Business as usual for Labour
- Labour still the main party, though one Tory gain in Hyde Werneth;
- Close runs for Cross and Billington;
- Simmons increases share of vote.
If you believed the hype on the BBC’s much-criticised election coverage, the Labour Party was destined to lose 250 seats in the local elections. The national picture was anything but, and somehow, this message fell on deaf ears in Stalybridge. Dukinfield, and Ashton-under-Lyne.
On paper, the figures represent a steadfast approach to Tameside MBC’s service delivery in tumultuous times. If you look at the turnout, it has been pretty low. Even with the addition of independent candidates in the Dukinfield/Stalybridge, and Dukinfield wards, as well as Mossley and Denton South. Perhaps the 65% or so of potential voters that couldn’t be bothered might have seen no incentive to vote, due to privatisation, cutbacks, and the use of first-past-the-post at local elections.
If you looked at the figures at face value, Labour haven’t only held on to their core vote. With the exception of Ashton Hurst, the Labour vote has been strengthened. In Ashton Hurst, 124 votes separated Leigh Drennan from his Conservative challenger, Liam Billington. Stalybridge South remains a Conservative ward, thanks to Doreen Dickinson’s 1,442 votes. On last year’s figures, there had been a swing to Labour.
For Mossley’s Tameside ward, the Independents had a greater share of the vote, but it was Labour who benefited, with two members returned to Dukinfield Town Hall yesterday. Tafheen Sharif and Jack Homer were the victors. Frank Travis completed the hat trick by winning the Cheshire ward seat in the Mossley Town Council elections.
Dukinfield remained an happy hunting ground for Labour, where Brian Wild polled 1,400 votes. One major concern was the number of votes cast in this ward. 2,662 this year, compared with 4,945 in last year’s election (turnout being higher due to a General Election on the same Thursday). The town’s Conservative Party candidate saw a 63% drop in votes; UKIP’s fell by 51%. Where did the voters go? Were they watching Liverpool on BT Sport instead?
Yet Dukinfield was one of two wards to see a fresh face donning a white rosette. Dave Tate, polled with 140 votes. His counterpart in Dukinfield/Stalybridge, Chris Caton-Greasley, saw greater success, polling 375. Perhaps some of the StalyDuk Conservatives went for Chris instead of David Anderson, the UKIP candidate.
Stalybridge North remained a Labour ward, though with gentle swings towards the Conservative candidate, Colin White, and the Green Party’s Jean Smee. This ward had the lowest turnout in Tameside. Though on a smaller number of votes, Phil Chadwick was second to his Labour counterpart in Hyde Newton. Labour also held onto Hyde Godley.
Hyde Werneth saw Raja Miah lose to Ruth Welsh, a fairly familiar face in this ward. The Conservative councillor beat her Labour counterpart by 115 votes, in what was the borough’s only Tory gain of the year. Hyde Godley and Longdendale wards, both remained Labour with Joe Kitchen retaining his seat in the former. Alongside Gillian Peet in the Longdendale ward will be Chris Buglass.
Audenshaw, once Liberal Democrat territory, saw another fair challenge for the Labour victor. The introduction of a Conservative Party candidate [David Johnson], may have split some of last year’s UKIP vote (Maurice Jackson standing again for Farage’s party). Tameside’s only Communist Party of Britain candidate, Paul Ward, polled 18 votes.
In both Droylsden West and Droylsden East, the sum total votes of their Conservative candidates were fewer than that of David Johnson’s in Audenshaw. Ged Cooney and Jim Middleton held on to their seats. Denton West also saw its Conservative vote dwindle on last year’s figures: 15.4% share with 506 votes (compared with 1,843 and a 31.1% share).
For Labour, it was business as usual at Denton North East and Denton South. In the latter ward, covering Haughton Green, Carl Simmons increased his share of the vote to 32.1%, with 558 votes separating him from George Newton, the Labour victor. In 2015, Mike Fowler had almost twice as many votes as the Independent candidate.
In St. Peter’s ward (Guide Bridge and the West End of Ashton-under-Lyne for the uninitiated), Labour had a whopping 71.2% of the vote. The runner-up, Laura Martin (Conservative) polled with 300 votes. Trevor Clarke, long-time Green Party candidate for this ward polled 249, in front of the borough’s only BNP candidate, Bill Kitchen (200 votes).
Though Labour maintained its share of the votes, there was some swings to Independent candidates, most notably in Denton South. If we look at the hard figures, turnout was down on last year’s elections throughout the borough. Even with Thursday’s voter friendly weather conditions. Has the borough’s populace given up on the local elections? Could the fault lie in our transition to individual voter registration?
Where Conservative candidates have stood against UKIP counterparts, it has had more of an effect on UKIP’s vote. In Droylsden, the Tories have barely had a sniff, as UKIP stayed second in its eastern and western wards.
Apart from the European Union Referendum (23 June 2016), we shall be voting again in 2017, to elect the mayor of the Greater Manchester City Region. This will be followed by 2018’s local elections.
- Labour (including Labour Co-op): 51 (-1);
- Conservative Party: 6 (+1).
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Tameside MBC Local Election Results:
Please note that elected candidates are denoted in the colours of their respective parties.
- Liam Billington, Conservative Party: 1,412 (43.4%);
- Leigh Drennan, Labour Party: 1,536 (47.2%);
- Nigel Rolland, Green Party: 291 (8.9%).
Ashton St. Michael’s
- Margaret Sidebottom, Labour Party: 1,714 (69.3%);
- Christine Liley, Conservative Party: 731 (29.5%).
- Sam Daniels, Conservative Party: 675 (25.6%);
- Andrew Threlfall, Green Party: 385 (14.6%);
- Catherine Piddington, Labour Party: 1,560 (59.1%).
- Teresa Smith, Labour Party: 1,465 (45.1%);
- Maurice Jackson, United Kingdom Independence Party: 725 (22.3%);
- Joe Henthorn, Green Party: 176 (5.4%);
- Paul Ward, Communist Party of Britain, The: 18 (0.6%);
- David Johnson, Conservative Party: 858 (26.4%).
Denton North East
- Dennis Connor, United Kingdom Independence Party: 755 (27.8%);
- Denise Ward, Labour Party: 1,505 (55.5%);
- Dawn Cobb, Conservative Party: 442 (16.3%).
- George Newton, Labour Party: 1,559 (50.1%);
- Carol White, Conservative Party: 197 (6.3%);
- Adrienne Shaw, United Kingdom Independence Party: 354 (11.4%);
- Carl Simmons, Independent candidate: 1,001 (32.1%).
- Carl Edwards, Conservative Party: 506 (15.4%);
- Gareth Hayes, Green Party: 178 (5.4%);
- Max Bennett, United Kingdom Independence Party: 654 (19.9%);
- Dawson Lane, Labour Party: 1,936 (59%).
- Scott Truter, Conservative Party: 256 (9.1%);
- Ted Salmon, United Kingdom Independence Party: 948 (33.6%);
- Annie Train, Green Party: 166 (5.9%);
- Jim Middleton, Labour Party: 1,449 (51.3%).
- Peter Harris, United Kingdom Independence Party: 794 (27.8%);
- Andrew Climance, Green Party: 145 (5.1%);
- Ged Cooney, Labour Party: 1,665 (58.4%);
- Kate Harvey, Conservative Party: 241 (8.5%).
- Ian Cooke, United Kingdom Independence Party: 590 (22.2%);
- David Woodward, Conservative Party: 367 (13.8%);
- Brian Wild, Labour Party: 1,400 (52.6%);
- Dave Tate, Independent candidate: 140 (5.3%);
- Julie Wood, Green Party: 162 (6.1%).
- David Anderson, United Kingdom Independence Party: 772 (28.3%);
- Chris Caton-Greasley, Independent candidate: 375 (13.8%);
- Leanne Feeley, Labour Party: 1,548 (56.8%).
- Forhad Jani, Conservative Party: 366 (13.8%);
- Andrea Colbourne, United Kingdom Independence Party: 842 (31.7%);
- Joe Kitchen, Labour Party: 1,440 (52.4%).
- Peter Robinson, Labour and Co-operative Party: 1,597 (52.3%);
- Philip Chadwick, United Kingdom Independence Party: 1,132 (37.1%);
- Andrew Highton, Green Party: 301 (9.9%).
Conservative gain from Labour.
- Raja Miah, Labour Party: 1,686 (48.1%);
- Ruth Welsh, Conservative Party: 1,771 (50.5%).
- Irene Brierley, Green Party: 176 (6.7%);
- Chris Buglass, Labour Party: 1,261 (48%);
- David Tyler, Conservative Party: 784 (29.8%);
- Michael Booth, United Kingdom Independence Party: 400 (15.2%).
- Dean Aylett, Independent candidate: 705 (12.9%);
- Lesley Bill, Independent candidate: 765 (14%);
- Claire Hardisty, Independent candidate: 408 (7.5%);
- Christine Lyness, Independent candidate: 647 (11.8%);
- Christine Clark, Green Party: 339 (6.2%);
- Stuart Bennett, Green Party: 222 (4.1%);
- Phil Rogers, Conservative Party: 321 (5.9%);
- Martin Kiely, Liberal Democrats: 134 (2.4%);
- Jack Homer, Labour Party: 1,140 (20.8%);
- Tafheen Sharif, Labour Party: 784 (14.3%).
- Trevor Clarke, Green Party: 249 (9.4%);
- Bill Kitchen, British National Party: 200 (7.6%);
- Laura Emma Martin, Conservative Party: 300 (11.4%);
- Warren Bray, Labour Party: 1,878 (71.2%).
- Jean Smee, Green Party: 407 (16.2%);
- Jan Jackson, Labour Party: 1,299 (51.7%);
- Colin White, Conservative Party: 795 (31.6%).
- Oliver Cross, Labour Party: 984 (36%);
- Doreen Dickinson, Conservative Party: 1,442 (52.7%);
- Paul White, Green Party: 303 (11.1%).
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Next up on It’s Up The Poll! 2016
Well, there is the small matter of an EU Referendum on the 23 June 2016. There, we shall be looking at the implications of remaining or leaving the European Union, from a Tameside perspective.
S.V., 05 May 2016.