The Conservative performance in Southend-on-Sea: 2015 compared with 2010

This table compares Conservative votes shares in the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council elections for 2010 and 2015. Whilst it is true that the coincidence of the General Elections distorts local election voting, it nonetheless is a good guide to where Conservative support is in the borough, and how that support is holding up.

2010 Con vote % 2015 Con vote % Change
St Laurence 36.31 51.16 14.85
Prittlewell 32.17 46.3 14.13
Eastwood Park 46.09 57.89 11.8
Chalkwell 42.71 49.44 6.73
Westborough 23.26 29.44 6.18
West Leigh 46.41 52.12 5.71
West Shoebury 46.10 51.20 5.1
Blenheim Park 33.96 37.81 3.85
Leigh 37.95 41.49 3.54
Belfairs 39.21 42.56 3.35
Southchurch 37.37 38.56 1.19
Milton 37.91 38.97 1.06
Shoeburyness 38.33 38.81 0.48
Victoria 27.82 23.53 -3.99
Kursaal 29.58 25.39 -4.19
St Luke’s 25.66 20.87 -4.79
Thorpe 32.32 26.33 -5.99

I have sorted this table by the size of the change in vote share over five years. This indicates where the Conservatives are doing well, and where they are going backwards.

The first thing to note, though, is that whilst in no ward in 2010 did they receive more than half of votes cast, in 2015 they passed this mark in four places. Eastwood Park not only shows the biggest Conservative vote share, it is one of their better wards in terms of improved vote. Cllr Trevor Byford, in his acceptance speech, credited the SNP with his significantly improved vote. I am not so sure that is true, but whatever the reason it looks increasingly like their safest ward.

In four wards their vote has gone backwards. Thorpe is a surprise as this was once solidly blue, and yet now looks like they are not making a comeback here any time soon.

The 1.06% improvement in Milton was almost all of their majority there (accounts for 46 votes, and the majority was 51).

In 2010 the Conservative won in ten wards, this time around it was twelve (with thirteen councillors elected as West Shoebury gave them two seats courtesy of a by-election).

If you look at vote share there is a clear east-west divide. Of the best eight only one (West Shoebury in third place) is in the east. Considering how recently they had councillors there, St Luke’s as their worst ward is a surprise. In 2010 Westborough was their weakest ward, and three eastern wards were in the top eight.

Of the wards where they have a councillor presence they are weakest in Blenheim Park.

Silly season in Nelson Street

Nigel Holdcroft is a clever man who likes to give the impression of being a very silly one from time to time. His post on the legitimacy of a Cllr Woodley led administration (Southend Council – a question of legitimacy!) is a good example.

I shall skirt over the leadership vote in 2012, when the then Cllr Holdcroft held onto power despite his group being one short of a majority – although one could question that administration’s legitimacy. I shall not because within the limitations of the electoral system current in Southend-on-Sea, he won a fair election.

This does not change this year. The Independent Group is some distance from having a majority on its own, and so some sort of coalition has to be cobbled together. If this is achieved then Cllr Woodley continues to lead. Nigel can bleat all he likes, until his party has enough councillors they will be condemned to opposition. (One could question why they are devoid of friends – four groups look set to reach an accommodation, whereas the Tories are left on their own.)

Our Nige quotes the latest set of election results in Southend-on-Sea, and correctly points out that those adorned with blue rosettes saw thirteen victories out of a possible maximum of nineteen. However.

I counter this with a look at the votes each party attracted.

Only 39.3% voted Conservative. Whilst this is more than any other party, it is some way short of a majority, and leaves 60.7% of the borough choosing to avoid the Tories.


Labour, the Independents, and the Liberal Democrats attracted a combined 43.5% of the vote – 4.2% above the Tories. I call that a mandate.

If the Conservatives can persuade both UKIP and the Greens to back them then the debate takes an interesting turn. Until then, please shut up.

What do UKIP and the Tories have in common?


Daryl Peagram’s drivel – Conservative quality control on holiday

westboroughInTouch2 westboroughInTouch1The competition for worst Tory leaflet in Southend is usually a competitive affair – not this year. Daryl Peagram’s effort for his Westborough campaign is an assortment of misinformation and lies. There is so much rubbish here that it is difficult to know where to begin. I can only imagine that Mr Peagram wrote this after a long day in the hot sun, it really is dire.

Ok, a few corrections.

• Westborough does not “have the biggest population of any ward in the borough“. it is number six of the seventeen.
• No youth clubs have disappeared under the Joint Administration.
• The Liberal Democrats and the Independent Group are not full of socialists. Some of the Independent Group may have once described themselves as such, but they are a hotchpotch of disaffected party members from all quarters. Ron Woodley, Council Leader, describes himself as Conservative, as does Marimuthu Velmurugan.
• We have not voted to nationalise the High Street. Impossible even if we wanted to (the clue is in the name – nationalisation requires national government).
• There are no plans to concrete over Two Tree Island.
• The unhappy record of local schools in special measures is an inheritance from the Conservative administration.
• No toilets have been shut.
• Labour won two seats here last time.

There is more. He makes all sorts of wild claims that can only be described as irresponsible. He is oblivious to the reality of police cuts foisted onto Essex by his Government. Makes stupid claims about the rubbish collections. He apparently “hates bank bailouts” – which runs counter not just to common sense, but his own party’s policy.

He manages to blame the failures in the NHS on the Joint Administration locally, seemingly unaware that the NHS is being run (down) by the Conservative-led Government.

He also boasts about the local Conservative manifesto (their first, and Labour have been producing one for years) then claims he can vote independently – which makes the manifesto worthless anyway.

It really is shockingly poor. Any Tories reading it must cringe in embarrassment.

A cheap holiday in other people’s misery


On a number of holidays I have enjoyed a trot around cities in horse-drawn carriages. Seeing the local Conservative candidate choosing to tour a part of Southend West in similar fashion I am reminded of those trips.

Sir David Amess impersonates a tourist in his own backyard. It makes you wonder how well he really knows the place.

Is it ironic that whilst the Conservative candidate indulges his taste for extravagant transportation, this Labour candidate was writing something about the Bedroom Tax?

I am fighting for the poor and disadvantaged. I am hoping that we can see the very richest pay a little more to help the rest of us. I am campaigning for a fairer and more inclusive society. I am definitely not planning to tour Southend West in a horse-drawn carriage.

Sir David Amess may not have intended it, but he has shown why the Tories can’t build a better future for working people because they stand up only for a privileged few. With a recovery which works just for a few, working families can’t afford five more years of David Cameron.

Fractures in St Laurence

burzottaIt was tempted to entitled this piece ‘David Burzotta, mangler of the English language’. It is so badly written that its purpose will elude many of its target audience. It really is poor – click on the image to enlarge and see for yourself.

This, I believe, was largely (if not entirely) distributed by paid deliverers. This speaks volumes about the state of the Conservative Party in Southend-on-Sea.

I can understand why Steve Buckley’s leaflet did not mention the second Tory candidate – it was probably written before the late announcement by Lee Burling of his retirement. I cannot understand why David Burzotta does not mention his running mate – as the second candidate he does not have the excuse of not knowing about Mr Buckley’s candidature.

One can only presume that all is not contentment in the St Laurence Conservative camp.

St Laurence – a tale of quitters

stLaurenceToryLeafletPageOneThis one was produced before Cllr Lee Burling called time on his political career (one that lasted a year too long for my liking). Therefore it has just the one Conservative candidate named.

By the standards of recent leaflets by St Laurence’s Tories this is a work of genius, but let’s be honest – the bar is set very low.

Some pedantry: whilst UKIP may have voted with the administration (those that bothered to turn up and stay), the budget was the work of the Joint Administration. UKIP are in opposition.

Steve is proud that Cllr Adam Jones voted to FEEZE council tax – I feel obliged to point out that as Cllr Jones does not reside in the borough he does not pay the local council tax. Adam quits for the charms of Barling, and Cllr Lee Burling just quits; St Laurence will see new faces (or returning faces) as its council representatives. There are two votes on May 7th as a result of the by-election here.

The reverse of this leaflet has a number of photos, amongst which are pictured SKIPP. At least we now know their loyalties. I wonder how many of SKIPP’s followers would also be content to be pictured on Conservative literature? And to think that they used to complain about the Tories.


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