Labour candidates were the winners in the Shooters Hill ward in this week’s local government elections, with a 9% swing from Conservative to Labour in the percentage of total votes cast. Danny Thorpe continues as one of our councillors – he’ll reach his 10th anniversary on 29th July – and is joined by two new councillors Sarah Merrill and Chris Kirby. Fourth place in the poll was UKIP’s Les Price, followed by Michael Westcombe from the Green Party. The Greens more than doubled their share of the vote compared to the last local council election in 2010, while the Conservative share dropped by 9.6% and the Liberal Democrats’ vote share almost halved.
The pie chart above perhaps doesn’t give a true picture of the support received by different parties because the Greens and UKIP only put forward one candidate each for the ward, whereas three candidates stood for each of the other three parties. If I allow for this by factoring in the number of candidates per party then I get the following percentages: Labour: 42.8%; UKIP: 20.4%; Green: 15.7%; Conservative: 14.5% and Liberal Democrat: 6.6%
The full results, taken from the Royal Borough of Greenwich web site, are included below. The percentages here are based on the turnout figure of 3968 – just 40.99% of those eligible.
|Anthony Phillip AUSTIN||Liberal Democrats||269||6.78%|
|Stewart Charles CHRISTIE||Liberal Democrats||390||9.83%|
|Christopher Charles Andrew KIRBY||Labour||1,940||48.89%|
|Sarah Jane MERRILL||Labour||2,027||51.08%|
|Bonnie Christopher SOANES||Liberal Democrats||249||6.28%|
|Danny Lee THORPE||Labour||1,894||47.73%|
|Michael David WESTCOMBE||Green Party||716||18.04%|
That 40.99% figure for turnout is particularly worrying. More than half of eligible voters didn’t vote, so even the candidate with most votes was only supported by about one in five of Shooters Hill’s voters. It also seems likely that quite a few ballot papers were spoiled. If the total number of votes is divided by 3 (the number of votes allowed per voter), the answer is 500 less than the turnout figure. Of course this may also be because some voters didn’t use all three of their allowed votes, but it could mean that 12.6% ballot papers were spoiled.
The data I’ve used for comparing the performance of parties at recent elections comes from the London Datastore created by the Greater London Authority. This contains a spreadsheet with the 2006 and 2010 local election results, and a set of pdfs with data from earlier elections. The percentages of the vote received by political parties in the Shooters Hill ward each year are plotted below, though these figures do not allow for parties fielding fewer than the allowed number of candidates. Prior to 2002 there was no Shooters Hill ward – the nearest equivalents then were Shrewsbury ward and Herbert ward, but I haven’t tried to work out the exact mapping to the current boundaries.
The results for the European elections that were held at the same time as the local elections haven’t been published yet, and I don’t know if they will be broken down to ward level. If they are I’ll update this post with Shooters Hill’s European decision.