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ARTICLES

How we fared in the 2006 Local Elections

By The Third Way Research Department

Many people (including some of our own members) were shocked that the Party fielded 14 candidates in one borough in the local elections. They were also surprised that this was part of a bigger project – The Peoples Alliance. Havering is a target area for the Way and we are seeking to entrench and extend our Community Action programs in the borough. For us, elections are just one part of this project.

In the latest local elections the most noteworthy results were:

Three Third Way candidates obtained 27% of the vote in Elm Park and our lead candidate beat Labour to 4th spot. Four years ago we obtained 500 single votes (plus many split votes) compared to an average of 933 people who this time voted only for Third Way. Had we stood just one candidate in this three seat ward we would probably have got him/her elected. Third Way strategy is based on a longer term model, however, where we aim to build voter loyalty – an increasing core of people who vote only for us.

Many electors voted Tory tactically in order to oust the incumbent Labour councillors. The Leader of the local Labour Party (and an active opponent of our party) failed to get re-elected. He had mounted personal attacks on National Executive member Graham Williamson during the campaign. The Party responded robustly and undoubtedly this contributed to his political demise.

In Hacton Ward one of our two candidates received 8.1%, an increase from four years ago (our Asian candidate received 5.6% which may involve some voter resistance on ethnic grounds). Party Nominating Officer Patrick Harrington has said: “We are proud of the work put in by all our fine candidates. We will continue to seek to stand candidates from all ethnic and faith backgrounds. If we need to apply more resources to persuade people to vote for particular candidates in particular areas we will do so. I am absolutely determined that the Third Way will recruit from all backgrounds and promote internally only on the basis of merit. The Third Way is for everyone.”

In St. Andrews our sole candidate also got 8.1%, an increase on four years ago. In Harold Wood, fought for the first time, a full slate of candidates received 9%.

Three councillors were elected in the Rainham & Wennington ward from our coalition Partners in the People’s Alliance. Only one was a sitting Councillor which marks a significant gain.

In South Hornchurch three Independents (and members of the People’s Alliance) obtained about 21% of votes – only 100 or so votes from being elected.

Overall the Coalition obtained 17,470 votes although this includes voters who cast three votes for our candidates. In other words 6,648 voters cast at least one vote for its candidates.

The leadership of our Party is delighted with our success. We have taken careful note of areas where we can improve our campaigning techniques and geographical areas where more resources need to be applied. Nationally we are analysing how we quickly we responded to opposition propaganda and how we can improve our internal service.

Results (by Party vote) for the Wards contested by Third Way are given below:

London Borough of Havering – Harold Wood Ward
Total 5 Parties

Labour Party 578 14.5%
Conservative Party 1006 25.3%
Liberal Democrats 924 23.2%
Green 227 5.7%
Resident 906 22.8%
Third Way 336 8.4%

London Borough of Havering – Elm Park Ward
Total 4 Parties

Conservative Party 1430 38.1%
Labour Party 947 25.2%
Third Way 934 24.9%
Green 440 11.7%

London Borough of Havering – Cranham Ward
Total 5 Parties

Resident 3049 64.9%
Conservative Party 921 19.6%
Labour Party 370 7.8%
Green 269 5.7%
Third Way 87 1.8%

London Borough of Havering – St Andrew Ward
Total 5 Parties

Resident 1497 35.5%
Conservative Party 1461 34.7%
Labour Party 644 15.3%
Independent 300 7.1%
Third Way 314 7.4%

London Borough of Havering – Hacton Ward
Total 5 Parties

Resident 2262 51.9%
Conservative Party 1181 27.1%
Labour Party 516 11.9%
Third Way 231 3.7%
Independent 162 3.7%

Note: all percentatges given are the average for the Parties concerned.

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