AS PREDICTED, Labour’s John Jones and Jim Elmes have scored significant victories in the Bloomfield and Marton by-elections, a result which sees Labour gain one councillor and the Conservatives lose one.
This echoes the national picture, which sees Labour expected to gain around 700 new seats and take control of 20 new councils.
Locally, the turnouts were pathetic, with Marton registering 31.69% and Bloomfield just 21.78% (from 38.73% and 26.47% respectively in 2011). From available records the turnout for Bloomfield is an all-time low for any ward.
- John Jones, Labour, 731
- Ged Walsh, Conservative, 216
- Bev Keenan, Independent, 193
- Sue Close, Liberal Democrats, 73
A good result for Labour, although a small drop in their vote count. The Conservatives, whilst registering a higher percentage of the vote than last time, saw a 34% drop in actual votes whilst Bev Keenan scored a decent victory of her own and demonstrated the value of a local candidate that is not tied to any of the Punch and Judy parties.
- Jim Elmes, Labour, 917 votes
- Peter Collins, Conservative, 644 votes
- Philip Mitchell, Green Party, 103 votes
- Kevan Benfold, Lib Dem, 76 votes
This result must have been a difficult pill to swallow for the Conservatives’ Peter Collins as he barely scraped over half the votes of his popular predecessor Jim Houldsworth in Marton. Previously a fairly strong Tory ward, Marton has now fallen into the grasp of Labour. It seems like all the hard work paid off for Jim Elmes in the end.
Whilst Labour were a shoe-in for Bloomfield, Marton should have been more of a contest. But thanks to the Prime Minister, the Conservatives are shedding supporters in their droves. This must be down to Call me Dave’s terribly unpopular and out of touch policies that see high earners get a tax cut and further taxation applied to booze, fuel, pasties, charities, caravans and pensioners with promises of a cut to Northern public sector salaries.
Or perhaps people just didn’t like the non-local Peter Collins.