East of the M60‘s look at 2018’s local election results
- Business as usual in Tameside as Labour retains hold on borough;
- National picture of UKIP vote going to Tories echoed in Tameside;
- Stalybridge Town Party challenges main two parties in the town’s three wards.
If you followed the BBC’s Local Election coverage, you would have noticed how Labour’s results have been portrayed as a crushing defeat. Or at worst a stalemate, in spite of getting its highest number of councillors since 1971. On the other hand, the Conservatives saw improved figures, due to the near collapse of UKIP.
In Tameside it was more or less “business as usual”. Of the nineteen councillors that were returned to office, seventeen of which are Labour. Two of which for the Conservative party.
Ashton Hurst, a target ward for the borough’s Conservatives saw the election of another Labour councillor. Dolores Lewis defeated Paul Buckley. Stalybridge South – as expected – returned a Tory councillor; Liam Billington. In 2015, Mr. Billington stood as a candidate for Ashton Hurst, losing to Labour’s Michael Glover by 471 votes.
After previously standing as a UKIP candidate in Hyde Newton, Phil Chadwick finally got his place in the council chamber. This time, as a Conservative party candidate he clinched his seat in the Hyde Werneth ward. For Phil it was his stance against the potholes that was behind his success. His fellow peer in the same ward, Councillor John Bell was amazed at the former Hyde United footballer’s workload.
Nipping at the heels of both Labour and Conservative parties in Stalybridge was the newly formed Stalybridge Town Party. Formed only months prior to the local elections, their Pro-Stalybridge messages mustered over 1,800 votes in three wards.
Wards contested, by party:
- Labour (including Labour Co-op): 19;
- The Green Party of England and Wales: 17;
- Conservative Party: 19;
- United Kingdom Independence Party: 2;
- Stalybridge Town Party: 3;
- Mossley Independent Community Party: 1;
- Independent candidates: 1;
- Liberal Democrats: 5;
- Communist League: 1;
- The Official Monster Raving Loony Party: 1.
* * *
Labour gain from Conservatives.
A close call which led to one of the Tory target ward seats going to Labour.
- Dolores Lewis, Labour Party: 1,427 (47.8%);
- Paul Buckley*, Conservative Party: 1,384 (46.4%);
- Philip Blakeney, Green Party: 173 (5.8%).
Total votes casted: 2,987 (three rejected).
Ashton St. Michael’s
- Bill Fairfoull*, Labour Party: 1,396 (65.3%);
- Dot Buckley, Conservative Party: 523 (24.4%);
- Hannah Smee, Green Party: 210 (9.8%).
Total votes casted: 2,139 (ten rejected).
A comfortable victory for Vimal Choksi, who has replaced the retiring Lynn Travis.
- Vimal Choksi, Labour Party: 1,337 (57.2%);
- Kate Scott, Conservative Party: 672 (28.8%);
- Lee Huntbach, Green Party: 319 (13.6%).
Total votes casted: 2,336 (eight rejected).
- Oliver Ryan*, Labour Party: 1,581 (55.2%);
- Danny Mather, Conservative Party: 922 (32.2%).
- Peter Harris, United Kingdom Independence Party: 195 (6.8%);
- Georgina Blakeney, Green Party: 161 (5.6%);
Total votes casted: 2,865 (six rejected).
Denton North East
- Vincent Ricci*, Labour Party: 1,375 (59.6%);
- Dawn Lesley Cobb, Conservative Party: 747 (32.4%);
- Jen Nield, Liberal Democrats: 177 (7.7%).
Total votes casted: 2,308 (nine rejected).
A thumping victory for Claire Reid.
- Claire Reid*, Labour Party: 1,582 (67.2%);
- Aimee Lumley, Conservative Party: 561 (23.8%);
- Farmin’ Lord Dave, The Official Monster Raving Loony Party: 206 (8.7%).
Total votes casted: 2,354 (five rejected).
- Michael Smith*, Labour Party: 1,730 (60%);
- Thomas Dunne, Conservative Party: 777 (26.9%);
- Jean Smee, Green Party: 365 (12.7%).
Total votes casted: 2,883 (eleven rejected).
The widow of Tameside MBC’s previous leader [Councillor Kieran Quinn] sweeps to victory.
- Sue Quinn*, Labour Party: 1,333 (60.2%);
- Matt Stevenson, Conservative Party: 656 (29.6%);
- David Melvin, Green Party: 149 (6.7%);
- Shaun Offerman, Liberal Democrats: 70 (3.2%).
Total votes casted: 2,213 (five rejected).
- Barrie Holland*, Labour Party: 1,453 (63.4%);
- Declan Ruane, Conservative Party: 362 (15.8%);
- Annie Train, Green Party: 274 (11.9%);
- Maurice Jackson, United Kingdom Independence Party: 197 (8.6%).
Total votes casted: 2,293 (seven rejected).
A solid Labour win was never in doubt in Dukinfield.
- Jacqueline Lane*, Labour Party: 1,427 (61.3%);
- Lucy Turner, Conservative Party: 623 (26.8%);
- Julie Wood, Green Party: 271 (11.6%).
Total votes casted: 2,328 (seven rejected).
The addition of Stalybridge Town Party appears to have split both Labour and Conservative votes. Even so, Eleanor held on.
- Eleanor Willis*, Labour Party: 1,146 (44%);
- Dave Tate, Stalybridge Town Party: 696 (26.7%);
- Les Browning, Conservative Party: 622 (23.9%);
- Linda Mary Freeman, Green Party: 132 (5.1%).
Total votes casted: 2,605 (nine rejected).
- Jim Fitzpatrick*, Labour Party: 1,254 (53.1%);
- Andrea Colbourne, Conservative Party: 901 (38.2%);
- Philip King, Green Party: 198 (8.4%).
Total votes casted: 2,360 (seven rejected).
Another one of the Fitzpatrick family got in, and he didn’t do too bad either.
- Philip Fitzpatrick*, Labour Party: 1,336 (52.4%);
- Michael Gibbins, Conservative Party: 827 (32.5%);
- Peter Ball-Foster, Liberal Democrats: 194 (7.6%);
- Michael Baker, Green Party: 181 (7.1%).
Total votes casted: 2,547 (nine rejected).
Conservatives gain from Labour.
It Was The Potholes What Won It for Philip Chadwick, this time as a workaholic Conservative candidate. If you live in Gee Cross and support the Tigers as well as the Conservatives, it’s a time to crack open the champagne.
- Philip Chadwick, Conservative Party: 1,631 (48.7%);
- Andy Kinsey*, Labour Party: 1,422 (42.5%);
- Nina West, Green Party: 155 (4.6%);
- Richard O’Brien, Liberal Democrats: 131 (3.9%).
Total votes casted: 3,348 (nine rejected).
- Janet Cooper*, Labour Party: 1,286 (55.6%);
- Liam Tomlinson, Conservative Party: 746 (32.3%);
- Irene Brierley, Green Party: 273 (11.8%).
Total votes casted: 2,311 (six rejected).
- Stephen Homer, Labour and Co-operative Party: 1,144 (40.7%);
- Lesley Bill, Mossley Independent Community Party: 721 (25.6%);
- Dean Aylett, Independent candidate: 359 (12.8%);
- Andrew Cooper, Conservative Party: 319 (11.3%);
- Christine Clark, Green Party: 174 (6.2%);
- Sally Ashe, Liberal Democrats: 86 (3%).
Total votes casted: 2,811 (eight rejected).
At St. Peter’s you could probably weigh the Labour votes instead of count them. Sitting councillor Joyce Bowerman amassed a sensational near 78% share of the vote.
- Joyce Bowerman*, Labour Party: 1,922 (77.5%);
- Jeff McEwen, Conservative Party: 349 (14%);
- Trevor Clarke, Green Party: 201 (8.1%).
Total votes casted: 2,479 (seven rejected).
Where 666 people took a gander on the newly formed Stalybridge Town Party, Sam Gosling had the last laugh. Stalybridge North is still Labour, though with a slight majority over the Tory candidate.
- Sam Gosling, Labour Party: 1,123 (41%);
- David Tilbrook, Conservative Party: 831 (30.3%);
- Lee Stafford, Stalybridge Town Party: 666 (24.3%);
- Laura Antonia Dias De Almeida, Green Party: 105 (3.8%);
- Hugo Wils, Communist League: 6 (0.2%).
Total votes casted: 2,738 (seven rejected).
From The Department of Stating the Bleeping Obvious, Stalybridge South is blue. This time thanks to a candidate whose initials are LAB, who wants to reopen Stalybridge’s Victoria Market Hall.
- Liam Billington, Conservative Party: 1,233 (44.7%);
- Katy Flanagan, Labour Party: 834 (30.2%);
- Jennifer Brayne, Stalybridge Town Party: 582 (21.1%);
- Amanda Hickling, Green Party: 106 (3.8%).
Total votes casted: 2,760 (five rejected).
* * *
Why the low turnouts?
In this year’s local elections, the average turnout in Tameside is 28%. All three Stalybridge wards (including Dukinfield and Stalybridge) hovered above that figure. One could say the arrival of a new party might have sparked interest in the town, but they are still a long way towards targeting more non-voters in the town. Also, both the Conservative wards have higher than average turnouts (for Tameside wards) anyway.
Election fatigue could have one effect on some voters; besides local elections there has been two General Elections, a Mayoral Election, and an EU Membership Referendum. In the last five years. Also the perception of “my vote being unable to change anything”. Which explains why I’ve favoured Proportional Representation with the Single Transferable Vote.
Next year, there will be another set of local elections. These will be held on the 02 May 2019 – possibly the first post-Brexit election. For our local parties, it’s another slog till next year.
S.V., 08 May 2018.