Watching the results

The timing of this year’s local election results for Labour supporters was painful.
By 3am, Labour losses had mounted up and the Conservatives were gaining.
Labour had lost Derby (with UKIP – a busted flush everywhere else – winning 2 seats) and the Conservatives had won Peterborough and Nuneaton.  Labour had won Plymouth but failed to win Barnet.  The Conservatives had lost Trafford.

By the time Tower Hamlets, the last council, declared, Labour had gained councillors and Kirklees & Tower Hamlets; whilst the Conservatives had lost Trafford.
In the meantime, Labour was perceived to have lost these elections.  Apparently Labour had talked up the prospects of winning Westminster, Wandsworth & Barnet and then failed to.
This may not have been true; what was true was hours of analysis was broadcast without commentators talking about the impact of cuts in finance for local government.
However, projections on share of the vote as if the whole country had voted showed Labour level with the Conservatives and 3 seats ahead applied to a General Election.
Skwawkbox went even further saying “Labour had its best local election results since 1971”.
This seems surprising given some of the massive wins of the past such as 1985, when Labour won 48% of the vote and gained 2,000 councillors.
What actually makes you think is when you reflect on what you can do to improve the results next year.  And whether the Government feel under pressure for their policies on cutting funds to local government services.
Certainly, Alistair Campbell is concerned that Labour is not doing well enough.


Votes for Women

Women Nottingham City Councillors Linda Woodings and Wendy Smith are among many celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Act that gave votes for women in the UK; well, most women, and at a minimum age 9 years older than for a man.
RotPA 1918 wiki Screenshot (837) ab0673h
Wikipedia shows the terms of the “Representation of the People’s Act 1918” was qualified, and in aspects confusing.
– Women over 30, but not all.
– Men over 21, but some younger than 21 if they served in the war at a certain point – something that might inform campaigns for the age of majority to be reduced to 16 since we call on people to join the armed services below 18.
A range of events are being organised to celebrate.

Referendum turnout and ward trends

Some anaylsis it seems on how supporters of various parties have voted in the referendum.
But not so much on turnout, generally reported as being high (72.2%), and the highest national vote since the General Election of 1992.
In Nottingham, postal vote turnout was 84.3%, yet overall turnout was low, at 61.8%.
Now, it may be that the referendum coming just after many university students have gone to new jobs or to their other homes, could explain a lot.
But given the emphasis on how there are huge numbers who would vote for an alternate politics, there has to be a question mark over that assertion.

Meanwhile, what drives the voting?
The national campaigns yes; and the pattern of results then reflects a number of sociological trends.  Crudely speaking, in Nottingham, wards dominted by the council housing estates of the 20’s/30’s and of the ’70s voted LEAVE; the wards with more older housing, or by university living, or more metropolitan living, voted REMAIN.
After that, local activity can make a difference, and does, and in the New Meadows, did.

13529205_1330269360326834_5665592945932092117_nReturning to the national result, could Jeremy Corbyn, with better campaigning have changed the result?
I did, too often, have to explain on the doorstep that Jeremy was voting REMAIN, and in the end, isn’t that the real criticism?
In a major test – a decision for the future of the country – in which the choice was limited to one of two options, too many of the voters didn’t understand what his position was.

Could it have switched 635,000 voters?  Or won an extra 1,270,000 voters? Or the right mix of both?
Whatever, the notion that Jeremy would be a catalyst to the non-voters can no longer seem significant.

Michael Edwards is common

Screenshot (341)b0513h Labour Michael Edwards name matches
Michael Edwards is common and you already knew that – why otherwise would the website be addressed as MichaelMEdwards.wordpress – cos who cares about the middle M?
That the name is so common is confirmed by a little routine the Labour Party put together to allow people to check they are on the electoral register and launched on national registration day – geared up to get more people to register to vote.
Turns out there are more Michael Edwards’ than the average home attendance of AFC Telford – get in..

Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

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Register to vote in Nottingham.

Nottingham City Council published its first Individual Electoral Registration (IER) register on 1 December.

There are now 191,378 electors on the register compared to the 204,407 at 1 February (the last register under the old household registration system) – an overall fall in electorate of 13,029. About 12,500 of this 13,029 are students whom we removed from the register as no longer resident in halls.
(However, a re-calculation has just been circulated, so these figures will now be revised.)

Generally the electorate figures in the City are stable and details, by polling district, are attached in a spreadsheet. In most residential areas the impact of IER has been minimal and where the electorate has fallen this is mainly attributable to the absence of student registrations – the polling districts with significant drop in electors are predominantly student areas or areas with high rise flats with key pad entry where the council can’t get access to canvass and/or where there is a high turnover of tenants /residents (students or private renters) who probably did not match with DWP records anyway.

Bridge wards figures are stable too – up 53 voters.
But the number of voids is phenomenal.
And whilst there is some planned demolition that might explain a part of it, around half of the city centre properties are down as void, and properties in Castle Marina and along Queens Road may also be contributing to high voids.
(I will ask some more questions.)

Ed Miliband has expressed concern.
The Guardian has expressed its surprise as the complacency over the fall in numbers. They highlight a bigger concern of millions more missing anyway.