Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Politics: Addiscombe local election results 2006

So here's the first of my ward-by-ward looks at the election results from last Thursday. Long-time Labour marginal Addiscombe ward fell to the Tories on a swing of 10%. The new councillors are barrister Andrew Price, student Maria Garcia and MP's researcher Russell Jackson.

Addiscombe is a complicated ward to analyse; its population is the most varied in Croydon, with young professionals commuting to London who tend to move on quickly and longer-term sets of middle-class but more socially-minded types such as teachers and social workers, and large pockets of council and social tenants. Labour has been able to draw strength from all three in the past. The Labour Party and its councillors have been hard-working and high-profile, if somewhat independent, with localised campaigns, diligent casework and intelligent use of communications, not least their website at www.addiscombe.info. But if Labour was to suffer anywhere from national troubles, particularly those such as civil liberties and the Iraq conflict, it was here. The Greens achieved their best result in the borough here, and the Lib Dems were not far behind, similar to the cappuccino zone effect seen last year in Muswell Hill, say. The Tories, already in a strong place, also mopped up votes directly, with known local young candidates. Indeed, they seem like a committed and energetic young bunch, with Jackson just 22, and could stick around for some time.

Campaign-wise, Labour's team made some effort, especially on delivery, but were made to help elsewhere in the borough for most of the time, I understand. The Conservative trio, aided by Jackson's brother, took on much of the work themselves with little outside help, but were not called to Waddon, etc.

Expect this to move back towards Labour in the short term, although made difficult by the youth of the Conservatives; possibly a three- or even four-way battle in the longer term.

Andrew Price (Con) 1948 43.9%
Maria Garcia (Con) 1842 41.5%
Russell Jackson (Con) 1793 40.4%
Sean Fitzsimons (Lab) 1672 37.7%
Amanda Campbell (Lab) 1653 37.3%
Mark Watson (Lab) 1607 36.2%
Simon Barnsley (Grn) 850 19.2%
Paul Rogers (LD) 760 17.1%

electorate 11,087 : turnout 4,437 (40.0%) : swing 10.1% Lab to Con

Labour need 3% swing to regain


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