There were two principal council elections held on the 8th January.The Tories held one seat and the Lib Dems held one seat. No Town and Parish Council results were reported to ALDC.
In the Drypool Ward of Kingston-upon-Hull City council we had a potentially difficult defence. One of our councillors in Drypool fell out with the group leadership, defected to the Tories and then resigned when discovered living in Guernsey by the press. Our third defection in one ward in 10 years! Our control of Hull was not dependent on the result but taking the seat back was certainly a moral boost. Drypool is a ward where we have already won in 7 out of the last 8 elections. However the last Labour councillor for the Ward was not ousted until 2007. He was runner up in the Labour selection to replace John Prescott in Hull East, the parliamentary constituency where Drypool lies, and confidently stood again in this by-election.Labour was stunned to be beaten again by more than when he was the defending incumbent in 2007.
Before the election began we had a good level of Voter ID and a healthy shuttleworth. We had surveyed the whole ward in the summer as part of our normal community politics and our candidate was well known for her work in a residents association. Given the likelihood of bad weather throughout the campaign but specifically on polling day we decided to focus our canvassing at the beginning of the campaign on those in the pool without postal votes to encourage them to apply for them. After the deadline for postal vote applications passed we widened our net to include new voters as well. The figures speak for themselves. Of the 940 postal voters 703 voted – 75%. Of the 8400 non postal voters 1795 voted – 21%. Of all votes cast postal votes represented 28%. The message is simple sign up your supporters as postal voters.
In the Bush Hill Park ward of the north London borough of Enfield saw the Independent “Save Chase Farm” candidate who got 24.4% in 2006 fail to stand a candidate. Their vote reverted to the Tory giving them a pyrrhic victory.