Friday, May 30, 2014

Lewisham Council Election Results 2014 - the detail

Detail on the mayoral election can be found on the council's website and Alternative SE4 has a nice view of how the council chamber will look.

Below is a bar chart of the number and share of the vote in the mayoral election:

This post is about the detail of the elections for the 54 council seats. The council as yet have only published the detail of these as one huge pdf file, which is pretty hard to visualise, but thankfully Lewisham Green Party have taken the time to painstakingly transcribe the results and put them on google drive, which they were kind enough to share with me.

I've been through these and made some simple bar charts of the counts in each ward. I've done nothing more sophisticated than that, but I think they tell a story by themselves. Throughout the post the parties are denoted by their usual colours with People Before Profit denoted by a light purple and UKIP by a dark purple. The Socialist/TUSC party are denoted by pink.

Obviously Labour had the largest share of the vote and won the most seats in every ward, with only the Greens managing to hold onto a single seat in Brockley. The graphs below show what has happened to share of the vote and number of councillors between 2002 and 2014, over 4 elections.

Labour's dominance shows through clearly, but look at the Lib Dem collapse in voting share in 2014. The Tories actually increased their share of the vote between 2010 and 2014, as did the Greens, but the total collapse of the Lib Dem vote, with most of those votes going to Labour, had the knock on effect of ensuring that the Tories lost their single seat and the Greens didn't manage to make their increased voter share count. The Greens got 16% of the vote in both 2006 and 2014, but in 2006 they had 6 councillors.

But what of the individual wards? I've divided these into types depending on who was the second (and/or third) party to see what patterns start to emerge.

First up, wards where the Greens were clearly the main challengers to Labour:

Clearly the Greens have done well in the areas they previously had councillors - Brockley and Ladywell - and they are obviously now the second party in neighbouring Crofton Park. The picture is less clear cut in Lewisham Central and Perry Vale, but I think they will have been pleased to do so well here.

How about areas where the Lib Dems were the second party? Yes, they do exist...

The Lib Dems hung onto second place in their former strongholds of Forest Hill, Lee Green and Downham, where Duwayne Brooks was only 64 votes away from retaining his seat. The Downham result shows an unwelcome phenomenon - the rise of UKIP. Mercifully, through most of Lewisham UKIP either didn't stand or polled poorly, but in some wards in Lewisham they did well and in Whitefoot they were the second party.

This repeats a pattern, that UKIP have done well in areas to the south and east of the borough, as you approach suburbia. This warrants further analysis and comparison with wards in neighbouring boroughs, which I hope to tackle in a future piece of work.

Back to the slightly less nasty party, the Tories came second in Grove Park and Sydenham, on the borders with leafy Bromley and not unexpected. They're also back on the rise in wealthy Blackheath, with the dramatic drop in the LibDem vote there. That said, Labour won the seats comfortably, in contrast to neighbouring Blackheath Westcombe ward in Greenwich, where the third spot was taken by the Tories.

And last, but my no means least, the phenomenon that is Lewisham People Before Profit (PB4P). PB4P stood at least one candidate in every ward, some faring better than others, but in Evelyn (Deptford) and New Cross in the north of the borough, they stood three candidates and managed to come second, with Ray Woolford, political chameleon, scoring particularly well in New Cross.

Telegraph Hill ward was a mixed bag, in the past seats here have been taken by the socialist party (currently TUSC) and this was a keenly fought contest, with the TUSC and PB4P's mayoral candidates, Chris Flood and John Hamilton, also standing here.

Hamilton was the victor in that particular battle, but the large number of candidates on the left of the political spectrum can only have helped Labour. The poor old LibDems did about as badly here as they could possibly manage.

It only remains for me to talk about my own stamping ground of Catford, covered by three wards in the borough - Catford South, Bellingham and Rushey Green.

People Before Profit came second in all three of these wards, with a mixture of Conservatives and Greens bringing up third place. I wonder what Catford's current housing boom will do for the political make up of the area in 2018 - will the Greens fancy their chances or can we expect a resurgence of Tories? In the meantime, despite the Conservative Club being wiped out in the 1990s and currently being occupied by the Catford Constitutional Club, the Tories polled a lot better here than I might have expected. I was glad to see no UKIP candidates bothered to stand in Catford. Hopefully, they'd have been given short shrift.

I guess despite all of that detail of the second and third places, which is where arguably some of the interesting stories of Lewisham 2014 lie, if you're a Labour supporter you have to be pretty happy at the sight of all those red bars. How good it will be for the future of the borough remains to be seen.


Anonymous said...

the numbers on at least one of these bar charts is wrong - Lewisham Central for instance lists Storm Poorun as getting 620 votes, in fact he got 410 - please could you alert the green party to this discrepancy?

Clare Griffiths said...

Thank you! I think it's a case of accidentally retyping in the number of votes for the candidate immediately above on the paper. Hardly surprising given the amount of effort needed to type them all in by hand. Shameful that the council hasn't published them electronically!

I've corrected the error and thanks again for alerting me to it.

max said...

Great job Clare!
I fear that the Council's slackery in giving us the full results is just the first sign of the resulgency of the contempt for the public they were used to before 2006.

Very sorry to see visual representation of how Labour sucked the life out of the Lib Dems.
Lewisham Central was a very strong Lib-Lab marginal.
The threat to Lewisham Hospital was a massive Christmas gift to Lewisham Labour from Jeremy Hunt. I can imagine Bullock worryingly opening a bottle of champagne when the news reached him.
Obviously they made maximum capital of it targeting Lib Dem voters, and how to blame them.
Downham has always been strongly BNP, and as much as it's true that not every UKIP is racist it's also true that most racists vote UKIP if BNP is not on the ballot paper.

Damian Griffiths said...

Excellent. Thanks very much! One pedantic point - You called George Hallam Robert Hallam, or is that actually his real name?

Damian Griffiths

Anonymous said...

So is Lewisham now the most Labour-dominated council in the whole country - or are there any that are 100% Labour??

Clare Griffiths said...

He is Robert George Hallam according to the results paper.

I think there are some 100% Labour councils - possibly Manchester?

Anonymous said...

Actually, Manchester City Council has 95 Labour councillors, and one 'Independent Labour'.

Islington is now in a very similar position to Lewisham in that it has 47 Labour to one Green (see:

All of these councils have followed a similar pattern to Lewisham regarding the Lib Dem meltdown. In 2006 Manchester had 62 Labour to 33 Lib Dem; and the Liberals even controlled Islington until 2010. Now they are wiped out!

If this trend continues into the next general election etc, how long until the Lib Dems are lumped together with 'Others' as a minority fringe rump?

Clare said...

I did say I was guessing with Manchester... ;)

Unknown said...

Hi Claire,
Thanks for this informative election breakdown though I gather from some of your comments that you are a little concerned about UKIP's increasing vote share. Having only joined UKIP 5 weeks before the election I was so pleased at my efforts being rewarded by a vote on 16% of Whitefoot's accepted ballot papers! Was particularly satisfying getting close to the combined total of 3 Lib-Dems where there were 2 prior to election. UKIP are not a nasty party and in answer to Max's comment regarding the racist vote that is a consequence of being the only party with a sustainable immigration policy. If you or any of your readers want to know more or have any concerns then please don't hesitate to get in touch by email to . If my health holds up and assuming I'm still living in Lewisham borough I will be standing again next time around in Whitefoot.

Thanks again,

Matt Pavey

Unknown said...

Sorry Clare, just to add my opinion on the success of Labour winning all but 1 council seat. In areas where UKIP stood we seemed to take more Lib-Dem votes than expected as well as many Tory. Labour fought the locals using a great deal of spin over the saving of Lewisham A&E. Whilst I accept with great respect that Steve Bullock worked very hard and deserves that credit, they falsely blamed the coalition for the PFI disaster of the Blair years. Indeed the effects were being felt long before the coalition came to power and under Gordon Brown 3 SE health trusts were merged in 2009 in a desperate effort to turn things around. As such it seems that the electorate of Lewisham were strongly duped by a level of deceit that Labour are becoming associated with nationwide. That's just my take on things but would be interested in your thoughts.

Many thanks

Matt Pavey