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Harry Hayfield’s PB local elections special

April 4th, 2013

Humberston and New Waltham on North East Lincolnshire (Con Defence)

Last Local Election (2012): Lab 25, Con 12, Lib Dem 4, UKIP 1 (Labour majority of eight)

Results of last electoral cycle in ward (2010 – 2012)

Party

2010 Votes

2010 Share

2011 Votes

2011 Share

2012 Votes

2012 Share

Con

2,317

39%

1,327

38%

1,231

44%

Lab

1,138

19%

756

22%

596

21%

Lib Dem

1,852

31%

136

4%

   

Ind

183

3%

616

18%

   

UKIP

494

8%

663

19%

1,001

35%

Candidates duly nominated: Harry Hall (Conservative)Stephen Harness (UKIP)Ashley Smith (Labour), Stephen Stead (Liberal Democrats) 

North East Lincolnshire was one of the unitary authorities established following the abolition of the generally not liked Humberside County Council (which still lends it’s name to the electoral region for the European Elections) and over the years has reflected the national political mood quite nicely. Between 2003 and 2008, the council was a classic Conservative / Liberal Democrat battleground as Labour’s popularity waned whilst still remaining in a situation of No Overall Control. In 2003, the Conservatives were six short of an overall majority, but by 2008 the Liberal Democrats were only two short of an overall majority. However in 2010 (held on the same day as the general election) Labour mounted their attack gaining six seats (five of which came from the Liberal Democrats) and the die was cast. The 2011 elections marked a sea change in the politics of North East Lincolnshire as Labour became the largest party (gaining nine seats) for the first time since 2003 and so it was only inevitable that Labour gained overall control in 2012 (with another six gains) thus completing a remarkably turnaround from being on the verge of losing all political influence on North East Lincolnshire (when they won only four seats in 2008) to an overall majority of eight in 2012. However in this ward it is not Labour that are the main challengers it’s UKIP (and as we have seen before UKIP can, and do, spring surprises on all concerned)

Pemberton on Wigan (Lab Defence)

Last Local Election (2012): Lab 63, Others 9, Lib Dem 2, Con 1 (Labour majority of 51)

Results of last electoral cycle in ward (2010 – 2012)

Party

2010 Votes

2010 Share

2011 Votes

2011 Share

2012 Votes

2012 Share

Con

617

13%

360

14%

205

8%

Lab

3,219

66%

1,864

72%

1,996

80%

BNP

596

12%

       

Others

451

9%

377

14%

291

12%

Candidates duly nominated: Jonathan Cartwright (Conservative), Peter Franzen (Community Action Party), Alan Freeman (UKIP), Sam Murphy (Labour), Dennis Shambley (British National Party)  

It may sound impossible but Labour have come close to losing control of Wigan not once, but twice in the last decade. The first instance was in 2004 when Labour lost 18 seats across the board to Lib Dem, Con and local Independents), although they managed to recover some of those losses in 2006 and 2007, in 2008 they lost them all again going back to where they had started. However as in all other parts of the country Labour are now firmly in command but as we saw in Lewisham last week, that means that a small local party that might not appear in any poll can say “We think that you’re getting too big for your boots!” and whilst I think it is unlikely that Labour will lose this ward, expect the local Independents to be the one cheering the result whatever it is.

Bilborough on Nottingham (Lab Defence), Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey on Nottingham (Lab Defence)

Last Local Election (2011): Lab 50, Con 5 (Labour majority of 45)

Last Local Election Results (2011)

Party

Bilborough

% Share

Wollaton E

% Share

Con

2,367

22%

1,081

24%

Lab

7,268

67%

1,923

43%

Lib Dem

421

4%

1,307

29%

UKIP

   

133

3%

BNP

760

7%

   

Candidates duly nominated (Bilborough): David Bishop (Elvis Loves Pets), Katharina Boettge (Green), John Calvert (Liberal Democrats), Ian Culley (Conservative), Irenea Marriott (UKIP), Wendy Smith (Labour)

Candidates duly nominated (Wollaton East): Jeanna Parton (Conservative), Tony Sutton (Liberal Democrats), Andrew Taylor (UKIP), Sarn Webster (Labour)  

Nottingham has three parliamentary constituencies which has shown the ebb and flow of both the Conservatives and Labour over the years. Bilborough in Nottingham North constituency started off in the first term of the Thatcher administration with a Labour MP but as the Alliance came to the fore in 1983, a certain Richard Ottoway was elected as the Conservative MP (but only by 362 votes) so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that just four years later he was defeated as Labour retook the seat and saw their majority steadily increase from less than 2,000 in 1987 to it’s peak of 18,000 a decade later and whilst still a solid Labour seat today with a majority of just over 8,000, it is interesting to note that Labour’s vote at the last election of nearly 17,000 is some five thousand less than when they gained the seat in 1987. However, Wollaton East in Nottingham South constituency, has been far more volatile. Electing a Conservative MP at both the 1983 and 1987 elections, it was only 1992 when Labour gained the seat (and completed it’s domination of Nottingham at the Westminster level), but ever since Election 1992, there has been a slow and steady drop in the Labour vote making the seat more vulnerable to the Conservatives at each election. A ten thousand majority in 2001 became a seven thousand majority in 2005 and at the last election Labour just scraped home by less than 2,000. All of which means that for the electors of Wollaton East anyone has a chance of winning as it’s an area with a track record of changes.

Prescot East on Knowsley (Lab Defence), Prescot West on Knowsley (Lab Defence), St. Michael’s on Knowsley (Lab Defence)

Last Local Election (2012): Labour majority of 63, no opposition  

Results of last electoral cycle in ward (2010 – 2012)

Prescot East

Party

2010 Votes

2010 Share

2011 Votes

2011 Share

2012 Votes

2012 Share

Con

283

9%

118

7%

51

3%

Lab

1,638

54%

1,110

61%

976

64%

Lib Dem

1,102

36%

588

32%

505

33%

Candidates duly nominated: Adam Butler (Conservative), Carl Cashman (Liberal Democrats), Steff O’Keeffe (Labour)

Prescot West

Party

2010 Votes

2010 Share

2011 Votes

2011 Share

2012 Votes

2012 Share

Con

   

187

9%

101

6%

Lab

1,683

52%

912

45%

819

47%

Lib Dem

1,585

48%

729

36%

667

38%

Others

195

10%

172

10%

Candidates duly nominated: Robert Avery (Conservative), Robert Mbanu (Green), Lynn O’Keeffe (Labour), Ian Smith (Liberal Democrats), Stephen Whatham (Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition)

St. Michael’s

Party

2010 Votes

2010 Share

2011 Votes

2011 Share

2012 Votes

2012 Share

Lab

2,343

78%

1,696

91%

1,497

93%

Lib Dem

657

22%

165

9%

116

7%

Candidates duly nominated: Mike Currie (Liberal Democrats), David Dunne (Conservatives), Vickie Lamb (Labour)  

There are very few councils in the United Kingdom that do not have an opposition, in fact it’s incredibly rare. In all the local elections since 2003 held in the UK, it has only happened in Barking and Dagenham, Newham in 2010 and Knowsley in 2012 (and interestingly always for Labour) as there has never been a Conservative or Liberal Democrat non opposition council. I should of course point out that Orkney (since 2003) and Shetland (since 2007) along with the Isles of Scilly have an Independent non opposition council, but there are local circumstances there. However, for Labour in Knowsley this poses a danger and it is a danger we have seen before in councils with little or no opposition and that is a small local grouping deciding “Right, the main stream politicos have failed. We’ll take up the slack”. This is precisely what happened in 2006 when not only did Respect win three seats on Newham council but so did the Christian People’s Alliance. They lost their seats in 2010 but managed to poll a very respectable 3% in West Ham constitueny (formerly known as Newham North West), so is there a party that could do similarly well in Knowsley? Yes and like other places where the other mainstream parties have failed to provide opposition to Labour it’s the local Independents (usually called a resident’s or community party).