Think your vote doesn’t count? Think again

It often falls to me to persuade people that voting matters. At times I also have to convince that their vote can change things. Of course, there are wards in Southend-on-Sea where nothing short of a political earthquake will change the status quo, although these are diminishing in number.

Increasingly, owing to rise in the number of candidates standing as well as a desire for change, we are seeing contests where the gap between success and failure is shrinking. In these places every vote does count – the ‘nothing changes around here’ argument is provably untrue.

In the 2012 election seven wards had majorities of less than a hundred. In four the majorities were less than sixty – thirty voters switching could have turned these around.

The following is a list of all wards with majorities of less than a hundred since 2002.

ward year majority winner runner-up
Kursaal 2004 4 Labour Conservative
Kursaal 2008 6 Conservative Labour
Blenheim Park 2008 16 Liberal Democrat Conservative
Westborough 2010 17 Liberal Democrat Conservative
St Luke’s 2007 17 Conservative Labour
Kursaal 2010 24 Conservative Labour
Westborough 2002 27 Labour Independent
Southchurch 2011 29 Conservative Independent
Westborough 2012 38 Independent Labour
St Laurence 2002 47 Conservative Liberal Democrat
Southchurch 2012 51 Conservative Independent
Blenheim Park 2003 53 Liberal Democrat Conservative
West Leigh 2014 55 Conservative Liberal Democrat
Milton 2012 58 Labour Conservative
Blenheim Park 2011 58 Conservative Liberal Democrat
Blenheim Park 2012 59 Liberal Democrat Conservative
St Luke’s 2003 65 Labour Conservative
Prittlewell 2008 72 Liberal Democrat Conservative
Prittlewell 2012 73 Liberal Democrat Conservative
West Shoebury 2012 73 Conservative UKIP
Belfairs 2012 73 Independent Conservative
Milton 2003 90 Conservative Liberal Democrat
Prittlewell 2007 96 Liberal Democrat Conservative
St Laurence 2011 98 Conservative Liberal Democrat

Blenheim Park holds the distinction of most appearances in this list. Four times out of a maximum of ten. Kursaal, Westborough and Prittlewell appear three times. Eleven different wards are in this list – from a total of seventeen in the borough.  Of the six that do not appear only three have seen no change in presentation since 2002 (Chalkwell, Eastwood Park and Victoria).

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One Response to Think your vote doesn’t count? Think again

  1. Tristan Bembridge says:

    Very interesting to read – I remember the year when the entire control of the council was decided by a single vote in Milton Ward after all the other wards had been counted up, and thank heavens that year kept the Tories out of administration, my message to everyone would be – you cannot cost Labour a single vote. Every last one counts and can effect your town and countries future.

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