Things are hotting up in Broxtowe, and we’ve been very busy looking round the wards to pick out the best stories. We have a load to publish in the next few days, so while we chain ourselves to our desks and dose ourselves with industrial strength coffee, let’s give you some interaction. Here’s a poll for you to vote in, on the understanding that this is in no way intended to be anything but, to quote that Sorceror of the Swingometer, Peter Snow, ‘it’s only a bit of fun’. Remember, voting more than once should be tough, but if you do get round our attempts to block multiple clicking, each extra vote results in a kitten being slapped. Your choice, electorate.

 

The Final Curtain…..

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

Now The Dust Has Settled: A Brief Summation; by Lord B

The votes have been tallied, counted and announced. The Pearson Centre has been cleared of the trestle tables used for counting, and the new Councillors anointed at County Hall. It’s all over.

There was a chance that the process could have gone on much longer; if there was no overall control then the parties would have had a long period of horse-trading and scurrilous plotting. We’ve been spared that by Labour scraping through with a majority of one.

What conclusions can we draw? There was no overwhelming victor as such: Labour’s one seat was an improvement, but was well below what they should have gained when national polling is taken into consideration. Labour activists have confidentially expressed resentment at the campaign:  that the wrong approach was taken, that there was no cohesion between the party in its distinct north-south entities.

This expressed itself with the defection of North Broxtowe Labour activist Sarah Brown. A few days before the election, she told me that the disillusionment with the way her branch was run was leading her to consider a move. This was great news for the Lib Dems, who gave her the incentive of standing for parliament in 2015, possibly in Sherwood. Despite this, she campaigned in Nuthall right up to polling day, before giving me the nod to break the news on Twitter on Saturday.

It’s a PR coup for a buoyant Lib Dem party. They held all five of their seats in Broxtowe, albeit with reduced majorities in most. Brown’s crossing of the proverbial floor led to them portraying Labour in disarray, as the North Broxtowe members move leftward away from the moderate centre-left David Watts likes to think his party occupy.

I’m  sceptical about this, but first a disclaimer. I’ve known Brown since the 2010 election: we briefly worked together at the City Council. She was bullishly political then, as I recall the first thing she ever said to me was ‘Did you vote Labour?’

I nevertheless think that her move to the Lib Dems is not through ideological reconfiguration, but I will stop short of labelling her cynically ambitious. I think the reason is more to do with the divisions in Labour, and its ability to attack itself more effectively than the lay into the opposition. Brown claims she was ‘marginalised’ by other members, but other sources claim this was more to do with her politics being notably more left-wing than her fellow members.

The Tories lost control of County Hall, and generally had an awful day. While Ukip failed to inflict the damage expected, there was little to be cheerful about for the Blues. Eric Kerry was usurped from Beeston South and Attenborough, and was visibly gutted. He still remains a Broxtowe Borough Councillor, but it’s scant reward. A possible PPC in 2015, should Soubry not stand?

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The Ukip (lack of) Effect; by Chris Fox

What is interesting about the Broxtowe by-election is the way in which it has, depending upon your interpretation, either bucked the national trend in terms of the UKIP vote, or is actually an election ahead.

We think it’s the latter, and here’s why.

As we all know by now, the popular press has been very keen to play up the really quite minor victories by UKIP. The Telegraph described their win as “nearly well over 150 seats,” which is a very creative way of saying 147.

In Nottingham however, the 1 seat that UKIP had in Hucknall, won in the previous election, was taken from them. In Broxtowe they were barely present – their highest percentage was 23% of the vote in Beauvale, which put them 3rd behind Labour and the Conservatives.

This could well mean that Nottingham is ahead of the trend. We had our taste of UKIP in power and we voted them out. Only time will tell, but we expect that in two years time this will happen again, but on a national scale. And there is precedent. The same has been seen with the SNP and the BNP is previous by-elections – a flash in the pan, sudden but small explosion of victories, followed by a quick voting out.

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Richard MacRae

One of the real characters in the election was the wild-card Independent, local activist Richard MacRae. Again, a disclaimer: we grew up on the same street in the seventies/eighties, but I didn’t really know him that well.

His campaign was refreshing as he stood on his record as a local activist rather than on the tired promises party-based politicians churn out. His gold-teeth, home-printed campaign hoodie and trainers were massively incongruous on the campaign trail: though he did get suited and booted for the vote/ count.

He certainly put the frighteners up the other parties. The Field Farm issue is highly emotive, and he knew this. As Labour and Lib Dems voted for recommendation to develop on the site, he threatened to steal votes off both. While the Tories voted against the motion in the chamber, Anna Soubry cynically refused to disclose what happened when she lobbied Eric Pickles about the issue, claiming she was still undecided.

This showed how much the Tories feared MacRae too. And while he didn’t cause a shock, he still polled just under a 1,000 votes and looks like causing an upset in 2015.

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Well, that’s us done. It’s undecided if we’ll blog the Euro elections next year, but if not then we’ll be back in early 2015 to bring you the Big One: The General Election AND the Boroughs. Unless the Coalition collapses beforehand, that vote will take place in exactly 2 years time.

We’ll leave this blog up for guest submissions: if any members of the parties/ members of the public want to write their summation / views then please send them over. But Chris and I must now say tarah, and give you a huge thanks for following, reading and commenting.

The Final results

Posted: May 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

No doubt the Lord Beestonia himself will want to comment a little more deeply on the results later, probably after a lemsip and a little rest, but here are the results in full.

BEAUVALE – The Tories hold this seat, John Handley taking over from David Taylor, winning with a slim majority of 148. Voter turnout was down significantly from nearly 44% to just 36.

BEESTON NORTH – Despite some very erratic behavior on this blog, Steve Carr (LIB DEM) keeps Beeston North.

BEESTON SOUTH & ATTENBOROUGH – Labour got its first win of the day with Kate Foal taking this from Eric Kerry. Again voter turnout was dramatically lower, down from 51% to just 35.

BRAMCOTE & STAPLEFORD – Stan Heptinsall kept his seat with  votes. Independent Richard Macrae came with a respectable 952 votes. The final seat was heavily contested with Labour’s Gillian Yamin and the Lib Dem’s Jacky Williams with only a few votes between them and two recounts necessary. When the result finally came in though, it was good news for Jacky Williams. The Lib Dems retained both seats.

CHILWELL & TOTON – John Doddy and Richard Jackson maintained both Tory seats, though the win was by a narrow margin.

EASTWOOD – Turnout was down 2% but the Lib Dems managed to hold it.

KIMBERLEY & TROWELL – Ken Rigby held this for the Lib Dems.

NUTHALL – Labour’s Dawn Elliot was disappointed that UKIP didn’t split the vote as she had hoped. A Conservative hold for Phil Owen

Later on, Lord Beestonia will give his inside view on the events of the day, but right now he needs a rest and something to eat. In the meantime, thank you for reading!

Our final result is in, after a very long wait. The Lib Dems hold both their seats with a narrow victory, so narrow that two recounts were necessary! And independent Richard MacRae received a very respectable 952 votes. We won’t give all of the figures of this one, because there are just too many to list.

However Lord Beestonia got a few responses to the count.

Jacky Collins (LIB DEM) was delighted with the result.

“I’m very pleased to get to the next tier of government,” she said, and I’m looking forward to working on the council.”

Similarly David Watts, though he didn’t win his own seat for Chilwell & Toton, was “absolutely delighted to have kept five seats.”

Labour were thoroughly disappointed to have only taken one seat.

Borough Councillor Mary McGuckin commented on the national UKIP vote, that it was clear people were voting them due to issues that needed to be addressed and perhaps weren’t by the three main parties.

Finally Richard MacRae, though he didn’t get a seat was happy, stating that this was “the start of something, not the end.” With that his eyes welled up.

“I used to be a doorman,” he said through the tears. “Now look at me!”

 

It’s a contentious one. A couple of the results  are definitely through. Stan Heptinsall has kept his Lib Dem seat, but jacky Williams is now up against Gillian Yamin. There may be as few 80 votes between them, so each is on edge waiting to see if this is a complete Lib Dem hold, or a minor Labour victory.

In good news however, Independent candidate Richard MacRae received just shy of a thousand votes, 952 to be precise. Well done Rich.

So that final result is still to come. Will labour scrape a seat?

A recount is now going on in the Bramcote & Stapleford count. Lord Beestonia reports that tensions are very high. This is the final result for Broxtowe, two seats that Lib Dems Stan Heptinsall and Jacky Williams must be desperate to keep, given the so far Conservative majority in the Council. Gillian Yamin and Andrew Clayworth (LABOUR) are eyeing those two seats hungrily as well no doubt. Richard MacRae (INDEPENDENT) must be on the edge of his seat.

We’ll keep you updated as the result comes in.

Chilwell & Toton Results

Posted: May 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

John Doddy CON – 2116

Richard Jackson CON – 2122

Richard Eddleston GREEN – 329

Mary Venning GREEN – 255

David Patrick LAB – 1803

Janet Pearse LAB – 1578

Barbara Carr LIB DEM – 500

David Watts LIB DEM – 473

Bob Heeley UKIP – 1205

Keith Marriott UKIP – 1153

The Tories keep both seats but it was a very close win. That means that so far they have 4 seats on the council. Could this mean a  Tory majority?

Lord Beestonia reports that the counting staff are finding it hard to tally the votes for Bramcote & Stapleford. The pressure is getting to them, and the candidates, eager for the results, are getting tetchy.

Hopefully the Lord himself will be able to keep the peace in a wonderful non-partisan way.

Sorry for the delay folks