A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Council By-Election Results

Slightly late posting today as I am recovering from polling day yesterday in Hackney's Stoke Newington Central Ward where I was Agent.

Stoke Newington Central Ward, LB Hackney. Lab hold. Lab 1162 (47.8%, +2.5), Green 783 (32.2%, +3.3), LD 297 (12.2%, -4.6), Con 169 (6.9%, -2.1), Communist 20 (0.8%, +0.8). Swing of 0.4% from Lab to Green since 2006.

Didsbury West Ward, Manchester City Council. LD hold. LD 1439 (55.6%, +8.4), Lab 638 (24.7%, +1.9), Con 336 (13%, -3.6), Green 173 (6.7%, -3.6). Swing of 3.3% from Lab to LD since 2008.

Fenham Ward, Newcastle-on-Tyne City Council. LD gain from Lab. LD 1049 (34%, -11.7), Lab 1025 (33.2%, -3.2), BNP 825 (26.7%, +17.7), Con 186 (6%, -2.9). Swing of 4.3% from LD to Lab since 2008.

Valentines Ward, LB Redbridge. LD gain from Lab. LD 963 (36.9%, +20.1), Con 781 (29.9%, +10.4), Lab 756 (28.3%, -0.9), Respect 112 (4.3%, +4.3). Swing of 4.9% from Con to LD since 2006. Strange numbers are result of an independent coming second in 2006 but not running this time. Apparently the LDs made Gaza a big issue in the campaign in a heavily Muslim area.

So a good night for the LDs except in Stoke Newington where we estimate they deliver 50,000 leaflets (2 addressed direct mails, 5 Focuses, 3 polling day leaflets) - 168 leaflets per vote! Lib Dem campaign was very professional with well-written material, but it was jarringly negative (indeed designed to depress turnout) and personalised when the tone in Stoke Newington politics is quite policy-focused and high-minded, and oddly focused on specific issues on very small social housing blocks in a ward that is 70% street properties.

The Greens looked gutted by the SNC result - to quote commenters on www.vote-2007.co.uk "they threw the kitchen sink plus into this one", bringing in activists from across the country. They seem unable to replicate the 1200 votes they can pull in in neighbouring and more middle-class Clissold Ward in this their number 2 target ward. This is primarily because they have absolutely nothing to say to or offer to working class or ethnic minority voters, which is a bit of a drawback in Hackney.

Congratulations to newly-elected councillor Louisa Thomson who was one of the hardest-working and most dedicated candidates I've ever been agent for.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you forgot to mention the 17.7 per cent swing to the bnp which is important to look at in these hard times and also bearing in mind the oil refinery protests over foreign workers ,i think they are the party to watch out of the smaller parties as they look very likely to make a big break through this year

11:27 am, January 30, 2009

Anonymous Andrea said...

Congratulations for the Hackney result.

BNP is getting lots of good results recently. Euro seats on card if they continue with this level of support.

12:10 pm, January 30, 2009

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

And is it any bloody surprise?

Look at the refineries strikes spreading across the country.

A DIRECT result of thirty years of global agreements making it easier for company owners to shift workers (and work) around the world undermining existing workers' pay and conditions.

Coupled with the deliberate weakening of the labour movement and binding national agreements across the western world by governments in hock to "There Is No Alternative", we have a situation where workers are cynically transported and paid under rate purely in order to undermine the existing workforce and break the remaining trade union organisation.

Is it any wonder the BNP are winning seats?

Any Tory or New Labour MP who has played their part in entrenching this neo-liberal dogma over the past thirty years will have blood on their hands if tensions rise any higher in Lincolnshire and words are said in anger after a few drinks. They deserve to have their crocodile teams shoved down their throat with a fist.

Textbook divide and rule. Their nineteenth-century ideological forebears would be proud. The only difference being they didn't have to pretend to give a shit about workers in order to get elected.

12:35 pm, January 30, 2009

Blogger Paul said...


Well done in Stoke Newington you clearly ran the campaign well

3:09 pm, January 30, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Well as long as we get rid of this current regime I'm not fussed. Greens, conservative, lib, BNP dems etc etc surely have to be better than this.

I'm running around like an arse hole at the moment just trying to beat this bloody credit crunch. Looking forward to a summer holiday.

4:36 pm, January 30, 2009

Anonymous Jed Keenan said...

Hi One Hackney, nice one Labour.

7:43 pm, January 30, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Nukey Luke. Don't sound so smug about the Stoke Newington victory. The lil' ol' Greens have seen off the Lib Dems and their absurd by-election leaflet generator. I'm pretty sure that you and Pipes would have loved to see us fall behind the Lib Dems, but we fought off their machine. Didn't we?

You both know now that we're ready for the rumble. Lessons learned and all that. Of course we'd like to have scared you a bit more, but maybe it's your complacency which we find so endearing.

Nice to see you attacking us directly in your last leaflet, and on the doorstep. And on your blog. Ah, ah - recognition at last.

Don't enjoy this moment for too long, Lukey Luke. The 2010 campaign begins now, and hmmm - a little voice in Gordon's head says that you won't have quite so many people in Stoke Newington in April/May of next year. Eh? Eh?

We will have the full complement, because contrary to what you said, 85% at least of the work on the Green campaign was - let's say - "locally sourced". If anything, it's rather difficult to get Greens from outside to help, because we're all primarily interested in what's going on in our local communities.

It's a bit frustrating sometimes, but that's the Green philosophy for you. Philosophy? Ah, yes, at least we've got one.

Celebrate the victory for now, Napoleon. Waterloo next year.

5:40 am, January 31, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


if the General Election is on the same day as the local elections in May 2010 the turnout in SNC will be 50%, not the 30% it was on Thursday. Most of the extra 20% will be Labour. In those circumstances the big question will be whether Labour takes all 4 wards in Stamford Hill from the opposition, not the Green threat in Stokey.

I would expect us to field more activists (obviously across more wards) on a combined GE/Borough polling day than we did this week (even allowing for exporting some to help in parliamentary marginals).

And there are 14 months of canvassing to go.

See you on the campaign trail.

10:20 am, January 31, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Lukey Nuke. All points tooken into consideration.

I bet the Tories are really scared of losing Stamford Hill. Terrified.

11:41 am, January 31, 2009

Anonymous Warren said...

Congrats on holding off the Greens - we could do with some of that down here in Brighton!

12:01 pm, January 31, 2009

Anonymous Clapton Ali said...

Just curious Luke ... which bits of the Green Party's local policies did you object to?

And which bits of those policies were NOT relevant to low-income families?

Surely a widespread 20 mph speed limit is beneficial for all our kids, regardless of which political party the parents vote for?

3:17 pm, January 31, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

widespread 20mph speed limit will probably cause more accidents. Drivers getting frustrated at journey times etc etc. 20mph speed limits should exist only on residential streets where parked cars are present, near schools and known rat runs.

Britain must remain focussed on sensible policies and not bring the country down by yet more costly red tape.

4:52 pm, January 31, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I bet the Tories are really scared of losing Stamford Hill. Terrified" - anon.

Given that there was a 12% swing from Lab to Con in Seven Sisters, which boarders Stamford Hill, I don't think they are too worried.

The best Labour can hope for is to win Cazonove Ward, making Hackney a Lib Dem-free zone! (-:

7:49 pm, January 31, 2009

Anonymous Dyanne Costello said...

Yeah, congratulations to newly-elected councillor Louisa Thomson. But the Green candidate was much cuter!

5:53 am, February 01, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

The Tory near miss in Seven Sisters was on a local election turnout of 31%. If the May 2010 local elections are on General Election day, turnout is more likely to be 50%. The vast majority of those extra voters will be Labour. Ditto in the 4 wards in the Hackney bit of Stamford Hill - as tested in the Northwold and Springfield by-elections on General Election day 2001.

11:51 am, February 01, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, you seem to be assuming that the Labour government will be highly popular in May 2010.

12:43 pm, February 01, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Well they are slipping in the polls as we debate this now. Looking at the polls for this month it would indicate a dramatic loss for Labour if an election was held today.

Expect massive gains for the BNP as yet again the Brown regime betrays British workers.

How the unions can still support this government is beyond belief.

3:15 pm, February 01, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

"betrays British workers" - Luke, I'm surprised that you let this BNP troll continue to post.

I certainly think that there is an issue about undercutting wages - but that is about the operation of global capitalism, and not the 'foreignness' of the workforce.

I am sure that unions recognise that fact.

5:10 pm, February 01, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

They recognize there is no protection for British workers unlike in France and Germany. In fact talk to some of the leading trade unionist and they will tell you that Brown flatly refused to bring in protection for the UK workforce.

The unions asked and were refused and therefore Brown betrayed the British worker.

It might be an open Europe but the French & Germans found ways of regulating Labour to prevent economic migrants. For one they have a license for key jobs, you have to register to work in many of the trades which involves inspections and exams.

You wait the BNP are going to make massive gains on this.

8:14 pm, February 01, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...


1. 31% is a fantastic turnout for a by-election, let alone a Tottenham one;

2. Springfield and, I think, Northwold, both stayed in opposition hands, even though they conincided with the General.

Stop Spinning.

11:40 pm, February 01, 2009

Anonymous Clapton Ali said...

Rich said...

widespread 20mph speed limit will probably cause more accidents. Drivers getting frustrated at journey times etc etc. 20mph speed limits should exist only on residential streets where parked cars are present, near schools and known rat runs.

Britain must remain focussed on sensible policies and not bring the country down by yet more costly red tape.

Rich, (AKA Nick) yet again you prove what a numbskull you can be, spouting off about something you know nothing about.

Stoke Newington (which is where the by-election was held) IS PRECISELY an area widespread with "residential streets where parked cars are present, near schools and known rat runs". A policy to bring in a widespread 20 mph restriction in the Stoke Newington area would NOT increase red tape, it would just save kids' lives.

But for some strange reason Hackney Labour Party thinks Hackney kids don't deserve a decent chance in life, such as a safe environment to come and go to school and to play outside (which a 20 mph limit to help to produce). And Luke won't say why - will you, Luke?

4:24 am, February 02, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Clapton Ali

I have no idea what you are talking about.

20mph zones are a policy I associate with Labour.

Labour has turned many areas of Hackney into 20mph zones. For instance, we took considerable public flak from the Tories over this in the bit of Stamford Hill around Sir Thomas Abney school, where Labour council candidate Molly Mulready led the 2005/6 campaign to bring in a zone.

I live with the Labour Clissold Ward councillor who is leading the campaign to bring in more 20mph zones in Stoke Newington.

The leading environmental campaigners inside Hackney Labour Group, such as Vincent Stops, do a lot more to advance the green agenda than the Hackney Greens do.

8:06 am, February 02, 2009

Anonymous Clapton Ali said...

OK Luke, thanks for responding. You are right, individual Hackney Labour councillors are trying to introduce more, albeit, isolated tiny zones in their own neck of the woods. The problem is - they are not effective enough (in terms of cost or reducing speed).

If you put down speed humps on a long stretch of road, motorists tend to slow down for the humps but INCREASE speed between the humps, making the overall environment more dangerous (in that respect Rich is correct). The same thing happens if you introduce tiny speed zones (such as those currently proposed in Hackney). Drivers slow down in the 20 mph zone (for, say, 100 yards) then speed up after they leave it. Each and every zone needs its own signage and markings too.

Make a large area into a 20 mph zone and you cut down on the cost of signage and markings, you cut down on the common incidence of motorists speeding up between the tiny zones and you reduce noise, fuel, pollution and save kids' lives.

Individuals such as Molly Mulready and Cllr Linda Smith and Cllr Stops are admirable for their hard work and campaigning. But Hackney Labour Party is at fault for not campaigning for more WIDESPREAD 20 mph zones.

The Tories in Hackney are an irrelevance (and a joke). Surely the Labour Party has a duty to do the best for our kids. And widespread zones are more cost effective, so good for Hackney's council tax payers.

10:58 am, February 02, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I'm personally in favour of making the whole borough (aside from main TfL roads like the A10) 20mph limited. I will be suggesting this should be in our Manifesto for May 2010.

11:11 am, February 02, 2009

Anonymous Clapton Ali said...

Luke Akehurst said...

I'm personally in favour of making the whole borough (aside from main TfL roads like the A10) 20mph limited. I will be suggesting this should be in our Manifesto for May 2010.

Wow! That is FANTASTIC news! You have made me very happy and just guaranteed yourself a lot of votes.

6:31 pm, February 02, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

My name is not Nick, I'm Richard.

A widespread 20mph speed limit may not save fuel or lives, it us you that should do some research.

There is no fuel efficiency saving between 20mph and 30mph, in fact you will use more fuel driving at 20mph. Think about the way your engine works. You car will happily run in 4th at 30mph but not 20mph.

If you want to save fuel take the national speed limit down to 60mph on dual carriage ways. Simple.

There is also no evidence that driving slower actually reduces accidents. It may well cause less damage if you hit someone but the whole idea is not to crash in the first place.

It would be far better to concentrate on making sure drivers are competent and aware of their responsibilities. I would like to see a compulsory advanced driving scheme for all new drivers and incentives for current drivers to take a new test. Skid pans, crash avoidance and driving on ice should be taught to all drivers. At the very least those people that drive as part of their jobs should receive extra training.

Another method would be to install gps equipment into all cars that limits cars to the speed limit of that road.

My final point is that driving is very dangerous and if you had to conduct a risk assessment of just one journey then you probably wouldn't drive at all. We have to accept that people are going to get killed on our roads while there are cars, buses, vans and trucks. No amount of regulation is going to prevent this.

5:45 pm, February 03, 2009

Anonymous Lady Foy said...

The BNP are continuing to get attacks from the mainstream media, from Unite officials, and from the Labour government, but the attackers are, right now, running scared as the power of the people starts to rise against this government and the EUSSR and the forces of globalisation such as the multi-billion pound oil companies.

The Establishment is STILL trying to portray the British National Party's support for striking British Workers as somehow being "Racist". WRONG! The BNP puts ALL British workers, regardless of race, colour, creed or class to the front of the queue for British jobs. The British National Party does not just speak in the support of "White" workers but also in support of all those genuine and legal "ethnic" workers who are just as concerned about their futures as their white counterparts.

No matter why they came here, they are here now and if they are now legally British Citizens, they have equal rights to work and protection also.

Who then are the real "racists", if not the globalists and their EU/Labour lackeys, who seek to destroy the lives and way of life of all British Citizens in their quest to create their One World built on slave labour?



6:19 pm, February 03, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Brown has made his line in the sand and he is clearly for his "New World Order". A world where people are bought and sold like products and work goes to the lowest bidder.

We are already seeing the fabric of Europe breaking up. The elite may well be fore a single European job market but its workers are not.

I think we are going to see more widespread civil unrest right across Europe. Labour have already used its new terror laws to arrest two organisers of these strikes....what next.

8:42 pm, February 03, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the Green councillor for Clissold, Mischa Borris, who proposed the 20mph motion to Council last April. Labour supported the motion, after watering it down.

12:57 pm, February 05, 2009


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