Amidst all the claims and counterclaims about the elections on Thursday, here’s some cool analysis based on real figures. Yes, I am of course referring to my own little electoral tussle here in Scarborough’s Castle Division. The headline voting figures were as follows:
Me 453 35.4%
Incumbent independent 526 41.1%
Green Party 68
My sample analysis of the votes cast and accepted showed that of those who voted on the day (865), I had 359 (41%) and the eventual winner had 302 (34.5%). So of those people who went to a polling station to vote, I was the winner of the greater share—the result was reversed when the postal votes were counted in (adding 224 to the winner's tally and 94 to mine). So I am relatively pleased that my efforts over the last two months were not entirely unrewarded. As ever with local elections, voter turnout is abysmal—just 23% voted in Castle Division. Overall in Scarborough the turnout was less than a third, at 31.2%. Perhaps people are unmoved by the ‘cost of living crisis’ or are insufficiently moved to believe that Labour would make things much better. In this latter regard, I can accurately record that on the doorstep 12 people said they didn’t trust Starmer (or words to that effect) and only one thought he was doing a good job. These responses were unprompted by me. But the general lack of voter interest is telling in itself. Having said which, for the Labour Party in North Yorkshire it was a good day, with the number of Labour councillors increasing from three to 12. The Tories in this true blue heartland came within two seats of losing overall control. If they had, it would have changed the electoral map remarkably and may have broken Johnson’s back, even more so than losing Westminster and Wandsworth. As things stand, his future again rests on the Sue Gray and Met Police reports on ‘Partygate.’ Not wishing to be left out, we now also have Keir Starmer’s ‘Beergate’ grabbing more attention. His response is to say he didn’t break any Covid lockdown rules—exactly the same as Johnson’s excuse.