Friday, 4 July 2014

Local by-election results (02/07/14 and 03/07/14) and other thoughts

Several by-elections, including a particularly important deferred ward election in Tower Hamlets, took place on Wednesday and Thursday this week. The results of the local by-elections which feature Green candidates were as follows:

Craven DC, Skipton West: Labour 185 (24.0%), Lib Dem 143 (18.5%), Conservative 131 (17.0%), UKIP 126 (16.5%), Independent 120 (15.5%), Green 67 (8.7%).

North Yorkshire CC, Skipton West: Independent 391 (23.4%), Conservative 355 (21.3%), Lib Dem 309 (18.5%), UKIP 238 (14.3%), Green 194 (11.4%), Labour 181 (10.9%).

Colchester BC, Wivenhoe Quay: Labour 857 (46.7%), Conservative 629 (34.3%), UKIP 129 (7.0%), Lib Dem 127 (6.9%), Green 90 (4.9%), Patriotic Socialist 2 (0.1%).

Northamptonshire CC, Brixworth: Conservative 1297 (55.4%), UKIP 500 (21.3%), Labour901  248 (10.6%), Green 228 (9.7%), Lib Dem 69 (2.9%).

Cheltenham BC, Charlton Park (deferred election): Lib Dem 861 (45.9%), Conservative 767 (40.9%), UKIP 154 (8.2%), Green 46 (2.5%), Labour 46 (2.5%).

Tower Hamlets LBC, Blackwall and Cubitt Town (deferred election, average votes of candidates): Labour 901 (31.8%), Conservative 818 (28.9%), Tower Hamlets First (25.7%), UKIP 206 (7.3%), Green 94 (3.3%), Lib Dem 65 (2.3%), TUSC 11 (0.4%), Independent 11 (0.4%). Two Labour councillors and one Conservative councillor were elected.

Most of yesterday's by-election show more woe for the Liberal Democrats,particularly in the market town of Skipton, which has been one of their local strongholds for a long time now. Both the Skipton results also produced two of the most farcical and undemocratic of FPTP results on record- each one produced a result that could be classified as a six-way marginal, and the winning candidates each received less than 25% of the votes cast-and of people who actually bother to vote in local by-elections. I am in particular disappointed we slipped back in Skipton and Colchester, and only tied with Labour in that Cheltenham deferred election (Cheltenham is one of the worst local areas for Labour in the UK), although a swing from Labour to us in Brixworth, Northamptonshire, which is in one of our weaker regions, the East Midlands, is rather promising.

In particular, I feel it is unfortunate that Tower Hamlets First (given that the Greens had no realistic chance of winning Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward) did not win any seats in that deferred election-those 3 extra seats would have made them the largest party on Tower Hamlets Council and given a real credibility boost to Lutfur Rahman's administration. However, had Labour won all 3 seats in that ward (which they failed to do), Labour would have control of Tower Hamlets council by one seat, and would then use this position to undermine Lutfur Rahman's work as much as possible in the same way they undermined Peter Davies' administration in Doncaster from 2009 to 2013 when Peter Davies was mayor there.

On another note, large numbers of activists with disabilities from across Britain are coming to an Independent Living Fund teaparty near the DWP headquarters in London, to gather support to stop the closure of the ILF, which has been a lifeline to many people with disabilities in Britain, especially those people who have severe disabillities. Unfortunately, due to limited funds and living outside of Greater London, I cannot join them today, but I would like to say I am there in spirit and solidarity and wish them the best of luck. I hope (rather optimistically,I admit) the police will not harass their tea party in the same way they brutally repressed Disabled People Against Cuts activists near Westminster Abbey last weekend for no good reason. We are just peaceful activists wanting fair treatment, a better life, and support so we can actually lead useful lives-we do not deserve to be kettled, denied important medication, or verbally or physically abused by state-sponsored thugs (aka the Metropolitan Police)!




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