A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, the Labour Party and Hackney - 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, September 28, 2012

Council by-elections

There were eight council by-elections yesterday. A stunning Labour gain from 4th place in Norfolk and some good swings to Labour in Kent, Leicestershire and Surrey.
Pastures Ward, Blaby DC. Con hold. Con 442 (61.1%, -8.4), Lab 281 (38.9%, +8.4). Swing of 8.4% from Con to Lab since 2011.

Hampstead Town Ward, LB Camden. Con hold. Con 1040 (42.4%, +5.3), LD 695 (28.3%, -7.7). Labour 512 (20.9%, +2.7), Green 207 (8.4%,-0.3). Swing of 6.5% from LD to Con since 2010.

Castle Ward, Dartford DC. Con hold. Con 191 (43%, -13.4), Lab 111 (25%, +4.6), UKIP 60 (13.5%, +13.5), Residents 50 (11.3%, -2.6), Eng Dem 32 (7.2%, -2.2). Swing of 9% from Con to Lab since 2011.

North Ormesby & Brambles Farm Ward, Middlesbrough BC. Lab hold. Lab 471 (67.8%, -14.8), LD 109 (15.7%, +15.7), Ind 71 (10.2%, +10.2), Tory 38 (5.5%, -11.9), Ind 6 (0.9%, +0.9). Swing of 15.3% from Lab to LD since 2011.

Spellowfields Ward, King’s Lynn & West Norfolk DC. Result to follow. Con hold. Con 348 (45.7%, +6.6), Lab 243 (31.9%, +6), UKIP 88 (11.5%, +11.5), Green 61 (8%, +8), LD 22 (2.9%, +2.9). Swing of 6.3% from Con to Lab since 2011.

Clenchwarton & King’s Lynn South Division, Norfolk CC. Lab gain from Con. Lab 824 (45.8%, +34.1), Con 424 (23.5%, -15.7), LD 282 (15.7%, -13.1), UKIP 271 (15%, +15). Swing of 24.9% from Con to Lab since 2009. The main explanation is an unpopular local incinerator project.

Chertsey Meads Ward, Runnymede BC. Con hold. Con 450 (40.3%, -10), Lab 312 (27.9%, +8.6), UKIP 312 (27.9%, +5.2), LD 34 (3%, -4.7), Loony 10 (0.9%, +0.9). Swing of 9.3% from Con to Lab since May this year.

New Haw Ward, Runnymede BC. Con hold. Con 346 (51.5%, -1.4), Lab 148 (22%, +2), UKIP 124 (18.5%, +2.4), LD 54 (8%, -3). Swing of 1.7% from Con to Lab since May this year.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NEC Report

My final NEC report is online here: http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2012/09/26/nec-report-september-2012/

Monday, September 24, 2012

Labourlist Column

My Labourlist column this week looks forward to a united Labour Annual Conference:

http://labourlist.org/2012/09/a-conference-without-fireworks-and-this-is-a-good-thing/

Friday, September 21, 2012

Council by-elections


There were 5 council by-elections yesterday:

Blean Forest Ward, Canterbury CC. Con hold. Con 342 (44.2%, -7.5), Lab 185 (23.9%, +23.9), LD 121 (15.6%, +0.4), Green 64 (8.3%, -24.8), UKIP 38 (4.9%, +4.9), Ind 24 (3.1%, +3.1). Swing of 15.7% from Con to Lab since 2011. A good result for Labour in a ward not contested in 2011, given that the ward includes the University of Kent campus but none of the new intake of students is registered to vote yet.

St Keverne & Meneage Ward, Cornwall Council. Con gain from Ind. Con 585 (55.3%, +21), LD 279 (26.4%, +19.8), UKIP 141 (13.3%, +13.3), Lab 52 (4.9%, +3.2). Swing of 0.6% from LD to Con since 2009.

St Nicholas Ward, Herefordshire council. It’s Our County hold. IOC 604 (53.3%, +8.6), LD 222 (19.6%, +2.2), Con 204 (18%, -5), Lab 104 (9.2%, -5.7). Swing of 3.2% from LD to IOC since 2011.

Rufford Division, Nottinghamshire. Lab gain from Ind. Lab 1557 (58%, +27.8) Con 660 (24.6%, -9.6), Ind 346 (12.9%, -22.7), UKIP 123 (4.6%, +4.6). Swing of 18.7% from Con to Lab since 2009. A Labour gain from third place.

Esk Valley Ward, Scarborough DC. Con hold. Con 606 (67.6%, +7.8), Ind 151 (16.8%, -4.3), Lab 87 (9.7%, -9.5), UKIP 35 (3.9%, +3.9), Eng Dem 18 (2%, +2). Swing of 6.1% from Ind to Con since 2011.

Friday, September 14, 2012

RIP Greta Karpin

I'm very sad to report the death last night (Thursday 13 September) of my friend and comrade Greta Karpin.

Greta was Secretary of Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP and of the Hackney Borough Local Campaign Forum. She had held both posts for many years and some people have said she was Labour's longest-serving CLP Secretary. Aged 80, she died suddenly of a heart attack on her way home from attending a meeting of the CLP's EC, having previously battled through illnesses that would have defeated anyone without her enormous will to live and to live life to the full.

In Hackney Greta was a key figure in rebuilding the local Labour Party after the split in the Hackney Labour Group of councillors in 1995/6. This helped provide the political stability that enabled Labour to regain control of Hackney Council and vastly improve services for local people and the council's reputation.

Greta previously served with distinction on the London Regional Board of the Labour Party.

Growing up in the East End in the 1930s and 1940s, she was a lifelong trade unionist and Labour Party activist, alongside her beloved husband Bert who died almost exactly a year ago. She worked for many years for the ASTMS trade union, now part of Unite. On paper she was PA to General Secretary Clive Jenkins, who was a key soft left player in Labour and TUC politics, but her real role was as Clive's de facto Chief of Staff. She was at the heart of running what was then Britain's fastest-growing union, involved in deal-making and negotiation at Labour Party conferences for many years, and as Jenkins' autobiography reveals, was at the centre of things when Michael Foot and then Neil Kinnock were elected as Labour leaders.

Greta was a stalwart campaigner for peace and social justice and against racism. Although she came from the Party's left she had friends across the whole spectrum of Labour Party politics. She was a mentor and informal adviser to many young activists and councillors in Hackney.

Politically, organisationally, socially, Greta was "the life and soul of the party" in Hackney. It is difficult to imagine the Hackney Labour Party, whether its meetings or its social events, without her, or to believe that I won't be getting an almost daily phone call from her to share or garner gossip and political news, and chase me to complete some local organisational task.

She was fierce in her scorn if you said or did things she thought were wrong (I spent the second half of a dinner party in my own home with her back turned to me refusing to speak because I had said something positive about the EETPU!), or didn't put in Stakhanovite levels of canvassing or leafleting, but forgave quickly and was incredibly generous in her hospitality and friendship.

A stickler for the rulebook, she ran selections and manifesto writing with absolute fairness but great firmness.

I and many other activists in the Labour Party and trade union movement will miss our dear friend and fearless comrade.

Council by-elections


5 by-elections yesterday with gains for Labour in Breckland (rural Norfolk) and East Dunbartonshire offset by a disappointing loss in Loughborough.

Thetford Abbey, Breckland DC. Lab gain from Ind. Lab 334 (49.3%, +27.2), Con 128 (18.9%, -1.5), UKIP 117 (17.3%, +17.3), LD 99 (14.6%, -3.9). Swing of 14.4% from Con to Lab since 2011.

Trinity Ward, Burnley BC. Lab hold. Lab 493 (49.3%, -8.8), LD 256 (25.6%, -5.8), Con 96 (9.6%, +9.6), BNP 95 (9.5%, -1.1), UKIP 35 (3.5%, +3.5), NF 26 (2.6%, +2.6). Swing of 1.5% from Lab to LD since 2012.

Loughborough Southfields Ward, Charnwood DC. Con gain from Lab. Con 538 (48.6%, +9.5), Lab 516 (46.6%, -0.2), LD 54 (4.9%, -9.3). Swing of 4.9% from Lab to Con since 2011.

Campsie & Kirkintilloch North, East Dunbartonshire Council. Lab gain from Ind. Lab 851 (31.5%, +9.7), SNP 743 (27.5%, +7.2), LD 693 (25.6%, +23.2), Ind 274 (10.1, -40.7), Con 141 (5.2%, +0.6). Swing of 0.8% from SNP to Lab since May this year.

Church Stretton & Craven Arms Ward, Shropshire Council. Con hold. Con 1216 (44.8%, +14.0), LD 969 (35.7%, +10.8), Lab 529 (19.5%, +7.8). Swing of 1.6% from LD to Con since 2009.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Council by-elections

Belatedly, last Thursday's results:

Nettleham and Saxilby Division, Lincolnshire CC. Con gain from LD. Con 1026 (43.4%, +9.4), LD 600 (25.4%, -35.2), UKIP 266 (11.2%, +11.2), Lab 257 (10.9%, +5.3), Lincolnshire Ind 196 (8.3%, +8.3), English Democrats 21 (0.9%, +0.9). Swing of 22.3% from LD to Con since 2009.

Dodington Ward, South Gloucestershire UA. LD hold. LD 787 (56.9%, -7.3), Lab 243 (17.6%,  +3.5), UKIP 213 (15.4%, +15.4), Con 139 (10.1%, -11.6). Swing of 5.4% from LD to Lab since 2011.

Nettleham Ward, West Lindsey DC. Con gain from LD. Con 565 (45%, +5.6), LD 513 (40.9%, -19.8), UKIP 177 (14.1%, +14.1). Swing of 12.7% from LD to Con since 2011.
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Monday, September 03, 2012

Labourlist column

My Labourlist column this week is about the Lib Dems:

http://labourlist.org/2012/09/for-the-first-time-in-a-generation-we-have-the-whole-centre-left-vote-behind-one-party/

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Council by-election result

There was just one council by-election last week:

Bettws Division, Bridgend CBC. Lab hold. Lab 494 (79.9%,  +3.6),  Ind 96 (15.5%, +15.5), Green 16 (2.6%, -21.1), Con 12 (1.9%, +1.9). Swing of 6% from Lab to Ind since this May.

 
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