It’s been a great few weeks working with Vincent Lo for the Kenton by-election. Although the Tories retained the seat Vincent’s popularity on the doorstep clearly showed in what is a safe Tory ward by achieving a 8% swing to Labour from the local election 10 months ago.
A bit of number crunching shows that the Tory share of the vote in large remained the same. Labour’s swing came from a small reduction in the Coalition party votes and a 54% decrease in the Green Party vote.
Congratulations to Michael Maurice who joins his colleagues Cllr Kansagra and Cllr Colwill as Conservative Party Councillors for the ward.
Unfortunately Labour was unable to gain a seat from the Conservatives in Kenton ward yesterday following the death of Councillor Arthur Steel which triggered the by-election. Conservative candidate Suresh Kansagra won by 156 votes.
The final results were as follows:
Suresh Kansagra (Conservative) – 1,063 votes
Ellie May Southwood (Labour) – 907 votes
Robert Dunwell (Independent) – 185 votes
Alan Mathison (Green Party) – 75 votes
(turnout – 25.96%)
The seat would have been a real coup for Brent Labour as it has been Conservative since its existence. It remains the only ward in Brent which has three Conservative Councillors. It was a fair fought election and Ellie was a splendid candidate and managed to increase the Labour vote in Kenton Ward by 2.8%. Meanwhile the Lib Dem vote collapsed from 14.4% in May to 7.4% yesterday and were even shamefully beaten by the Independent candidate Robert Dunwell.
Change from May 2010 elections
May 2010 Result
Feb 2011 by-election Result
Change from May election (%)
– 2.4 %
+ 2.8 %
– 7 %
– 1.5 %
+ 7.6 %
I’d like to congratulate Suresh on his victory and I look forward to working with him at the Council.
I don’t think this will go away as an issue for a long while. I was out knocking on doors in Dudden Hill on Saturday as well as in Kenton Ward on Sunday, campaigning for Ellie Southwood’s by-election campaign.
Many parents with children and even grandparents who were concerned about their grandchildren were devastated at the Government’s decision and intention to treble fees for young people. The Lib Dem and Tory argument that it is not an upfront cost and that it’s something that they have to spend after they are working is not washing off.
Parents are aggrieved and rightly so that their children are being encouraged by the Government to take on such larger levels of debt.
I am delighted that Ellie May Southwood has been selected as the Labour Party candidate for the Kenton Ward by-election to the London Borough of Brent. The election was called following the death of Councillor Arthur Steel and the date for the by-election vote to replace Mr Steel will be on February 17th.
Ellie was born blind but that has by no means deterred her from being successful in life. She is a management consultant as well as a trustee for the RNIB in addition to being a trustee of a governor at a school for children with complex needs.
Ellie’s key pledges are to protect Kenton’s open spaces, work to put an end to local flooding problems in Kenton, fight to keep the Safer Neighbourhood Team, protect Kenton residents from Coalition cuts and to campaign for opportuniites for young people.
Ellie would make an excellent choice for the people of Kenton to represent them at Brent Council and I hope that she will be successful in her quest to join me as a colleague following the vote on February 17th. I will be actively campaigning to help Labour and Ellie win in Kenton.