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Mon Mar 26, 2012, 06:09 PM

Local government, London Mayoral & London Assembly elections 3rd May

It's that time of year when I do the obligatory thread about the elections that are on this year.

We have a number of local elections as always, the London Mayoral race with Boris Johnson & Ken Livingstone as the frontrunners and London Assembly elections. A number of places are also holding referendums on whether or not to have an elected Mayor.

No local elections where I live so I'll be looking over the border to South Yorkshire to see if the Liberal Democrats continue their decline on Nick Clegg's doorstep. Sheffield is also one of those places having a Mayoral referendum, although I have yet to come across any interest in that matter whatsoever.

Come to think of it, I would expect voter turnout to be even worse then usual this year, which is never a good thing.

As always feel free to comment on what local elections are on where you live, any local issues and how much or how little campaigning is being done by political parties where you live.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_local_elections,_2012
http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/how_do_i_vote/registering_to_vote.aspx?

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Reply Local government, London Mayoral & London Assembly elections 3rd May (Original post)
T_i_B Mar 2012 OP
LeftishBrit Mar 2012 #1
Ken Burch Mar 2012 #3
LeftishBrit Mar 2012 #5
Ken Burch Mar 2012 #6
T_i_B Apr 2012 #7
LeftishBrit Apr 2012 #9
T_i_B Apr 2012 #10
mwooldri Mar 2012 #2
Ken Burch Mar 2012 #4
fedsron2us Apr 2012 #8
non sociopath skin Apr 2012 #11
T_i_B Apr 2012 #12
Ken Burch May 2012 #22
T_i_B Apr 2012 #13
LeftishBrit Apr 2012 #14
T_i_B Apr 2012 #15
LeftishBrit Apr 2012 #16
LeftishBrit May 2012 #29
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2012 #17
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2012 #18
SwissTony Apr 2012 #19
tjwmason Apr 2012 #20
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2012 #21
SwissTony May 2012 #23
CBHagman May 2012 #27
T_i_B May 2012 #24
Ken Burch May 2012 #26
Ken Burch May 2012 #25
T_i_B May 2012 #28
Ken Burch May 2012 #30
muriel_volestrangler May 2012 #31
LeftishBrit May 2012 #32
Ken Burch May 2012 #34
fedsron2us May 2012 #33

Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 06:34 PM

1. Oxford City Council is having half of its councillors up for re-election

Current representation - Labour 26; LibDems 16; Green 5; Independent Working Class: 1. Not a single Tory, I'm happy to say. The County Council, which is Tory-controlled, is not up for election till 2013.

I would imagine that there'll be some Labour gains from the LibDems. I voted LibDem last time, and will vote Labour this time - for all the obvious reasons, and also because I used to vote regularly in the past for a particular, very good, very leftwing LibDem councillor, who is now retiring.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 09:21 AM

3. How do you think the Greens will do?

 

After all, they can fairly claim to have no responsibility for the way things have gone at Westminster.

Also...what is the story with the "Independent Working Class" councillor? Is her or his seat up this year? And are any allies of this person standing as well?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 09:35 AM

5. Hard to say

Oxford has a higher Green presence already than a number of other places. Sadly, their strongest leader, Mike Woodin, died in 2005; and I am not sure that there is anyone of the same calibre on the City Council now. Besides, I think people may want to make an anti-Government statement by voting for the main opposition party, i.e. Labour.

You may be interested to know that Bernie Sanders' brother, Larry Sanders, is a Green member of the Oxfordshire County Council.

The IWC councillor was first elected in 2008, presumably to some degree in protest against how right-wing the Labour Party was at that point. He is up for election this year; I think he'll probably be re-elected. There are no official allies.

But it's not always easy to predict results of local elections, because turnout tends to be much lower than in general elections.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 10:13 AM

6. Thanks for the information.

 

I visited Oxford briefly when I was in the UK(and also Ireland)in 2006. Lovely place. Disappointed that I couldn't find any real left-wing booksellers(you'd think there'd be tons of them in a place like that)but enjoyed strolling through the town.

Also, visited Ruskin College to look through the Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger archives, which were given to Ruskin in the 1990's.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 06:23 PM

7. Are the local issues the same as previous years?

Are the local market and bin collections still the big issues or have local councillors in your neck of the woods found something else to argue about?

With no local elections in my area the local parties haven't been too fussed about leafleting us about what they are up to. Hence I'm taking more interest in what's going on over the border in South Yorkshire.

Anyone here voting in the London elections BTW?

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 06:18 PM

9. More on other issues at the moment...

There has been a lot of local 'development' including lots of new building by the city's two universities; the development of the Jericho boatyard area; and some local shops about to be replaced by a Tescos (boo hiss on that last one). There is a lot of debate about all this and its repercussions - not clear exactly where the different parties stand, though the Greens object to most of it. Also the Tories are making an issue of increases in the council tax, and want a 'simplified recycling system', so I suppose wheelie bins still come up. The Covered Market is still very much in existence, and not really an issue at the moment.

Recently, Sayeeda Warsi (ugh) came to Oxford to campaign for the Tories by the side of my very unwanted MP Nicola Blackwood. She actually seemed rather defeatist about the immediate prospects: "I hope that in due course we will have a councillor as well, but this visit is not about immediate electoral success. It is about making sure Oxford is being heard.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:35 AM

10. Different development issue in Sheffield

Last edited Sat May 5, 2012, 06:16 AM - Edit history (1)

A radical plan to redevelop Sheffield City centre ran out of money and has ruined half of Sheffield city centre http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevenstone

That and the cuts to council budgets have ensured that the ruling Labour group on Sheffield council haven't been able to dream up very much in the way of new white elephant schemes to waste money on. Neither Labour or Lib Dem administrations have had much success in sorting out the mess that is the Sevenstone deleopment.

The main opposition to Labour in Sheffield is the Liberal Democrats, and thanks to Clegg's antics at Westminster they are likely to continue their decline locally. The Tories have long since given up on Sheffield and the Greens do quite well in the central wards of Sheffield.

There is also a referendum in Sheffield about having an elected mayor, and a referendum in Doncaster about getting rid of the position of elected mayor, such is the colossal mess that is local politics in Doncaster.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 09:28 PM

2. Sadly Waverley Borough is not up this time.

Last election resulted in all but 1 seat going to the Tories - essentially one party rule. Couple of cycles ago we had a Lib Dem majority with Tory and Labour and independent representation. The one seat on Waverley not Tory is independent.

It would be interesting to see the contests where the choice is Tory or LibDem... would another party get a toehold or whether it would go all Tory b/c of the decimated LD base.

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 09:22 AM

4. perhaps you'd see gains for various independents in those races?

 

Since some voters might well see that as the only way to vote AGAINST the Coalition.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 07:47 PM

8. Not a lot of choice around my neck of the woods in West Sussex

Historically the District council has oscillated between Tories and Liberal Democrats with the former currently dominant.

The declarations show that most wards will only have 4 candidates - Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Labour and UKIP. My guess is that some disgruntled Tory voters will swap to UKIP while disgruntled Liberal Democrat voters will switch to Labour. However, I doubt that the changes will be big enough to make huge difference to the results as Labour are still compromised in the eyes of most voters by the Blair/Brown years while UKIP are essentially a one trick pony. My guess is that most disillusioned voters will simply stay at home. It is a pity we dont have some Green candidates as they would at least give people an alternative. The Greens are active in Brighton so it is disappointing that they can't field many candidates a little way down the coast.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 05:33 PM

11. Unfortunately,no elections in Northumberland this year ...

... so we'll have to wait till next year to see the demise of our own ghastly Conservative - Lib Dem coalition.

Meanwhile, I've just been checking out the Strange Death of the Liberal Democrats in North Tyneside, where I work and where a third of the council is elected annually. Following the total route of the Cleggies last year, this time round only a handful of wards have Lib Dem candidates while others have candidates from the "Focus Team" LOL. Bet that fools the punters.

Even more significant is the number of wards where there are only Tory and Labour candidates.

Have to give credit where it's due and acknowledge that at least the Tories are putting their money where their mouth is ...

The Skin

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Response to non sociopath skin (Reply #11)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:57 AM

12. Good to see you again Skin

I notice that Newcastle is also having a Mayoral referendum. Has that generated any interest?

It's certainly slipping under the radar round here, although it's a major change for local government and the mayoral referendums are possibly the most important of all the elections this year after the London Mayoral contest.

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Response to non sociopath skin (Reply #11)

Tue May 1, 2012, 06:31 AM

22. When spoken by a person with a Tyneside accent

 

Will "the 'Focus Team'" sound like "The 'Fuck Us' Team"?

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 12:29 PM

13. Seeing as there is a lot of hype for UKIP at the moment...

...are they campaigning much round where any of you lot are?

Some in the RW press have been banging on about UKIP quite a lot recently. They seem to be growing in the polls but whether that translates into local election votes is another matter.

http://www.politicshome.com/uk/story/26117/ukip_overtake_lib_dems_in_polls.html

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #13)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 02:54 PM

14. Fortunately, there don't seem to be any standing in Oxford this time.

Although they could perform the useful service of taking votes from the Tories, but still I can do without them. It's not because they're Eurosceptics; it's because they're right-wing nuts!

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #14)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:33 PM

15. They've got a full slate of candidates standing in Sheffield....

....although I wouldn't expect them to make much impact there.

The elections are this week so I thiught I'd give this thread a kick to the top. Has there been much campaigning where any of you are? Not seen or heard of much in Sheffield, and the mayoral referendum has generated virtually no interest either.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:54 PM

16. The Labour candidate for my ward has been campaigning VERY assiduously

The LibDem has also been quite active. The Tory hasn't bothered very much.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #14)

Sat May 5, 2012, 10:34 AM

29. Actually I tell a lie about none standing - there was this one in Quarry and Risinghurst

But it's no lie about her being a right-wing nut:

http://www.cherwell.org/news/topstories/2012/05/04/failed-ukip-candidate-slammed-for-homophobia-

She was also the UKIP candidate for Oxford East in the General Election in 2010. Both then and in the Council election, she suffered rather humiliating defeats by Labour.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:51 PM

17. They're standing in all the wards in my borough

but haven't bothered sending leaflets to my ward, at least. Though the same can be said for Labour. Only the Lib Dem and Tory stand a realistic chance of winning this ward, though.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:53 AM

18. Poll in the Mirror for local elections, with swing from 2008

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mirror-poll-shows-angry-voters-811889



via Liberal Conspiracy

This close to the vote, it may be meaningful. It shows Greens and UKIP with a chance here and there, I'd think, but a big change from 2008, anyway.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 06:19 AM

19. Why is voting in the UK usually held on a Thursday and not the weekend? nt.

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #19)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 06:46 AM

20. It always has been

That's the reason for most things here.

I once heard that Thursday was the half-day closing in the then Prime Minister's home-town, and so it was picked to make it easier to vote...but that sounds somewhat acoprychal to me.

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #19)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:04 AM

21. The current law says they must be held on a working day

There is no statutory requirement for parliamentary elections to be held on Thursdays; they could be held on any weekday except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday, a bank holiday or any day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning. Elections cannot take place on Saturday or Sunday as these days are dies non, i.e. must be disregarded for the purposes of the electoral timetable under the Parliamentary Election Rules in the Representation of the People Act 1983:
Computation of time
2 (1) In computing any period of time for the purposes of the timetable
(a) a Saturday or Sunday,
(b) a Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday or a bank
holiday, or
(c) a day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning,
shall be disregarded, and any such day shall not be treated as a day for the purpose of any proceedings up to the completion of the poll nor shall the returning officer be obliged to proceed with the counting of the votes on such a day.1
The Electoral Administration Act 2006 removed Maundy Thursday from the list of days that are to be disregarded for the purposes of the electoral timetable.
The holding of polls on Thursdays has become an election convention. Since 1935 every general election has been held on a Thursday. Before the Representation of the People Act 1918 elections were held over a period of a fortnight or more and the first time a general election was held on a single day it was held on a Saturday, 14 December 1918. In 1922 and 1924 the general elections were held on Wednesdays and in 1931 the general election was held on a Tuesday.
Local elections in England and Wales are required to be held on the first Thursday in May, or such other day as is fixed by the Secretary of State by order, under the provisions of section 37 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. However, a new clause introduced by ministers at committee stage during the passage of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act Bill 2006-07 will empower the Secretary of State (and Assembly Government ministers in relation to Wales) to move the day of local elections to the same day as that of European Parliament elections when the two fall in the same year. The Bill received Royal Assent on 30 October 2007.

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/briefings/snpc-04469.pdf


I think holding them on a weekday is a good idea; people are more likely to travel to other parts of the country at weekends. Since the poll times are fairly long (7am to 10pm), pretty much everyone gets the chance to vote either before or after work; and doing it on the way there or back, if you drive, can be the most convenient way.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #21)

Tue May 1, 2012, 10:48 AM

23. Thanks for the feedback, tj and m_v

The 'work' argument is used in Australia as a reason as to why elections should be held on a weekend (Saturday, to be exact). Of course, voting is compulsory in Australia, so it could be problematic if 'everybody' tried to vote after work.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #21)

Fri May 4, 2012, 07:42 AM

27. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.?!



I'm all for that. In fact I'm for anything that increases participation in an election.

Here in the States it's possible to run into problems with polling times, work schedules, heavy turnout (and consequently long lines), and technical issues. Mind you, I've never missed a vote because of a lines or equipment malfunctions, but I can't say the same for other people.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Fri May 4, 2012, 01:02 AM

24. Bits & bobs gleaned from BBC website at 6am

Projected national share: Labour 39%, Tories 31%, Lib Dems 16%

Bradford remains under no overall control. The Respect Party of Bradford West MP George Galloway has gained five seats

Liberal Democrats are on course to lose about half of the seats they are defending and drop below 3,000 councillors for the first time in their history.

Labour has regained control of Birmingham council

In my former stomping ground of Colchester Tories have lost 1 ward to Labour, 1 to Lib Dems but otherwise no change.

Labour took 3 seats off Lib Dems in Oxford.

Obviously more to follow, including results of mayoral referendums.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #24)

Fri May 4, 2012, 01:33 AM

26. I was looking at the results from Wales and noticed Plaid Cymru were doing fairly badly

 

You'd think they'd be making gains at a time like this...anybody know enough about Welsh politics to explain why things aren't going well for Plaid?

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Fri May 4, 2012, 01:32 AM

25. Link to incoming results on the BBC website:

 

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 06:08 AM

28. Boris Johnson wins second term by tight margin

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17946742

Boris Johnson has won a second term as London mayor, beating Labour rival Ken Livingstone by 3%, after a far closer contest than expected.

Mr Johnson won on second preference votes after failing to gain more than 50% in the first round.

He bucked the national trend after heavy Tory losses elsewhere.

Lib Dem Brian Paddick saw his vote collapse and he was beaten into fourth place by Green Jenny Jones, with independent Siobhan Benita fifth.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #28)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:12 PM

30. It's probably the end of the line for "Red Ken", then...

 

(...although he at least avoided the humiliation of losing by an increased margin, which the polls earlier in the week suggested was a real possibility).

I hope this isn't the complete end of the line for the kinds of modern, radical, genuinely popular and relevant policies London Labour stood for under Livingstone(particularly in the GLC days). He was the first Labour leader in London, to my knowledge that ever really connected with modern London values, and his outreach to Sinn Fein probably played a major role in starting the reconciliation process in Northern Ireland. Those that preceded him were all pretty much dreary and useless(and obsessively "moderate" and "anticommunist", from what I've seen.

The worst thing London Labour could do would be to replace him next time with a bland, slick, passionless Blairite type. I'd like Jeremy Corbyn get a shot at the mayoral nomination in 2016-he's impressed me with his personal integrity and with his
commitment both to genuine Labour values and to anti-oppression politics. And, like Livingstone when he was an MP, Corbyn's uncompromised radicalism probably guarantees that he'll never end up in the leadership OR even Shadow Cabinet, so he'd have little to lose by standing for mayor.
I was also thinking of Diane Abbott, but the Tories would keep dredging up the issue of where she sends her kids to school.

Can any London Du'ers think of someone else who might be considered for Labour mayoral nomination in the future?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #30)

Sun May 6, 2012, 07:23 AM

31. There's John McDonnell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McDonnell_%28politician%29

Since the winner so far has been a prominent person, whether or not they hew to the party line or are squeaky clean, I'd have said Diane Abbott might stand a better chance, despite the private school choice.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #30)

Sun May 6, 2012, 09:45 AM

32. I think Corbyn is unlikely...

for one thing, he'd be 67 by 2016 and while I don't think Londoners are as 'ageist' about politicians as those in some other places, it could be a disadvantage.

Of Muriel's suggestions: McDonnell, though only slightly younger, is a little more likely because he has some previous background in city-wide government, having served on the GLC - of course that could be turned around to be a disadvantage. Diane Abbott is perhaps a more likely possibility. Yet another might be Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham - a well-known campaigner to turn Labour back to its more left-wing roots, and possibly not as gaffe-prone as the others mentioned. But he may prefer to stay in Parliament - there are some of us who wouldn't mind seeing him as a Labour Prime Minister one day.

This is all assuming that the next candidate for Mayor of London would be chosen from current MPs representing London constituencies, which is not necessarily the case: it could be an a London Assembly member; an MP from outside London (as Boris was), possibly one whose seat gets abolished by the forthcoming boundary changes; or someone appearing out of nowhere between 2012 and 2016!

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #32)

Sun May 6, 2012, 07:48 PM

34. Those are all good potential candidates.

 

Hopefully, Labour's always-paranoid inner circle(the group that ordered Labour councils to stop BEING Labour councils in the Eighties and surrender to rate-capping)will listen.

A Blairite candidate could never be elected Mayor of London. Boris only won because, scarily enough, on some issues he's to the left of "New Labour"as Ted Heath was, for the record).

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #28)

Sun May 6, 2012, 04:07 PM

33. I can't help thinking Boris Johnsons victory will not be greeted with universal rejoicing by Cameron

The fact Johnson polled better than the Conservative party as a whole in London means he has considerably strengthened his position as a future Tory leaderhip contender. Having a 'King Across The Water" (quite literally) is not going to make Cameron's crown sit easy for the rest of his term.

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