Conservative David Lloyd has been re-elected. Most people don’t know who their Police Commissioner is and surveys have shown that many have no idea what they do. Something’s obviously changed in Hertfordshire, though, because turn-out for the vote more than doubled, from a disastrous 14.5% in 2012 to an almost creditable 29% this year – and that’s in a year with no local authority elections to boost the vote.
None of the candidates secured 50% of the vote in the first round so counting went to a second round, in which Lloyd beat the Labour candidate Kerry Pollard 126,069 votes to 85,854. Chris White, the Liberal candidate, came third, with 38,488 of first round votes. The UKIP candidate, who is a financial adviser to ‘professionals and the comfortably well-off’ in Royston, came dead last.
It was never going to be the most exciting of elections for us in Hertsmere. No earthquake for us. It’s a Conservative hold, of course (as it is across Hertfordshire). And the Hertsmere numbers tell the national story pretty well. Conservative, Labour and Ukip all saw increases, both in absolute numbers and in share of the vote. And the source of those extra votes? The Lib Dems, by and large (an increased turn-out also helped – it was 65% in 2010). Share of the vote for the party whose candidate was reportedly too busy to campaign fell by a wapping 11.8% to 5.5% (2,777 votes – she’s just retained her deposit) The biggest gainer was Ukip, whose share jumped by 9.1%. Ukip candidate Frank Ward polled more than twice as many votes as Sophie Bowler (6,383). For Hertsmere, there’s the story.
Stay tuned for the Hertsmere borough and Aldenham parish election results, which we should have from about 4pm today.
Voters of Radlett, eat your Weetabix. You have a lot of electing to do. When you go to vote
tomorrow today you’ll be electing not only an MP but also a Hertsmere Borough Councillor and an Aldenham Parish Councillor.
Last year the council consulted with electors and switched from the old ‘thirds’ model, where votes for one-third of council seats were held each year for three consecutive years, to a simpler ‘whole council’ model. Now, when we vote, we’re electing councillors for all 39 seats in the Borough in one go. The changes are explained in this document (PDF).
The count for the parliamentary election will start right after the polls close
tomorrow this evening and go on into the early hours of Friday morning. The count for the local elections will take place at the same venue from midday on Friday, 8 May. We should see parliamentary results by 4am and borough and parish council results from around 4pm.
The Hertsmere press team have their social media act together so follow them on Twitter or on Facebook for regular updates through the night. Results will be available on the Hertsmere web site soon after the count.
While you’re at it, follow @RadlettWire on Twitter.
Less that 24 hours to go. Which Radlett issues will influence your vote in the election? We asked and you answered (you can still complete the survey here).
So, in order of importance to local voters, here are the issues that will motivate the Radlett electorate in the polling booth Thursday (number of votes for each issue in brackets).
1. The Freight terminal and the green belt (158)
2. Development in Radlett (156)
3. The NHS (150)
4. Crime and policing (148)
5. Local amenities (139)
6. Transport and commuting (136)
7. Local business (127)
8. Schools (125)
9. Young people (124)
10. Environment (123)
11. Elder care (115)
12. Housing (115)
You can see the full survey questions on the survey page and the detailed results here.
It probably won’t surprise you that the top scoring issue relates to the planned freight terminal on the old Radlett airfield in Park Street. Likewise, the pressures caused by development in Radlett were bound to be high on the list. Some of you added narrative responses. Here’s a few of them:
Give more teeth to planning officers who seem incapable of stopping overdevelopment at the expense of the greenness of the area. Stop concreting over front gardens. Plant more trees. The state of verges is appalling with thoughtless drivers parking on them with impunity.
NHS Free at the point of care. No privatization not even sneaky its not really privatization privatization.
Potential mansion tax, inheritance tax.
No Free Schools to be built. Rather schools built where they are actually needed not as some form of vanity project or special interest group intent on avoiding national governance or indeed national curriculum.
Thanks to all of you who completed the survey. Don’t forget to vote!
So we now have manifestos from all the major parties. Here, for your convenience, are the manifestos of the four parties standing in Hertsmere:
Conservative – Strong leadership, a clear economic plan, a brighter, more secure future (here’s the downloadable version).
Labour – Britain only succeeds when working people succeed (downloadable version).
Liberal Democrats – Stronger economy, fairer society, opportunity for everyone (downloadable version). The Lib Dems provide their manifesto in several different versions, including this ‘easy read’ version (PDF) and an audio version.
Ukip – Believe in Britain (downloadable version). Ukip’s manifesto is also accompanied by a 20-page ‘economic review of policy proposals‘ prepared by consultancy CEBR.
We’ll leave it to you to evaluate the various parties’ commitment to the issues that are important here in Radlett. But don’t forget to complete our survey about those issues, which will be live until the election.
Leaflets from Hertsmere candidates, summarising party positions on local and national issues, are being circulated now (although we haven’t seen one from the Lib Dems, yet). You can see all of them on the volunteer-run Election Leaflets web site.
And, of course, there are other players in this exceptional election. Although you can’t vote for any of them, you’ll want to take a look at the manifestos of the Green Party (PDF), the SNP, the DUP (PDF) and Plaid Cymru (PDF). They could all influence the outcome on 7 May.
If you voted for the BNP or for the Greens at the last general election and you were thinking of doing so again this time, you’re out of luck. Neither is standing in Hertsmere in 2015 and the deadline for candidates to get their names on the ballot has now passed, so that’s it.
Between them, in 2010, the two parties attracted around 2,000 votes or 4% of the vote. According to Buzzfeed “almost Everyone In England And Wales Will Be Able To Vote For The Green Party”. The Greens are putting up candidates in nearly 95% of UK seats (535 out of 573) and around 40% of their candidates are women, the highest proportion for any party at the general election. Before the deadline passed, I reached out to the 2010 Green Party candidate Arjuna Krishna-Das to ask if he planned to stand but it turns out he’s no longer Green and, in fact, he’s now supporting a right-wing group calling itself Liberty GB.
The task of gathering nominations for elections falls to local authority Returning Officers. You can download nomination documents – including those for the Borough and Parish council elections – from the Hertsmere web site and, for reasons which presumably pre-date the World Wide Web, you can pick them up in person from the council offices. The Your Next MP web site, has up-to-date lists of candidates for the whole country and you can add information yourself, where it’s missing.
The nice people at Herstmere’s communications department are doing a great job today keeping electors up-to-date with the count in the local elections and the referendum on voting reform that took place yesterday.
They’re using Twitter to post regular updates and pictures (like the one above, from the count itself). Yesterday they alerted us to the fascinating fact that not everyone who gets a postal vote uses it!
And earlier today, they estimated the turnout for the elections:
And provided the actual turnout for the referendum when it became available:
As I type this they’re relaying the results, ward-by-ward as they come in, like this one from one minute ago:
Chris Hewett in the Watford Observer picks up the Liberal wipe-out at 1.15.
Harv Cohen, a Conservative councillor tweets with mixed news for the Tories:
For me, as an elector, this poll has been transformed by social media. Where I might have been able to get results in real-time in the past, I had never bothered to. With details of the poll, the count and the result coming to me via Twitter, though, I’m significantly better-engaged. And the local authority’s willingness to use its own social media accounts to spread the word is a genuine public service. Well done Hertsmere.