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, March 30, 2012

Council by-elections

There's plenty of online debate about Bradford West which I have contributed to on my Twitter feed (@lukeakehurst).

There were also some council by-elections last night which, lacking the almost unique demographics of Bradford West, demonstrate that Labour's 10% national poll lead is not illusory - particularly the gain with 58.3% of the vote of a ward comprising rural villages in Sevenoaks, Kent, where we had not fielded a candidate for 20 years, and a 17.3% increase in Labour's vote in the heart of Tory Putney:

Buxton Central Ward, High Peak DC. Lab hold. Lab 416 (45%, +3.4), Con 396 (42.9%, +9.4), LD 70 (7.6%, -3.4), Ind 42 (4.5%, +4.5). Swing of 3% from Lab to Con since 2011.

Heckington Rural Ward, North Kesteven DC. Con hold. Con 578 (53.1%, -2.6), Ind 510 (46.9%, +20.6). Swing of 11.6% from Con to Ind since 2011.

Cowden & Hever Ward, Sevenoaks DC. Con hold. Con 296 (78.5%), UKIP 81 (21.5%). Con was unopposed in 2011.

Crokenhill & West Hill Ward, Sevenoaks DC. Lab gain from Ind. Lab 304 (58.3%), Con 177 (34%), UKIP 40 (7.7%). Ind was unopposed in 2011.

Southfields Ward, LB Wandsworth. Con hold. Con 1841 (49.1%, +0.1), Lab 1511 (40.3%, +17.3), LD 220 (5.9%, -13.3), Green 100 (2.7%, -4.6), UKIP 40 (1.1%, +1.1), Ind 38 (1%, +1). Swing of 8.6% from Con to Lab since 2010.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Progress column

I've used my Progress column to appeal to Labour activists to head to Bradford tomorrow: http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2012/03/28/a-call-to-arms/

Monday, March 26, 2012

Labourlist column

My Labourlist column this week is about the anniversary of the foundation of the SDP:


Friday, March 23, 2012

NEC Nominations

The latest weekly update on NEC nominations received by the Labour Party shows me dropping back a place from last week to 6th place (there are 6 seats available, I came 6thin 2010):

Ann Black 205 CLPs (Grassroots Alliance - GRA)
Christine Shawcroft 124 (GRA)
Ellie Reeves 122 (Labour First/Progress - LFP)
Ken Livingstone 119 (GRA)
Johanna Baxter 108 (Independent - IND)
Luke Akehurst 102 (LFP)
Peter Willsman 90 (GRA)
Peter Wheeler 86 (LFP)
Kate Osamor 59 (GRA)
Joanne Milligan 50 (LFP)
Ruth Smeeth 48 (LFP)
Darren Williams 47 (GRA)
Florence Nosegbe 44 (LFP)
Gary Heather 33 (GRA)
Lewis Atkinson 22 (IND)
Shaukat Ali 15 (IND)
Lynda Rice 3 (IND)

A further 18 candidates have been nominated by at least one CLP but have not yet been validly nominated (i.e. by their own CLP and two from different regions)

The nominations deadline in 30th March.

The OMOV ballot is likely to run from 25th May to 13th June. Labour members can each cast up to six votes.

Another way to look at it is the percentage of last time's total nominations that each of us has already received (e.g. Ann Black 205/275×100).

This is a crude measure of the change in popularity of candidates since 2010 relative to each other:

Johanna Baxter 166.2%
Luke Akehurst 124.4%
Christine Shawcroft 77.5%
Ann Black 74.5%
Ellie Reeves 67.0%
Pete Willsman 65.7%
Pete Wheeler 65.2%
Ken Livingstone 50.6%

Let me know here if you are supporting me: http://www.luke4nec.org.uk/register-your-support/-in this very close election I need your support if you support what I stand for and the work I am doing for the Party.

Campaigning in Andrew Lansley's backyard

I've been asked to publicise this:

"Dear Supporters,

I write this message as the Labour and Co-operative Party candidate for Queen Edith’s ward, Cambridge. On 3rd May we have an election for our local council where Labour stand a realistic chance of taking control of the council and we need your help.

Our council covers two parliamentary seats, Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire. My ward is within South Cambridgeshire where Andrew Lansley is our MP. It has one of the largest hospitals in the UK, Addenbrooke’s, where my daughter is currently a nurse.

Many of you do not have elections in May and have spent most of the last year shaking your fist at the TV, writing on social media sites and campaigning for unions against the ConDem’s NHS reforms.

Do you want to help dethrone a Lib Dem councillor, help send Andrew Lansley a clear message in his own backyard and help Labour take control of a council? Why not take that shaking fist and use it to knock on doors, why not use that social media time to deliver a few leaflets and why not come out on Saturday 31st March and turn positive utterances into positive action. Please join us by clicking on this facebook link >>> http://alturl.com/btgd5

Best wishes,

Sue Birtles
Labour and Co-operative candidate"

Council by-elections

There were 4 council by-elections last night:

Waltham Cross Division, Herts CC. Con hold. Con 1389 (56.4%, +14.6), Lab 837 (34%, +6.9), UKIP 159 (6.5%, +6.5), LD 76 (3.1%, -10.5). Swing of 3.9% from Lab to Con since 2009.

St Bartholomews Ward, Tendring DC. Holland-on-Sea Residents Association hold. RA 1087 (72.7%, +0.9),  Con 289 (19.3%, -8.9), Lab 120 (8%, +8). Swing of 4.9% from Con to RA since 2011.

Tavistock North Ward, West Devon DC. Ind gain from Con. Ind 407 (35.5%, +8.3), Con 256 (22.3%, -10.6), LD 225 (19.6%, -3.2), Lab 125 (10.9%, -6.2), UKIP 78 (6.8%, +6.8), Ind 57 (5%, +5). Swing of 9.5% from Con to Ind since 2011.

Dollis Hill Ward, LB Brent. LD hold. LD 1205 (46.5%, +6.6), Lab 1168 (45.1%, +7.4), Con 140 (5.4%, -12.9), Green 79 (3%, -1.2). Swing of 0.4% from LD to Lab since 2010.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

NEC Report

My report of this week's NEC meeting is online here: http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2012/03/22/nec-report-march-2012/

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bradford West By-election

Can youy help Labour's candidate Imran Hussain with his campaign between now and polling day on 29th March?

Campaign HQ Details are:
Address: Bradford Labour Party, 29 Cheapside, Bradford BD1 4HR (opposite the Midland Hotel which is next to Bradford Forster Square Train Station)
Opening hours: 0900 - 1900 (7 Days a week) - until 2200 on polling day
Telephone Number: 07872 417220
Email: bradfordlabour@gmail.com
Web: www.bradfordlabour.org.uk

I will be there on polling day, look forward to seeing you there!

Reproduced from an email sent by the Labour Party, promoted by Iain McNicol, General Secretary, the Labour Party on behalf of the Labour Party, both at 39 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0HA

Friday, March 16, 2012

Council by-elections

Yesterday's results, including two great gains for Labour in Braintree, Essex. Well done the CLP and its Organiser Peter Long on these results:

Toton & Chilwell Meadows Ward, Broxtowe DC. Con hold. Con 831 (47.6%, -1.1), Lab 385 (22.1%, -7.4), LD 300 (17.2%, +5.2), UKIP 228 (13.1%, +3.4). Swing of 3.2% from Lab to Con since 2011.

Chilwell & Toton Division, Nottinghamshire CC. Con hold. Con 1958 (48.8%, +5.9), LD 1375 (34.2%, +20.6), UKIP 682 (17%, +7). Swing of 7.4% from Con to LD since 2009.

Braintree East Ward, Braintree DC. Lab gain from Con. Lab 544 (46.5%, +4.5), Con 388 (33.1%, -8.6), UKIP 131 (11.2%, +11.2), Green 76 (6.5%, -9.8), Ind 32 (2.7%, +2.7). Swing of 6.6% from Con to Lab since 2011.

Braintree South Ward, Braintree DC. Lab gain from Con. Lab 596 (50.2%, +16.6), Con 476 (40.1%, +3.7), Green 116 (9.8%, -2.8). Swing of 6.5% from Con to Lab since 2011.

Great Notley & Braintree West Ward, Braintree DC. Con hold. Con 532 (54.3%, -13.5), Lab 232 (23.7%, +4.4), UKIP 155 (15.8%, +15.8), Green 61 (6.2%, -6.7). Swing of 9% from Con to Lab since 2011.

Porchester East Ward, Fareham BC. LD hold. LD 1216 (47.8%, -9.5), Con 840 (33%, +1.9), Lab 323 (12.7%, +1.1), Green 90 (3.5%, +3.5), Ind 77 (3%, +3). Swing of 5.7% from LD to Con since 2010.

Hertford Ward, Scarborough BC. Con gain from Green. Con 663 (60.5%, +22.6), Lab 208 (19%, +6.9), UKIP 126 (11.5%, +11.5), LD 99 (9%, +9). Swing of 7.9% from Lab to Con since 2011.

NEC Nominations

The latest weekly update on NEC nominations received by the Labour Party shows me staying in 5th place (there are 6 seats available, I came 6th in 2010):

Ann Black 138 CLPs (Grassroots Alliance - GRA)
Ellie Reeves 87 (Labour First/Progress - LFP)
Ken Livingstone 86 (GRA)
Christine Shawcroft 86 (GRA)
Luke Akehurst 75 (LFP)
Johanna Baxter 72 (Independent - IND)
Peter Wheeler 61 (LFP)
Peter Willsman 57 (GRA)
Kate Osamor 39 (GRA)
Ruth Smeeth 36 (LFP)
Darren Williams 33 (GRA)
Joanne Milligan 33 (LFP)
Florence Nosegbe 32 (LFP)
Gary Heather 25 (GRA)
Lewis Atkinson 16 (IND)
Shaukat Ali 11 (IND)
John Wiseman 1 (IND)
Narinder Matharoo 2 (IND)
Lynda Rice 2 (IND)
Zahida Abbas Noori 2 (IND)
Darrell Goodliffe 1 (IND)
Theresa Griffin 1 (IND)
Daniel Zeichner 1 (IND)
John Wiseman 1 (IND)
Maria Fyfe 1 (IND)
Shakir Ali 1 (IND)
Tariq Saeed 1 (IND)

The nominations deadline in 30th March.
The OMOV ballot is likely to run from 25th May to 13th June. Labour members can each cast up to six votes.

Another way to look at it is the percentage of last time's total nominations that each of us has already received (e.g. Ann Black 138/275×100).

This is a crude measure of the change in popularity of candidates since 2010 relative to each other:

Johanna Baxter 110.7%
Luke Akehurst 90.4%
Christine Shawcroft 53.8%
Ann Black 50.2%
Ellie Reeves 47.8%
Pete Wheeler 46.2%
Pete Willsman 41.6%
Ken Livingstone 36.6%

Let me know here if you are supporting me: http://www.luke4nec.org.uk/register-your-support/ -in this very close election I need your support if you support what I stand for and the work I am doing for the Party.

A dossier I compiled - and not anonymously

I have been moved to write this by the bonkers sectarianism of Michael Meacher's New Statesman article (http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/03/labour-party-within-progress) calling for an NEC investigation into Progress.

There is a red line between criticising groups you disagree with and trying to threaten them existentially.

Michael has crossed it. 

Progress has been on the receiving end of a lot of negative campaigning in the last few weeks, from an anonymous dossier mailed to CLPs, to negative blog posts on the www.leftfutures.org website and tweets from Jon Lansman, Michael Meacher, CLPD and Leftfutures (all twitter accounts administered by the same person?), which have also attacked the other organisation for Labour moderates, Labour First.

This is not unconnected to the current NEC elections. Under pressure because moderates are performing well at the nomination stage, the Hard Left has attacked moderate organisations to try to de-legitimise them and smear moderate candidates by association.

I thought in the interests of balance I would devote this post to setting out the facts about the groups which make up the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (GRA), the coalition which promotes a leftwing slate of candidates in internal Labour elections.

I leave it up to the reader to decide if they are more legitimate organisations to play a role in Labour’s deliberations than Progress or Labour First.

To quote one leftwing blog “the means by which the [GRA] slate is formulated is somewhat of a mystery, largely decided by negotiators representing the various groups that make up the Alliance.”

The Alliance was founded in 1996 by Labour Reform and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD). Subsequently other organisations joined including the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), Labour Left Briefing and the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs.

The most centrist of these organisations on the Labour spectrum, indeed the small figleaf that enabled the GRA to describe itself as “Centre-Left” was Labour Reform. This organisation was primarily focused on matters of internal party democracy, process not policy. It no longer exists and its successor organisation from 2003 was Save the Labour Party. This has now been replaced by the Labour Democratic Network – LDN (http://www.labourdemocraticnetwork.org/) which seems somewhat moribund as it last posted on its blog in November. It is not clear if LDN is involved in this year’s GRA slate.

Also involved in the last NEC elections in 2010 was the well-funded and high-profile soft-left group Compass. However, Compass’ decisions to allow Greens, Lib Dems and other non-Labour members to join it has re-orientated it away from work on the Labour left.

The apparent lack of active involvement in the GRA slate this year from these less leftwing organisations seriously undermines its claim to represent the “centre left”.

This leaves two major rump components: CLPD and LRC. They are both from the Hard Left tradition in the Party (a phrase used repeatedly by leftwing writers about themselves so not intended to be pejorative) and have an overlapping membership, but do not get on, as is evidenced by the failure to agree a common six names for the GRA slate at this stage. CLPD and LRC are running different line-ups at nomination stage but the bottom ranked of the total of 7 candidates will drop out before the OMOV ballot.

CLPD (http://home.freeuk.net/clpd/index.htm) is the older organisation, founded in 1973. Its own website says “The main motivation for the Campaign was the record of the Labour governments in the sixties and the way that Annual Conference decisions were continually ignored on key domestic and international issues. The
immediate cause was Harold Wilson's outright rejection in 1973 of the proposal to take into public ownership some 25 of the largest manufacturing companies, covering the major sectors of the economy.”

CLPD went on to be the extremely effective organising hub for the Bennite insurgency of the 1970s and early 1980s, promoting Benn’s candidature for Deputy Leader against Healey, and pushing mandatory
reselection of MPs and the Electoral College for leadership elections. As its fortunes waned it opposed the introduction of One Member One Vote by John Smith and of the New Clause IV by Blair. It website says
“In addition CLPD also promotes non-democracy issues, such as the significant extension of public ownership.”

CLPD’s position could basically be summarised as “the Bennites were correct in the early ‘80s, please give us a second chance at pursuing the same strategy”.

The LRC (http://www.l-r-c.org.uk/) is a newer organisation, founded in 2004. It is Chaired by John McDonnell MP who led the (even more) leftwing opposition to Ken Livingstone in the GLC Labour Group in the ‘80s.

As well as having appropriated the Labour Party’s pre-1906 name (which is as though I was to set up a moderate faction in Unite and call it “AEEU" or "TGWU”), it has all the characteristics of a party within a party. It holds delegate based conferences. It has its own elected NEC (http://www.l-r-c.org.uk/about/nationalcommittee ). It has its own affiliates, many of which are not eligible for affiliation to Labour (http://www.l-r-c.org.uk/about/affiliates ). It has its own disciplinary processes, set out in clause 9 of its constitution (http://www.l-r-c.org.uk/files/constitution_0809.pdf ). Presumably its primary source of funding is affiliation fees, money which could
otherwise be donated to Labour, if from Labour affiliates, or a backdoor route into trying to influence Labour by bodies not eligible for affiliation to us. It has its own policy platform voted on at its conference: http://www.l-r-c.org.uk/policy/

The full list of affiliates is great reading as a kind of A-Z of the ultra left (with similarities to a certain Python sketch about Judea) but suggests the LRC has a generous interpretation of the word "Labour" as it includes organisations actively hostile to the Labour Party:


FBU - chose to disaffiliate from the Labour Party

RMT - disaffiliated from Labour for allowing branches to affiliate to the Scottish Socialist Party

A World to Win -an organisation whose manifesto (http://www.aworldtowin.net/Manifesto/International.html) states that "Revolutionary political organisations of a new type should be built internationally", "Now that the credit-induced boom has ended, the epoch will once again reveal itself as one of wars and revolutions.
Conditions for revolutionary change are increasingly favourable." It advocates a "revolutionary government in Britain" and talks about replacing liberal democracy with "national, regional and local People’s Assemblies" (AKA soviets...)

Alliance for Workers Liberty - a self-avowed Trotskyist grouping formerly known as Socialist Organiser, which was proscribed by the Labour Party in the late 1980s and is now a registered political party.

Communist Students – the student wing of the Leninist CPGB.

Morning Star Readers' Groups - readers of a newspaper previously the organ of the official Communist Party of GB and now describing itself as "close to the Communist Party of Britain" (i.e. close to a hardline Stalinist Party)

Group of International Communists - this lot say "Communist revolutions cannot succeed without mass self-organisations of workers, and the leadership of organisations of revolutionary workers and the oppressed. We are a network whose aim is to contribute to the development of such a movement in this country and internationally."

Hands Off Venezuela - supporters of the authoritarian Chavez regime and its Bolivarian revolution.

Labour Party Marxists – this group seem to be connected to (an entryist effort by?) the CPGB

New Communist Party - a Stalinist party (see this tribute to Uncle Joe: http://www.newworker.org/ncpcentral/JVS.html) that split from the CPGB because it (NCP) supported the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

Newrad Communist Collective - " group of communists who share a common view of the world and a common history forged in the struggle against revisionism"

Socialist Appeal - the Trotskyist organisation founded by former Militant leader Ted Grant after Militant expelled him for continuing to advocate entryism into the Labour Party

TGWU Broad Left - includes activists from the Labour left in Unite but also from the Stalinist CPB, Leninist SWP and Trotskyist SP.

Workers Power – a Trotskyist party that split from the SWP.

The LRC doesn't seem to have an adequate, indeed any, definition of the left boundary of what it means to be a democratic socialist or social democrat. By definition, self-professed revolutionaries, Trots, Stalinists, Leninists and Communists are not democratic socialists and I would be interested to know why the Labour activists in the LRC are open to their participation. By extension the entire GRA, as it allows the LRC to be a major component, is open to such forces.

A further participant in the GRA is or has been the magazine Labour Briefing (http://www.labourbriefing.org.uk/). One of its editorial board members described it to me as a “non-Trotskyist group with Trotskyists in it”. Its editorial board is listed here:
It has usually promoted a position to the left of other hard left groups such as CLPD, making it a  grouping/journal that even Clare Short was moved to denounce at Labour Party Conference for its sectarianism and personalised attacks on any one to the right of it, most famously its "Class Traitor of the Month" column (which unfortunately was discontinued before I could acquire the honour of featuring in it).

Another GRA component is the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs. I can’t find out if it still exists. If it doesn’t its obituary is here http://www.leftfutures.org/2010/05/the-campaign-group-time-to-move-on/ where former MP Bob Clay says “it gives me no pleasure to suggest now that the group has lost any purpose in its continued existence and ought to be wound up in order to make way for a less sectarian and more effective body.”

The final grouping on the left is Socialist Action (http://www.socialistaction.net/) a small and secretive but hyper-active Trotskyist group. This was once part of Tariq Ali’s International Marxist Group until voting in 1982 to dissolve itself and enter into the Labour Party to try to take it over. Its members are heavily involved in CND, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Student Broad Left, presumably seeing these single issue campaigns as vehicles for recruiting new revolutionary cadres. In a bizarre two-track strategy it has also tried to enter into and take over Respect since that party split in 2007. Its involvement in the GRA seems to be through other groups rather than in its own name.

So there we have it. A “Grassroots Alliance” that consists largely of groups which either are Leninist revolutionaries, are extremely tolerant of them and work with them, or best case are nostalgic for the period when Tony Benn was busy destroying Labour. 

Friday, March 09, 2012

NEC Nominations

The latest weekly update on NEC nominations received by the Labour Party shows me moving up from equal 6th place last week and 8th the week before to 5th place:

Ann Black 108 CLPs  (Grassroots Alliance - GRA)
Ellie Reeves 68 (Labour First/Progress - LFP)
Ken Livingstone 66 (GRA)
Christine Shawcroft 64 (GRA)
Luke Akehurst 56 (LFP)
Johanna Baxter 55 (Independent - IND)
Peter Wheeler 48 (LFP)
Peter Willsman 47 (GRA)
Kate Osamor 31 (GRA)
Darren Williams 25 (GRA)
Florence Nosegbe 25 (LFP)
Ruth Smeeth 25 (LFP)
Joanne Milligan 24 (LFP)
Gary Heather 19 (GRA)
Lewis Atkinson 14 (IND)
Shaukat Ali 10 (IND)
John Wiseman 1 (IND)
Narinder Matharoo 2 (IND)
Zahida Abbas Noori 1 (IND)
Darrell Goodliffe 1 (IND)
Theresa Griffin 1 (IND)

The nominations deadline in 30th March.

Another way to look at it is the percentage of last time's total nominations that each of us has already received (e.g. Ann Black 84/275×100).

This is a crude measure of the change in popularity of candidates since 2010 relative to each other:

Johanna Baxter 84.6%
Luke Akehurst 68.3%
Christine Shawcroft 40%
Ann Black 39.3%
Ellie Reeves 37.4%
Pete Wheeler 36.4%
Pete Willsman 34.3%
Ken Livingstone 28.1%

Let me know here if you are supporting me: http://www.luke4nec.org.uk/register-your-support/ - in this very close election I need your support if you support what I stand for and the work I am doing for the Party.

Council by-elections

There were 3 by-elections yesterday:

Kemsley Ward, Swale DC. Con hold. Con 384 (33.7%, -16.6), Lab 312 (27.3%, -0.5), UKIP 279 (24.5%, +10.5), LD 166 (14.5%, -6.6). Swing of 8.1% from Con to Lab since 2011.

Rowley Ward, Stafford BC. Lab gain from Con. Lab 620 (48.1%, +10.1%), Con 540 (41.9%, -1.6), Green 67 (5.2%, -5.9), UKIP 61 (4.7%, -4.7). Swing of 5.9% from Con to Lab since 2011.

Baylis & Stoke Ward, Slough UA. Lab hold. Lab 1300 (58.7%, -21.7), Ind 764 (34.5%, +34.5), UKIP 82 (3.7%, +3.7), Ind 68 (3.1%, +3.1). Swing of 28.1% from Lab to Ind since 2011.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Progress Column

My Progress column this week is about the recently leaked Tory election strategy:


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Labourlist column

My Labourlist column this week was about All Women Shortlists: http://labourlist.org/2012/03/in-defence-of-all-women-shortlists/

Friday, March 02, 2012

NEC Nominations

The Labour Party are publishing the NEC nominations they receive each Friday. There is a time-lag in submitting by some CLPs so, for instance, I have been told I have been nominated by 76 CLPs but only 36 have submitted so far. My running list of where I've been told I've been nominated is here: http://www.luke4nec.org.uk/nominations/. However, the Party's figures are comparing like-with-like so show relative progress between candidates.

The left's Jon Lansman covered this last Friday: http://www.leftfutures.org/2012/02/nec-elections-centre-left-leads-the-field/

At that stage I was in 8th place, the same ranking I had in final CLP nominations last time in 2010, though I moved up from 8th to 6th place in the OMOV ballot (presumably my support is better in larger CLPs and my online presence helped).

This week's updated figures put me joint 6th place with Peter Willsman from the leftwing Grassroots Alliance slate. It's an election for 6 seats so, as expected, it looks nip-and-tuck whether I will get back on or not:

Ann Black 84 CLPs   (Grassroots Alliance - GRA)
Ellie Reeves 50   (Labour First/Progress - LFP)
Ken Livingstone 50 (GRA)
Christine Shawcroft 49 (GRA)
Johanna Baxter 40 (Independent - IND)
Luke Akehurst 36 (LFP)
Peter Willsman 36 (GRA)
Peter Wheeler 35 (LFP)
Kate Osamor 27 (GRA)
Florence Nosegbe 20 (LFP)
Ruth Smeeth 15 (LFP)
Joanne Milligan 14 (LFP)
Gary Heather 13 (GRA)
Lewis Atkinson 12 (IND)
Shaukat Ali 5 (IND)
John Wiseman 1 (IND)
Narinder Matharoo 1 (IND)
Zahida Abbas Noori 1 (IND)

The nominations deadline in 30th March.

Another way to look at it is the percentage of last time's total nominations that each of us has already received (e.g. Ann Black 84/275×100).

This is a crude measure of the change in popularity of candidates since 2010 relative to each other:

Johanna Baxter 61.5%
Luke Akehurst 43.9%
Christine Shawcroft 30.6%
Ann Black 30.5%
Ellie Reeves 27.5%
Pete Wheeler 26.5%
Pete Willsman 26.3%
Ken Livingstone 21.3%

Let me know here if you are supporting me: http://www.luke4nec.org.uk/register-your-support/ - in this very close election I need your support if you support what I stand for and the work I am doing for the Party.

Council By-elections

There were two last night:

Castle Division, Cumbria CC. Lab gain from LD. Lab 407 (43.1%, +19.1), LD 369 (39%, +4.7), Con 93 (9.8%, -10.7), Green 54 (5.7%, -6), UKIP 22 (2.3%, +2.3). Swing of 7.2% from LD to Lab since 2009.

Abbey Division, Shropshire CC. LD gain from Con. LD 550 (45.3%, +15.6), Con 542 (44.6%, -4.8), Grn 123 (10.1%, +10.1). Swing of 10.2% from Con to LD since 2009.

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