.0 (+9.0)
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« Reply #87 on: March 16, 2012, 08:32:29 am »
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What is your source for the Hertford result?
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« Reply #88 on: March 16, 2012, 08:54:17 am »
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http://www.aldc.org/elections/by-election-results/page/1, presumably.
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« Reply #89 on: March 16, 2012, 09:09:19 am »
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The Independent website, actually

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/byelections-boost-for-labour-7575042.html
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« Reply #90 on: March 16, 2012, 09:13:38 am »
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Thanks. Been checking on the Scarborough borough council website all day - will I never learn?

I love the trite opening comment "Labour scored a double gain from Tories at Braintree District in
the heart of Essex man territory in the latest council by-elections." The heart of Essex man territory, otherwise known as Essex
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« Reply #91 on: March 16, 2012, 11:38:37 am »
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What a weird set of results!
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« Reply #92 on: March 17, 2012, 08:07:09 am »
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Thanks. Been checking on the Scarborough borough council website all day - will I never learn?

I love the trite opening comment "Labour scored a double gain from Tories at Braintree District in
the heart of Essex man territory in the latest council by-elections." The heart of Essex man territory, otherwise known as Essex

Well, the heart of "Essex Man" territory is Basildon
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« Reply #93 on: March 17, 2012, 09:57:07 am »
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Well quite - in as much as the cliches and stereotypes associated with the term 'Essex man' apply, it is to South Essex and Braintree is really the wrong side of Chelmsford to be considered part of that.  I was making an observation about the silly lazy journalism
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« Reply #94 on: March 17, 2012, 12:43:02 pm »

I think that would be an example of fighting a losing battle. But, yeah, much more East Anglian than Outer Metropolitan (or whatever term seems appropriate at any given moment).
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« Reply #95 on: March 17, 2012, 12:45:07 pm »
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"The Independent" is trite. That is its style.
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I may conceivably reconsider.

Knowing me it's more likely than not.
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« Reply #96 on: March 17, 2012, 01:01:59 pm »
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I suppose that Labour winning the parliamentary seat in 97 and 2001 counts it as "essex man" from their point of view. I thought your quote was from a Labour press release at first:D
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« Reply #97 on: March 17, 2012, 05:00:04 pm »
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"The Independent" is trite. That is its style.

I think, strictly speaking, it was Press Association copy.
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« Reply #98 on: March 22, 2012, 03:01:35 pm »
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It's all Southern England in an interesting set of four by-elections today.  The Lib Dems have a difficult defence from Labour in north-west London; there is a contest on the Essex seafront with a Residents Association defending; and the Conservatives are hoping to hold onto a Hertfordshire county seat where Labour will fancy their chances, and a very marginal ward in Devon where their councillor has resigned under rather a cloud.

DOLLIS HILL, Brent borough council, North London; caused by the death of Liberal Democrat councillor Dr Alec Castle.  Dr Castle, a former lecturer, was 66 years old; he had served as a Labour councillor in Brent from 1998 to 2002 and as a Liberal Democrat councillor since 2006.

A working-class tract of north-west London, Dollis Hill can be found to the south-west of the M1 terminus at Staples Corner, the ward being located south-west of the A5 and generally south-east of the A406 North Circular Road.  The ward has an interesting social makeup: the 2001 census found a White British population of just 25%, with Indians (16%) and Irish (13%) as the next-most-populous ethnic groups and about one-sixth of the population identifying themselves as black.  17% of the population gave their religion as Muslim and 15% as Hindu.  The entire ward is placed in the worse-off half of the deprivation indices.

The area is named after the Dollis Hill Estate, created in the early nineteenth century by the Finch family buying up several farms in the area and building Dollis Hill House, which in late Victorian times became the home of Lord Aberdeen and a haunt of famous people including Mark Twain and William Gladstone.  Lord Aberdeen moved out in 1897 after being appointed Governor-General of Canada, and the estate was then sold to Willesden urban district council who turned the land into Gladstone Park.  Unfortunately Dollis Hill House was demolished earlier this year after being severely damaged by fire in the 1990s.

The ward named after the estate (which confusingly does not include the Dollis Hill underground station) appears to be very politically volatile.  As recently as 2002 it was a safe Labour ward, with Labour polling 50% to 34% for the Conservatives and 9% for the Lib Dems.  Then in 2003 came along an event since which politics in the area has never been the same - the Brent East by-election which resulted in a Lib Dem gain from Labour by Sarah Teather.  At the time Dollis Hill ward was the northern end of the Brent East constituency (which was abolished in 2010).  The Lib Dems followed up in the 2006 Brent Council elections by gaining one of the three seats in the ward from Labour, and in 2010 the Lib Dems gained the other two seats to make it three out of three, although the ward remained marginal (the Lib Dem majorities were 108, 79 and 27 votes) - this at an election in which Labour regained overall control of Brent council.

This ward is still part of Sarah Teather's constituency (now Brent Central) and the by-election here will be the first post-Coalition test of the formidable Brent Lib Dem campaigning machine.  Given this and the fact that Ken Livingstone lives in the neighbouring Mapesbury ward, the 2008 GLA results are perhaps less useful here than they are in other parts of London; Ken beat Boris here by 49% to 29%, while the Conservatives narrowly beat the Lib Dems into third place (interestingly, Respect were best of the rest).

With the marginal nature of the ward much will depend on the candidates.  The defending Lib Dem candidate Alison Hopkins, described as 'local through and through' having lived in the area for 55 years, is campaigning against cuts to Brent council's library service and plans by neighbouring Barnet council to build a rubbish dump just outside the ward boundary.  For Labour, Parvez Ahmed, who owns a Bangladeshi restaurant in Kilburn, wants the speed limit reduced in residential streets.  Samer Ahmedali is the Conservative candidate; he lives in Harrow and is a manager at a Wembley supermarket.  The ballot paper is rounded off by retired college lecturer Pete Murry, standing for the Green Party.

Parliamentary constituency: Brent Central
GLA constituency: Brent and Harrow
ONS Travel to Work Area: London

Parvez Ahmed (Lab)
Samer Ahmedali (C)
Alison Hopkins (LD)
Pete Murry (Grn)

May 2010 result LD 1914/1885/1833 Lab 1806/1792/1705 C 878/804/649 Grn 203/179/161
May 2006 result Lab 1177/1052/1007 LD 1079/1042/1021 C 727/720/693 Grn 187
May 2002 result Lab 1188/1161/1124 C 801/741/737 LD 209/164/151 Grn 160
--
2008 GLA results (excludes postal voters)
Mayor: Ken 1426 Boris 851 Paddick 383 Grn 57 Chr 54 BNP 51 UKIP 23 Left 23 EDP 10 Winston McKenzie 7
2885
London list: Lab 1028 C 590 LD 566 Respect 136 Abolish Congestion Charge 132 Grn 130 BNP 100 Christian 98 UKIP 33 EDP 30 Left 14 Unity for Peace and Socialism 9 One London 8 Rathy Alagaratnam 6


ST BARTHOLOMEWS, Tendring district council, Essex; caused by the death of Holland-on-Sea Residents Association councillor Mary Bragg at the age of 76.

Another of those cases where ward and, in this case, district names are not very helpful.  The Tendring local government district is the north-eastern corner of Essex, basically everything beyond Colchester, with the seaside resort of Clacton-on-Sea and the port of Harwich being its largest towns.  St Bartholomews ward (named after a local church) covers the western part of Holland-on-Sea, an eastern suburb of Clacton. 

This ward is coastal retiree territory, with the 2001 census finding that the population of the ward had a median age of 61 (the median age of England as a whole is 37); perhaps because of this the ward is one of the better-off parts of Clacton according to the deprivation indices.  Not quite 'Frinton for the incontinent' as a famous Liverpool Street station graffito had it, but not far off either geographically or demographically.

Tendring local politics is rather weird, in that much of the opposition to the Conservative group (who gained overall control last year) comes from local residents' groups.  The residents fell back overall last year and Labour, who poll well in Harwich, are now the second largest group on the council, but the Holland-on-Sea Residents Association did buck this trend, greatly increasing their majority in St Bartholomews ward to turn it from a marginal into a safe ward, and also gaining from the Conservatives the other Holland-on-Sea ward (Haven ward).

The Residents Assocation have selected Chris Cowlin to defend the seat, while the Conservatives have picked the local county councillor Linda Mead who represents Clacton East division.  This time the by-election isn't a two-horse race as Labour have put nomination papers in for Keith Henderson, who completes the ballot paper.

Essex county council division: Clacton East
Parliamentary constituency: Clacton
ONS Travel to Work Area: Clacton

Chris Cowlin (Holland-on-Sea Res Assoc)
Keith Henderson (Lab)
Linda Mead (C)

May 2011 result Holland-on-Sea Res Assoc 1341/1278 C 527/428
May 2007 result Holland-on-Sea Res Assoc 908/853 C 783/778
May 2003 result Holland-on-Sea Res Assoc 737/673 C 640/624
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http://www.andrewteale.me.uk/leap - UK local election results since 2002.



There cannot have been a by-election here, as I didn't see an Andrew Teale writeup on it. Or else that by-election's validity should be challenged on the grounds that it was held without Andrew's written approval
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« Reply #99 on: March 22, 2012, 03:02:52 pm »
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TAVISTOCK NORTH, West Devon district council; caused by the resignation of 20-year-old Conservative councillor Darren Lake over inappropriate Facebook comments.

Tavistock, located twenty-five miles north of Plymouth, is the largest town in the sparsely-populated West Devon local government district.  Although known to the wider world almost solely as the birthplace of the Elizabethan admiral Sir Francis Drake, the town was already rich by Drake's time through a combination of religion (Tavistock Abbey), the cloth trade and tin-mining.  After the dissolution of the Abbey the dominant force in the town became the Dukes of Bedford who took over the abbey's land. 

Copper-mining became the major local industry by about 1800, earning the Dukes of Bedford so much money that they were able to comprehensively rebuild the town centre.  With such wealth eventually comes a major liability for death duties, and in 1911 the Bedford family had to sell most of their holdings in the town in order to meet them; the town council ended up with much of the property and as a result of these holdings is one of the richest parish councils in England.

Today Tavistock is a typical country market town with some Plymouth commuting and a significant tourist trade, drawn by its scenery, rural tranquility and the town's many independent shops.

The Tavistock North ward covers the part of the town north of the River Tavy, including much of the town centre, together with some rural scenery to the north, south and east (including a small part of the Dartmoor National Park).  Its past election results suggest that this is the sort of the area where the person matters almost as much as the party; the ward's three seats split 2C/1LD in both 2003 and 2007; the Lib Dems then gained a seat in a February 2008 by-election following the resignation (or possibly death; sources conflict) of one of the Conservative councillors.  The Conservatives did bounce back in 2011 to win all three seats, but the third Tory seat was gained with a majority of just one vote over a slate of independent candidates.

The poor Tory performance in the 2008 by-election, also held after a seat became vacant within a few months of election, does not give them much grounds for optimism this time round with the resigning councillor under somewhat of a cloud.  Nevertheless they have selected Colin Rogers, who has turned the town's old railway station into holiday accommodation (and got filmed by Channel 4 doing it).  Jeff Moody, one of the independent slate that came close to winning last year (he was 8 votes short), and Adam Bridgewater, who won the 2008 by-election for the Lib Dems, will probably provide the most testing opposition; also standing are Moira Brown for Labour (who stood in this ward last year), Andrew Mudge for UKIP and Daniel Worth, standing as an independent.

Parliamentary constituency: Torridge and West Devon
Devon county council division: Tavistock
ONS Travel to Work area: Plymouth

Adam Bridgewater (LD)
Moira Brown (Lab)
Jeff Moody (Ind)
Andrew Mudge (UKIP)
Colin Rogers (C)
Daniel Worth (Ind)

May 2011 result C 706/592/584 Ind 583/576/369 LD 490/406/248 Lab 367
February 2008 by-election LD 812 C 425 Grn 133
May 2007 result C 567/526/510 LD 543/404/339 Grn 312 UKIP 260/248/205
May 2003 result C 613/493/487 LD 501/470/406 Grn 292


WALTHAM CROSS, Hertfordshire County Council; caused by the death of Conservative councillor Terry Price.

(My thanks to Broxbourne councillor Richard Clemerson for help with this preview.  Cllr Clemerson has written an excellent series of Wikipedia articles on local elections in Broxbourne: see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hertfordshire_local_elections and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broxbourne_local_elections.)

This is the very south-eastern corner of Hertfordshire, located north of the M25 motorway (part of which here is in a tunnel) and west of the River Lea (or Lee; spellings differ).  Waltham Cross itself lies at the southern end of the ward; the cross the town is named after is one of the three surviving Eleanor Crosses, and marks the last resting place before London of Queen Eleanor's funeral procession from Lincoln to Westminster in 1290.

In modern times News International have opened a large printing works next to the motorway which prints copies of The Sun and The Times, while the marshes next to the Lea (or Lee) which cover the eastern part of the county division have been developed as the Lee Valley White Water Centre, which later this year will host the canoe slalom events at the London Olympics.  The white water centre and town are served by Waltham Cross railway station on the West Anglia Main Line (two trains per hour to Liverpool Street via Tottenham Hale plus one train per hour to Stratford); also in the division is Theobalds Grove railway station on the Southbury loop line (two trains per hour to Liverpool Street via Seven Sisters).

The Waltham Cross county division currently covers the Theobalds and Waltham Cross wards of the Broxbourne local government district (although this will no longer be the case from May when new district wards are introduced in Broxbourne).  Broxbourne is generally prosperous and a Conservative stronghold; however, this town is the exception that proves the rule, with much of the division having similar demographics to the grottier parts of the London borough of Enfield, which lies immediately to the south. 

The effect of this is that the Waltham Cross district ward has voted Labour at every election since 2006, although sometimes narrowly, where over the same period every other Broxbourne ward has voted Conservative at every election, often with very large majorities.  At the last two county elections Theobalds ward has outvoted Waltham Cross ward to ensure Conservative wins in the county division, narrowly in 2005 but handily in 2009.  In the 2011 Broxbourne Borough elections the combined vote in the Waltham Cross and Theobalds wards for the Conservatives was less than 90 votes ahead of Labour.

Defending for the Conservatives is Dee Hart, who is a district councillor in Rosedale ward in Cheshunt.  Malcolm Aitken, one of the district councillors for Waltham Cross ward, will be hoping to gain the division for Labour in the by-election.  Completing the ballot paper are Peter Huse of the Lib Dems, a regular candidate in Broxbourne elections since the 1980s, and Albert Nicolas of UKIP, standing here for the first time.

Parliamentary constituency: Broxbourne
Broxbourne district council wards: Theobalds, Waltham Cross
ONS Travel to Work area: London

Malcolm Aitken (Lab)
Dee Hart (C)
Peter Huse (LD)
Albert Nicolas (UKIP)

June 2009 result C 1476 Lab 955 BNP 615 LD 479
May 2005 result C 2317 Lab 2020 LD 662 BNP 454
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http://www.andrewteale.me.uk/leap - UK local election results since 2002.



There cannot have been a by-election here, as I didn't see an Andrew Teale writeup on it. Or else that by-election's validity should be challenged on the grounds that it was held without Andrew's written approval
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