Friday, September 04, 2009

Tories Win Kent Council Seat For First Time in 40 Years

Last night the Conservatives won a local council by election in Kent. So what, you may ask? Well, it was in the Luton and Wayfield ward in Chatham & Aylesford, one of Labour's five safest in Kent. This is the first time in more than forty years that this seat has returned a Conservative councillor. The swing achieved would result in Tracey Crouch gaining the Chatham and Aylesford Parliamentary seat with a majority of over 5,000 votes. Bye bye Jonathan Shaw.

The full result:

LibDem 223 (7.8 from nowhere)
Tashi Bhutia - Conservative 1042 (+10.8)
Independent 87 (-8.4)
UKIP 200 (7% from nowhere)
Green 51 (1.8 from nowhere)
BNP 187 (6.6% from nowhere)
Labour 1038 (-12.2%)


Majority 4
Swing from Labour to Conservative 11.5%


Good work. The winning candidate, Tashia Bhutia, is an ex Gurkha.

19 comments:

John M Ward said...

Yes, this was a brilliant — and genuinely historic — result. I had said all along (verbally and via 'blog) that I was sure it was going to be close, but I hadn't thought it would be quite as close as that!

Jonathon Shaw was one of the Labour folk I saw around the ward during Polling Day (I was Telling at a Wayfield polling station for two 2-hour stints, walking to and from there, so saw some of what was going on) and he and the other Labourites looked a bit downbeat, I thought.

Anyway: this means that Medway now has 34 Councillors, Labour just ten, the LibDems eight, and the Independent Group three.

Paul O'Rourke said...

Excellent result and a good day for Medway.

Anonymous said...

It can be inferred that 'their' means 'Labour's', but your copy would be improved by making an amendment to that effect, Iain.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and John M Ward's comment could be improved by the insertion of 'Conservative' after '34'. I seem to detect a trend...

Jeff said...

"one of their five safest in Kent"

I take it that just means it was their fifth safest seat?


And if you're suggesting that David Cameron has a chance in the nect general election then I'm afriad you're finger just isn't on the pulse any more Iain... ;)

Quietzapple said...

In 1985, at the height of Thatcherism, I won a council seat as a Labour Candidate and modestly pointed out that it did not herald the millennium.

In those days even an amateur politician was wise enough to take care that his/her words were circumspect.

Quietzapple said...

Oh, my seat was won after a gap of 37 years in labour representation of any kind in the area, but we lost it a couple of years later on a national swing.

The figures for this Kent seat look disappointing for the Tories to my eyes. They seem to have picked up votes from an Independent - little else.

Anonymous said...

Slightly unsophisticated analysis of the result, given that the minor parties put up candidates having not done so previously. Chickens hatched?

NickofTime said...

Amazing that there were still 1038 voters for labour. That's 36.7% of those who voted. That is astonishing. And it is a disgrace that the other party (or parties) is/ are not having even more effect. How can there still be so many voting for the present incumbents?

Siberian Tory said...

Dear me there's a lot of bad feeling from some posters.

Congrats to the medway team.

Anonymous said...

by-elections are different

Jon Shaw is a popular MP

Mirtha Tidville said...

At the end of the day it doesnt really matter how the votes swung, what the percentage of the votes was etc etc etc.....the fact remains Liebour got chucked out.....ergo excellent result and if that gets up the nose of the lefties..tis even better...

Span Ows said...

The figures for this Kent seat look disappointing for the Tories to my eyes. They seem to have picked up votes from an Independent - little else.

Two things...(a) just an iddependent? Waht about LibDem, UKIP, Green, BNP all votes that presumably last time were mostly for Labour. (b) disappointing? ...they won, first time in 40 years...therefore NOT disappointing no matter what happens next.

charle§ said...

Quietzapple:

Just to confirm: you won the seat due to your brilliance and hard work, against the height and the tyranny of Thatcherism. And then lost it due to a national swing?

Talk about circumspection!

Jason King said...

Perhaps you might find space to comment on the by election in Tory controlled Plymouth where Labour increased its majority from 49 to 567. I won't bother with ridiculous extrapolation from a ten fold increase in majority.

John M Ward said...

I hereby formally apologise for missing a word while posting at 2.41 in the morning after a long day of Telling, observation and all the rest of it :-)

It was a genuinely historic event, as everyone in the Universe apart from Labour bods will not only have realised but acknowledged as well.

Now Luton and Wayfield join those other parts of Medway who have already changed political colour in terms of their councillors, and have been raising the bar for their areas ever since, as I have observed in places such as Rainham and urban Strood.

The trolls and their ilk will try to pick on anything they can use to try to pretend otherwise; but — as some of the more dependable commenters here have already stated — it was a genuinely really good win, if closer than most of us would have preferred!

jamesmanning said...

"How can there still be so many voting for the present incumbents?"

Incumbents have so many advantages - like the ridiculous communications allowance that incumbent MPs are able to use to tell their constituents how great they are.

It's just one of the many things that challengers have to deal with. I've discussed it, among other things, in a 'Spotlight on Southampton Test' article on my blog - http://jamesmanning.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/spotlight-on-southampton-test/ - if anyone fancies a gander.

Any colour but brown said...

The real sweetness is that the winner is a Gurkha.

Quietzapple said...

Oh Charle . . oh dear oh dearie me . .

By-elections are literally on offs, like the one Iain has used here to encourage his tory and other anti-Labour followers.

Local General Elections have national campaigns, bring out more voters and tend to reflect the national political position which is usually anti HMG, but not in 1987.

I won the seat in 1985 partly through luck, partly from energy, partly because voters have community spirit, and partly because a fair few tories realised I am fairly honest.

In 1987 Lawson had manufactured a boom which produced a recession in time . . .