Tories retain control in Southampton, but Labour win the popular vote

Posted on May 6, 2011 by

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The Tories have retained control of Southampton City Council with 26 seats, but have had their majority cut from 8 to 4.

In total Labour gained 4 seats – 2 from the Tories and 2 from the Lib Dems – putting their new share at 19 seats, whilst the Lib Dems have been left languishing with3 seats after a bad night in Southampton and across the country.

No party except Labour and the Tories made any gains in this election, including both the Lib Dems and minor parties.

Analysis of the vote share by The Blowhole shows that across the city Labour won the popular vote, winning over 41% of the vote, with the Tories on 37.5% and the Lib Dems at about 14%.

If all of the council seats were up for grabs it is quite possible Labour would have won (especially if the seats were doled out proportionally), however the 4-year rotation of 3 councillors per ward make big swings in seats less likely, and along with FPTP have kept the Tories just in power.

Of the other parties the Greens and TUSC did reasonably, with the Greens winning 2.4% of the citywide votes (an average of nearly 10% in the wards they stood in), and TUSC taking 2.89% of the vote citywide (3.4% average in the wards they stood in).

Southampton First and Independents received about 0.8% each of the votes citywide, but with Independents polling relatively highly in the few wards where they stood. The BNP received the fewest votes across the city, reaching only 0.31%, but did beat the TUSC candidate in the ward they did stand in with 4.6% in Harefield ward.

Turnout was about 37% across the city, which is not bad for local elections (although still pretty low).

The new councillors then are:

Bargate: John Noon (Labour)

Bassett: Les Harris (Conservative)

Bevois: Jacqui Rayment (Labour)

Bitterne: Matt Stevens (Labour)

Bitterne Park: Peter Baillie (Conservative)

Coxford: Don Thomas (Labour)

Freemantle: Brian Parnell (Conservative)

Harefield: Daniel Fitzhenry (Conservative)

Millbrook: Asa Thorpe (Labour)

Peartree: Darren Paffey (Labour)

Portswood: Matthew Claisse (Conservative)

Redbridge: Andrew Pope (Labour)

Shirley: Satvir Kaur (Labour)

Sholing: Susan Blatchford (Labour)

Swaythling: Spiros Vassiliou (Conservative)

Woolston: Warwick Payne (Labour)

The biggest upset of the election is the defeat of planning and environment boss Matthew Dean, who was narrowly defeated in Shirley by the Labour candidate, meaning the Tories will need a cabinet reshuffle.

Despite their bad night in Southampton and across the country the Lib Dems did surprisingly well only up the road in Eastleigh and Portsmouth – gaining an even tighter grip in the former and keeping hold of the Council in the latter despite Labour gains.  In Hampshire as a whole though the Tories became even more dominant, nearly eliminating competition in the New Forest and levelling up with Lib Dems in Winchester.

With a smaller majority in Southampton the Tories are free to continue their planned budget in Southampton, but with a reasonable swing in the popular vote to Labour the Council will be more concerned about keeping on side with the people of Southampton, and will be much more at risk of being kicked out at the next local elections.

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Posted in: News, Southampton, UK