Bridgwater Campaign report: GENERAL ELECTION 2017

Thursday, 15 June 2017Leave a reply
Bridgwater Branch discusses its role in the General Election campaign 2017

Bridgwater Branch took part along with West Somerset Branch in the surprise General Election called on 19 April, mid way through the County election campaigns with the Tories showing a 20% lead in the polls. Theresa May aimed to boost her majority and was backed by most of the Media. This expectation then became the National narrative with Labour expected to lose heavily.  The result of the election on June 8th saw the Tories losing their majority and a hung parliament.

Local Government election campaign is reported here.

Nationally;-Labour won its greatest share of the popular vote since 2001 gaining 3.5m since 2015

Con 13,667,213 Lab 12,874,985. It was the first time Labour had won more seats than it lost since 1997.

Con 317 Lab 262 SNP 35 Lib 12 DUP 10 Sinn Fein 7 PC 4 Green 1 Ind Un 1 Speaker 1. +30 seats and a swing of 10%

Wes Hinckes Labour candidate in Bridgwater and West Somerset

Locally;- BW &WS CLP EXEC held a meeting on 25.4.2017 to be told that candidates would be imposed by Regional office through self-nomination and selection by a Panel of 3 administered by SW Regional Office. Local members and parties would have no say in the choice of candidate.

Selection: For BW&WS 4 nominations were considered by this panel including 2 branch members. The panel appointed Wes Hinckes as the candidate for BW&WS.

Campaign: At a meeting of the EXEC,an election address was rapidly drawn up, largely by Mick Lerry, and put through the Lab Party standard design process to be delivered by Royal Mail. The Exec agreed however to produce an additional local item -a newspaper ‘The Bridgwater Rose’. At a campaign forum a team of members contributed items to this and it was put together by Brian Smedley, designed by Jana Branecka and 10,000 copies were printed by 27 May and distributed.

Canvassing/leafletting (Gary), Posters (Tony) were organised by the campaign forum, the Unity House office opened and staffed (Brian) and a web (Brian)  and social media (Gary) presence maintained. A regular Labour stall (Hadrian & Gaye) was maintained in Bridgwater Town Centre and at other locations. The candidate attended various meetings and hustings and took part in radio interviews. Liz Leavy accepted the role of Agent and Kath Pearce as Treasurer. Diogo Rodrigues initially assumed the role of Campaign Manager but subsequently resigned.

The Labour stall proved extremely popular during the campaign

Other Parties ;-The Tory tactic involved keeping a low profile with Liddell-Grainger declaring that he wouldn’t be attending any hustings. The Lib Dems attempted their usual ‘only we can win here’ presence, including opening a new office in Bridgwater town centre, but most county Lib Dem resources were diverted to Wells in a failed attempt to get Tessa Munt elected. Neither UKIP nor the Greens campaigned locally to any noticeable level. On election day we organised Labour tellers on most polling stations (Brian). The Tories maintained a lesser presence locally while the Lib Dems, Greens and Ukip were largely absent

Result:- The Bridgwater & West Somerset result saw a slightly lower turnout (68% down to 65%)  the Tory vote increase by 7,091 (up 9%) the Labour vote increased by 7,074 (+11%) to it’s highest since 1979 and Labour regained second place.

The Lib Dem vote stagnated at 6,000 (-2%), UKIP dropped by 8,000(-16%)  and the Green dropped by 1,000 (-3%).

The count at Bridgwater

The obvious conclusion is that the UKIP vote went largely to the Tories whilst much of the Green vote + some lib dem and some Ukip went labour. Labour probably also benefited from much of the 4,000 new voters.

Whilst there was pressure on members to travel elsewhere to nearby marginals, the outcome of an increased Labour vote was mainly beneficial to bolstering our Local Government base whilst clearly identifying us as the key challengers and therefore ‘tactical’ alternative to the Tories here.

 

General Elections in the various Bridgwater Parliamentary Constituencies since 1918

year Con Lab Lib UKIP Green other notes
2017

ILG

32,111

55% +9.2

16,663

29% +11 Hinckes

6,332

11% -2

2,102

4% -16

1,059

2% -3

Turnout 65%

Con majority15,448

2015

ILG

25,020

46% +1

9,589

18% +1  Lerry

6,765

12% -16

10,437

19% +14

2,636

5% +3

Turnout 68%

Con majority14,583

2010

ILG

24,675

45% -1

9,332

17% -8   Pearce

15,426

28% +6

2,604

5% +1

859

2% -1

BNP 1,282

IND   315

Turnout 71%

Con majority 9,249

2005

ILG

21,240

44% +4

12,771

27% -1    Burchell

10,940

23% -4

1,767

4% +1

1,391

3%

Turnout 64%

Con majority 8,469

2001

ILG

19,354

40% +3

12,803

27% +2   Monteith

14,367

30% -4

1,323

3%

Turnout 64%

Con majority 4,987

1997

KING

20,174

37% -10

13,519

25% +3  Lavers

18,378

34% +4

2,551(Ref)

5%

Turnout 74%

Con majority 1,796

1992

KING

26,610

47% -5

12,365

22% +4   James

16,894

27% -1

746

1%

NatLaw112

Ind 183

Turnout 80%

Con majority 9,716

1987

KING

27,177

52% -1

9,594

18% +1     Turner

15,982

30% +1 SDP

Turnout 78%

Con majority11,195

1983

KING

25,107

52%

8,524

18%         May

14,410

30% SDP

Turnout 75%

Con majority10,697

1979

KING

31,259

54%

16,809

29%    Beasant

9,793

17%

Turnout  79%

Con majority14,450

1974

KING

23,850

44%

17,663

33%    Mitchell

12,077

22%

Un-Dem

288

Turnout 77%

Con majority 6,187

1974

KING

24,830

44%

16,786

29%     Undy

15,269

27%

Turnout 82%

Con majority 8,044

1970

KING

26,685

52% +8

18,224

36% -2    Billington

6,066

12% -6

Turnout 77%

Con majority 8,461

1970

KING

25,687

56% +11

14,772

32% –  Mayer

5,832

13% -5

Turnout  70%

Con majority10,915

1966

WILLS

20,850

44%

17,864

38%      Mayer

8,205

17%

Turnout 80%

Con majority 2,986

1964

WILLS

20,822

45%

14,645

32%    Hart

9,009

19%

IND

2,038

Turnout 80%

Con majority 6,177

1959

WILLS

23,002

50%

14,706

32%   Finnegan

7,893

17%

Turnout 82%

Con majority 8,296

1955

WILLS

24,887

59%

17,170

41%   Sumbler

Turnout 78%

Con majority 7,717

1951

WILLS

25,365

56%

19,656

44%   Carr

Turnout 85%

Con majority 5,709

1950

WILLS

21,732

49%

16,053

37%      Carr

Turnout 86%

Con majority 5,679

1945

BARTLETT

15,625

40%

5,613

14%       Corkhill

17,937

46%    IP

Turnout 73%

IP majority 2,312

1938

BARTLETT

17,208

47%

19,540

53% IP

Turnout 82%

IP majority 2,332

1935

CROOM-J

17,939

57%

6,240

20%    Loveys

7,370

23%

  Turnout 73%

Con majority10,569

1931

CROOM-J

24,041

78%

6,974

23% Boltz

  Turnout 74%

Con majority17,067

1929

CROOM-J

15,440

47%

6,423

19% Boltz

11,161

34%

  Turnout 80%

Con majority4,279

1924

WOOD

14,283

53%

1,966

7% Boltz

10,842

40%

  Turnout

Con majority 3,441

1923

MORSE

12,347

47%

13,778

53%

  Turnout

Lib Majority 1,431

1922

SANDERS

11,240

47%

1,598

7% Williams

11,121

46%

  Turnout

Con majority 119

1918

SANDERS

12,587 5,771

Plummer

  Turnout

Con majority 6,816

 

 

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