Sunday, 25 May 2014

Barnet Council elections - A dig through the results in a bit more detail

One of the things that has always fascinated me is the way some wards split and are shared between the two parties. You'd think that most people would simply decide "I'm voting Conservative/Labour/LibDem" (delete as appropriate) and that would be the end of the matter. We can also understand a split where there is maybe only one green/UKIP/Independent in an area so they get one and the two others are the second preference. In a council election where you get three votes, you would expect some difference, but can you explain these sorts of figures?

Local election results 22 May 2014- Edgware
Name of candidate Description (if any) Number of votes recorded
ABELES Aliza Miriam Liberal Democrat 446
ABELES Elias Pinkas Liberal Democrat 410
GORDON Brian Colin Conservative Party Candidate 2732 (elected)
HALE Raymond Labour Party Candidate 1140
HART Helena Diane Conservative Party Candidate 2369 (elected)
JOHNSON Geoffrey Labour Party Candidate 1155
JOHNSON Julie Labour Party Candidate 1180
MARGOLIS Catherine Alexandra Green Party 474
OLLIER Alexander Timothy Matthew Liberal Democrat 169
SCANNELL Joan Conservative Party Candidate 2182 (elected)

As you can see, Brian Gordon, polled nearly 600 more votes than Joan Scannell, the lowest scoring Conservative. You may think "Maybe Mr Gordon has been a long serving councillor in Edgware and has worked his socks off, making lots of friends). This however is not the case. Mr Gordon was a Councillor in Hale previously and scuttled off to Edgware when he heard that Hale was likely to fall. I know Joan Scannell quite well as she's on the Mill Hill Music Festival committee and she's been part of the Tory furniture for years. I suppose it is conceivable that the two Green Candidates split votes with the Tories, but generally Tories don't ever vote green. Could it be that the Edgware Tory Party is a hotbed of sexism and they just don't like female candidates. To be honest, I haven't got a clue why there was such a huge difference in number of votes. It is true that candidates with alphabetically friendly to the ballot form names do better, but I've never seen such a large difference.

Another interesting ward is Mr Gordons old ward in Hale. This split (as it has done in the past).

Local election results 22 May 2014- Hale
Name of candidate Description (if any) Number of votes recorded
CEASAR Nicolas James Alexander Green Party 536
CREIGHTON James Malcolm Liberal Democrat 297
DAVEY Tom Conservative Party Candidate 2178 (elected)
GOODMAN Michael Ronald Liberal Democrat 335
JACOBS Geoffrey Alan Liberal Democrat 243
JEANMAIRE Pierre Labour Party Candidate 1994
LYONS Kitty Labour Party Candidate 2019 (elected)
LYONS Roger Labour Party Candidate 1870
RAYNER Hugh Robert Conservative Party Candidate 2155 (elected)
SIMBERG Elliot Keith Conservative Party Candidate 2010

Interestingly with the Labour vote, that seemed to favour the female candidate. Kitty Lyons was elected whilst her spouse Roger trailed by 150 votes. I think we can safely say that the Labour Party was shafted by the Greens in Hale. The 536 Green votes may well have pushed the other two Labour Candidates past the post. Again the losing Tory was alphateically challenged. He was also not a standing councillor. It doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that both Hugh Rayner and Tom Davey have helped at least a couple of hundred people in the ward over the years, so have a bit of a personal vote. I suppose it is worth considering that as Brian Gordon seemed such a popular chap, he'd probably have topped the Tory Poll in Hale. Had they not won two seats from the Lib Dems in Childs Hill, his chicken run to Edgware may have cost the Tories the council.

Finally we look at Mill Hill ward. This had a full slate of parties and is quite interesting in a number of ways
Local election results 22 May 2014- Mill Hill
Name of candidate Description (if any) Number of votes recorded
CLAYTON Rolf Independent 371
DAVIES Jeremy Edwin Liberal Democrat 721
DUSCHINSKY Val Conservative Party Candidate 1936 (elected)
FRANCOME Colin Labour Party Candidate 1229
HANDLEY Deborah June Labour Party Candidate 1264
HART John Robert Conservative Party Candidate 2058 (elected)
HILL Alasdair Liberal Democrat 512
ILOTT Luke Alexander Green Party 282
JOHN Sian Bassett Labour Party Candidate 1231
JONES George Alfred UK Independence Party (UKIP) 731
KHATRI Sury Conservative Party Candidate 1864 (elected)
LEES Michael John Liberal Democrat 470
RUSTIN Barbara Green Party 495
WILLIAMS David Gustave Green Party 228

Between 1994 and 2006 this was a Lib Dem ward. In 2006, John Hart got in for the Tories leaving two Lib Dems. In 2010, it went true  blue. This time we had the three main parties + three Greens, UKIP and an independent. From being top of the pile, Jeremy Davies for the Lib Dems fell to eighth behind George Jones of UKIP. George is a well known character and lead protests against Etz Chaim Free School, collecting thousands of signatures. The other two Lib Dems faired even worse, without a personal vote. Unsurprisingly John Hart, who has been a Mill Hill Councillor for years topped the poll. I find it slightly depressing that hard working Sury Khatri, who clearly deserved to get reelected came third out of the Tories.  I guess this is mostly down to being alphabetically challenged. I'd hate to think that there was any degree of racism in the voting pattern (and to be fair 200 votes is around the usual last on the balance difference). The sad thing for me is that if you add up what I call the progressive candidates and take the most successful from Greens, Lib Dems and Labour

HANDLEY Deborah June Labour Party Candidate1264
DAVIES Jeremy Edwin Liberal Democrat721
RUSTIN BarbaraGreen Party495

You get a total of 2480 votes. My guess is that all of these people would rather have seen any of the above elected than John Hart. The sad truth is that until those people on the progressive side of politics get their act together and stop showboating and pretending such losses are victories, we are doomed to a Tory Council.

Adam Langleben, who I get on well with, and who is now a Barnet Labour councillor posted this tweet, which just sums up the head in the sand attitude of Labour locally

We also now replace the Lib Dems as official opposition in Mill Hill. We gave the Tories a real scare there.

The truth is that if the Labour Party could have reached an accomodation as they have done in the past with the Lib Dems and the Greens had not further split the vote, we may well have seen the end of the Barnet Tory administration. As far as I am concerned, Labour has nothing at all to boast about and the sooner they wake up to this fact the better. We can all play silly games and brag about how we are now the most successful losers in particular wards, but in my book any loser is a loser. 

I know the Lib Dems are nationally seen as a toxic brand by Labour. That will not stop the two parties jumping into bed after the next election if it suits them. It just depresses me that the numpties around here are in denial of this fact. 


Richard Logue said...

I was at the count on Friday and noted there was a huge amount of spilt voting in Mill Hill, with some very unusual patterns in the split. Some votes were split between the Lib Dems and UKIP, others were split between the Conservatives and Labour, and others were for just one candidate only, notably John Hart and George Jones.

baarnett said...

For psephology obsessives, is all the data about split voting released by returning officers, or is that information always lost?

Alasdair Hill said...

Firstly congratulations to Sury, Val and Jon for their win in Mill Hill and a thankyou to all candidates of all rosettes for a healthy debate and campaign in these elections. It was very interesting to see how many votes were split; with so much split voting it could be argued that we all failed to really convince Mill Hill residents that we were the best for them.

Naturally I'm gutted I didn't poll better however it was great to meet many residents and listen to people's concerns and I hope to be given an opportunity to represent Mill Hill in the future. I felt that the Lib Dems offered a genuine alternative with well funded ideas for improving services and stood up to tax cut gimmicks and onebarnet unlike Labour. Yet we cannot fight against a national decline easily.

Labour can target where they want and fight as they want; its not for me to say they cant. However their blind determination to wipe out lib dems in Child's Hill scuppered their true goal of winning the council. Labour members expressed their wish for CH to stay LD when I bumped into them campaigning in Child's Hill.

Mill Hill is a great, green place with residents proud of their community; this blog is a testament to that. However there will be challenges ahead in the future as we find it increasingly difficult to school our teenagers and our green spaces have increasing pressure to be converted into luxury flats for the few. I hope to meet you all in campaigning for a continued fair and buoyant community in Mill Hill.

valblog said...

Try changing your name to Arseborne, and you'll be top of the list alphabetically, and you might get along better with him of whom we do not speak :)

valblog said...

(Then run for the council?)

Anonymous said...

Well it clear that either the split vote or the outspoken Sury cost him some votes. i suspect the latter. He was often told to shut up for questioning proposals. Go independant Sury after the General Election and lets have real council debate instead of the whip.

Anonymous said...

Well it is clear that either the split vote or the outspoken Sury cost him some votes. i suspect the latter. He was often told to shut up for questioning proposals. Go independant Sury, after the General Election and lets have real council debate instead of the whip.