Ben Dean-Titterrell breaks down Colchester’s local election results
On May 3, 17 out of 51 seats that make up Colchester Borough Council were up for election. Across the town thousands of residents voted, but what were the results? And, most importantly for us here at Rebel, what happened in the wards with the most students?
Unlike nationwide results, the big picture says that it was a good night for the Conservatives in Colchester and a particularly bad one for the Liberal Democrats. With eight of the 17 seats up for grabs in this election already under their control, the Tories arguably had the most to lose. However in the end they finished the night with a net gain of two seats, meaning they now hold 25 of the 51 total. This leaves them just one seat away from taking overall control of the council at the next set of local elections.
The Lib Dems on the other hand had a night to forget as they ended up with a net loss of two seats, including their leader’s Paul Smith. Mr Smith was leader of the Lib Dem group as well as head of Colchester Council – due to the council being run by a coalition between the Lib Dems, Labour, and independent councillors without an overall majority. Although the Conservatives didn’t quite gain overall control of the council, these were nonetheless terrible local election results for the Lib Dems.
Unlike nationwide results, the big picture says that it was a good night for the Conservatives in Colchester
For Labour it was a mixed night: their number of seats on the council remained unchanged once all the results had come in, but they too will likely be concerned by the Conservatives’ advances towards gaining overall control. However there was change in some sense for Labour, who lost one seat in the Wivenhoe ward but gained another in New Town and Christ Church. Yet at the end of it all, Labour’s power within the council remains unchanged.
So what of the seats with the most students? Well for those who live on campus or in Wivenhoe, it is important to know the Liberal Democrats got a rare gain from Labour. Andrea Luxford-Vaughan, a former independent councillor, defeated Labour incumbent Rosalind Scott by just shy of 400 votes. Greenstead, which has a large student population and includes university accommodation Quays, was comfortably held by Labour councillor Tina Bourne by more than 500 votes. Finally, the Old Heathe and Hythe ward, which includes The Maltings accommodation, was also an easy hold for Labour as Lee Scordis held his seat by over a thousand votes.
For those who live on campus … it is important to know the Liberal Democrats got a rare gain from Labour
If you’d like to see whether you have a new councillor first click here to find out which ward you’re in. Then, click here to view who won the election in you ward at the Colchester Borough Council 2018 local elections.