2014 Walsall local election results – there may be trouble ahead

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The new balance of Walsall Council. Interestingly, the Tories lost seats and so did the Liberal Democrats; Labour took 2 but the sand in the vaseline is UKIP with 3. There remain 3 independents. Graphic from Walsall Council’s results page.

For the full results, got to the Walsall Council Election 2014 page.

It’s been a remarkable night for Walsall politics – but it’s a brave person that calls a Walsall result.

In a shock result, UKIPs Steve Craddock Took Brownhills, and UKIP candidates also took Willenhall North and Short Heath.

Brownhills, you disappoint me…

Despite gaining two seats – Rushall Shelfield and the hotly contested St. Matthews – Labour failed to take overall control.

It’s fair to say the Tories took a real hammering, and the Lib Dems must now be facing a somewhat sobering reality. I think Ian Shire’s chickens are coming home to roost…

In pretty much all wards contested, UKIP put sitting councillors under pressure – I think Anthony Harris’s  arse cheeks must have been quite clenched during the count.

Aldridge North and Walsall Wood

Cooke David Andrew    - UK Independence Party (UKIP)  - 1041
Grainger Bob                  - Labour Party Candidate                - 766
Greveson Mark Robert – Liberal Democrat                           – 126
Harris Anthony David  - Conservative Party Candidate     – 1272**

Brownhills

Aston Vivienne Joy       –  Conservative Party Candidate      - 730
Craddock Stephen Roy – UK Independence Party (UKIP)  - 1251**
Davies Lauren Marie    - Labour Party Candidate                 – 875

This means the council is now split 30-30, councillor numbers being (previous totals in brackets)

30 (28) Labour
21  (24) Conservative
3    (0) UKIP
3    (5) Liberal Democrat
2    (2) Independent
1     (1) ‘Democratic Labour’ (Pete Smith party)

I would expect Labour will form the council, but any votes will get very interesting. This is one to watch – this was a poor result for Labour; just one more seat could have seen them take control. With the Tories previously supported by Liberal Democrats and independents, it’s likely UKIP will side with them also. I fear deadlocked days lie ahead.

Congratulations to the winners, commiserations to the losers. What happens next will be very interesting indeed. One thing’s for sure, Walsall politics is never, ever dull.

I’d like to thank the folk behind the social media face of Walsall Council last night who gave a brilliant service in keeping folk informed, and also all the folk staffing the polling stations and undertaking the count. Cheers.

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28 Responses to 2014 Walsall local election results – there may be trouble ahead

  1. wozelbeak says:

    I am surprised UKIP did not take more seats. They are the party that appeals to the (can’t be arsed) brigade more than the others. They offer something different, which appeals to the ill informed and the radicals the same.
    I can’t remember their being so many right wing candidates up for the Europeans in previous years. A point worth noting is that the UKIP’s vote will inevitably be scattered amongst all of the other parties who parody their name.

  2. Becky T says:

    Thanks for the all the detailed information Bob. As you say troubled times a head. Pleased to see Claire Clews gained Rushall/Sheffield good to have a fresh new Labour face in the ward. 2 down one to go! :)

    I have never seen our polling station so busy! Clearly UKIP got the voters out and I agree with wozelbreak.

  3. Terry Harrison says:

    Disappointing that this blog as become involved in the political slanging match that appears to be the norm in other places.

    • Terry

      The isn’t part of a slanging match. This is my blog, not an unbiased news source. It’s been political, and I’ve made no secret of that, for the entire 5 years of it’s existence.

      If that disappoints you, then that’s unfortunate, but I can’t help wondering why you’ve failed to notice previously.

      Cheers
      Bob

  4. Terry Harrison says:

    Goodbye

    • Terry,

      Your prerogative is to read what you want. You’ve contributed generously to previously to local history threads – and for that I’m grateful. But this blog has always carried my views on current local affairs and I’m not about to stop that.

      Everyone – you, me – are welcome to their own opinion.

      This article was one of the first in the local sphere to carry detailed results today, and many seemed to have found it useful.

      It would be sad if you let your personal distaste for my views limit your intake of local history. Different viewpoints is what this blog is based upon – be they of history or politics and it’s regrettable you are unable to accommodate that.

      Best wishes
      Bob

  5. Terry Harrison says:

    As you say its your blog – I have enjoyed the interaction. Also the information exchanged etc.
    I don’t have a distaste for your views but as you say I do have a choice.

  6. ianrobo says:

    Bob, there was a lot of arse clenching last night, at one point the Tories thought they had lost Aldridge seats, Pheasey and Pelsall to UKIP. We thought we had lost Bentley and possibly Palfrey.

    However with 30 I can not see a credible opposition being made with indy’s Tories, UKIP and Lib Dems. In fact after yesterday I would not be surprised to see the LD’s abstain in most votes from now on.

    A comment about Claire Clews, for various reasons this was the one result I was delighted with.

    • Hi Ian

      It was an eventful night. I can only reiterate that politics in Walsall – whatever side of the fece you’re on – is rarely dull.

      I think the next 12 months will be somewhat challenging; there are positives and negatives in the whole situation, but with all the opposition historically from the right of local politics, I think Labour may find it more difficult than you anticipate.

      It’ll be interesting to watch events unfold.

      Cheers
      Bob

      • ianrobo says:

        oh it will be very tough even if we had got 33/34 as we thought we could. Simply the size of the cuts to come is devastating as the Tories held back …

        Trust me no one last night in red was under any misapprehension at what the task is …

        Also Pete Smith is the Mayor for casting votes, think about that ?

      • The Twitter says:

        As you will now have gathered from lest nights council meeting the new motto should be vote UKIP vote Tory. What a shower the UKIP councillors are The least they could have done is abstained and let the party with the most seats take control. Bird has not done any deals but I trust UKIP are enjoying their new office next to Bird’s.

  7. Ade Reid says:

    Hi Bob,but on this topic i have to agree with Terry.Firstly we the Bloggers dont know who you are,where you live, where you work etc etc,because you choose to remain anonymous on this blog and thats your choice,thats how it is in the 21st century.But you need to try and understand the feelings of the “man on the street” [of which you may be one ? ] who may not be happy with the thingsthat they see going on around them and may feel threatened by those things and may choose to vote for a non mainstream party who they think will deliver the things they want to see.Everyone is entitled to their opinion and if we dont agree with each others opinion I think that is what people call “free speech”.Because someones opinion may differ from yours doesn”t make it wrong..Still a great great blog Bob..politics eh !!! we love it……

    • Ade

      Thanks for your opinion, like all others, it’s welcome.

      I have no duty, obligation or commitment to ‘understand’ anything.

      You use the phrase ‘Everyone is entitled to their opinion’ – I wholeheartedly agree with that.

      This blog is created, and largely written by me, about what I choose, including my views. Whether these things concur with anyone else’s is irrelevant, and I’m not bothered, frankly. It’s be a dull world if we all felt the same.

      You may not like the views I express, that’s fine. I invite comment where legal and generally in the good spirit of the blog. If you feel my views don’t agree with yours, so what? This is a free medium. It’s just someone with a different view. Tell me if you want, stop reading if you want.

      I wouldn’t deny anyone their voice or difference of position at all. It’s odd that people seemingly supporting a libertarian, right-wing party seem to have difficulty with someone expressing the view that’s contrary to their own.

      There’s a whole spectrum of political belief out there, and a whole internet full of people expressing their views. That’s what it’s for.

      This blog has always had a political edge and I make no apology for that.

      Cheers
      Bob

  8. Hi Folks.

    I’d just like to make a few broad points here if I may. These aren’t directed at anyone, but I’d appreciate if folk could please bare them in mind.

    This blog is exactly that – a blog. It’s not TV, not a newspaper, and not an official news source. It consists of what I write, compile and am given, on a range of topics from current events to local history, from cycling to technology.

    Nobody sponsors this thing, it doesn’t represent a company, group of people, political party or anyone else.

    It’s just like many, many other such blogs on the internet. Ultimately, it’s insignificant. You can start one yourself, for free, and express your opinions just the same as I do mine, and many folk have. And I always support them and give them a plug.

    The Brownhills Blog is just the work of a chap writing and doing stuff for the fun and interest of it. It takes lots of work. I was up until 4am today following the election compiling this results post so folks I knew would want the results, could find them. Over 2,000 came looking for them.

    I dedicate a huge amount of time to doing this. Out of no other reason than the communal interest.

    I always have, and will continue to post stuff here that expresses opinions. Mine, or in some cases those submitted by others. None are correct, or incorrect. None are the right way or the wrong way. They are just points of view. They are posted for debate, fun or observation.

    Sometimes, it’s fun to post stuff purely for reaction.

    I am an ordinary bloke. My views are quite left wing and always have been . I, like you readers, have been shaped by my experiences, which like yours, are unique and formative. For any Joe on the street with my view, there will be another with a diametrically opposed one. That’s just life.

    Me expressing my view is not a threat or an insult to anyone, just as you expressing yours isn’t either. I’d like to think that in a pub, we’d all buy each other a beer and have a good natured debate. That’s what I aim for.

    Feel free to comment agreeing, disagreeing, or calling me a turnip. I don’t mind because when communities talk about stuff, it’s interesting. But please, never lose sight that this is just me, speaking for nobody but myself. I don’t seek to influence or change people’s views.

    However, I would like to hope that sometimes, I might make them think. Just a little.

    Just remember, that at the business end, there’s just me, working away for the love of it, and nothing more.

    Cheers
    Bob

  9. Ade Reid says:

    As you rightly say Bob “its a whole internet of people”..But lets both agree on one thing,I applaud you for speaking up for the people of Brownhills ,both past and present [of which I belong to the former,but also the present,because Brownhills will always be a part of me].Politics and religion will always divide people,and lets not forget the men and women who fought to allow us to speak how we feel.So keep up the good work and I will continue to read this blog and comment on it.Cheers.Ade.

    • Ade,

      Thank you. For me, it’s about the community, and about having a wee corner of the internet that’s just for the local area, for us.

      When all’s said and done, it’s words in a box; it’s people talking. Taking is good.

      I think, if I’m honest, that I have to be a bit of a truculent bugger to do this, otherwise it wouldn’t work…

      Cheers for that
      Bob

  10. Ade Reid says:

    That just about sums it all up.Keep on blogging Bob….

  11. I’d like to agree about the ‘interesting’ bit but I suspect we’re in for 12 months of stalemate, deadlock and fudge.

  12. Carry on as you’ve always done Bob. Anyone who has read your blog for years will be under no illusions as to your own personal political beliefs. These beliefs have been put to good effect over the years; support for the libraries and my own green spaces campaign for example to name just a couple of things.
    You cannot take the political out of the local and you cannot suppress your own opinions. The point is we can all differ politically but agree about other things. The mature response to any differences is not to let them cloud a relationship. Although you’re an unreconstructed leftie (love that phrase!) as I am, we both are mature enough to acknowledge a good, decent local politician from a party we would not support and be able to have a dialogue with them. Your report on the death of Cllr Tom Ansell is a good example of putting personal politics aside to give credit where its due.
    To take your own personality and beliefs out of your blog would leave it empty and sterile.

    • Becky T says:

      I couldn’t find the results anywhere else on Friday and very glad we have Bob as a great source of local information.

      What’s wrong with a discussion or disagreeing over politics? It wouldn’t have bothered me if Bob had the opposite leanings to me in the slightest. I would have just have said why I disagreed.

      • Thank you both – I’m glad you understand. People generally do. This thing is such a lot of work if I wasn’t passionate about it, I couldn’t do it. That includes containing views some folk won’t like.

        So be it.

        We don’t have specific ward turnout figures yet, but I did an idle calculation yesterday that’s interesting. Turnout in Walsall is said overall to be about 34% this time.

        That means that the 2,856 votes cast in Brownhills were *roughly* out of a pool available of 8,400. 5,544 (very roughly) people did not vote at all. The winner in Brownhills, as in the rest of the country, was apathy.

        Extrapolating further, The winning candidate scored a little over 15% of the *available* votes. Roughly. That’s 3 in 20 people who could vote, who chose UKIP to win. 17 out of 20 therefore, did not.

        Claiming this as any kind of landslide, or vox pop for the man on the street, is specious.

        What this shows, if anything, is that local politics is deeply disengaged from the people and is seriously troubled. We need to address that, regardless of who wins.

        Cheers
        Bob

    • stymaster says:

      Couldn’t agree more. There are blogs out there devoid of personality and opinion, and you know what? They’re *dull*. Duller than a wet bank holiday in Bracknell if the pubs were shut.

  13. Moikel says:

    You know what Bob ????? you said earlier about ” APATHY”….and i agree, that is the problem with a lot of people today, however, as about 2 out of 3 eligible voters didn`t vote, for whatever reason, then i feel that you should give some consideration to the 1 in 3 who did vote !!!!! Politics is responsible for a large amount of discussion in this country, as a whole, and i personally have no problem as to how people vote, as long as they vote !!!!!
    I take it from your comments, that you are not a UKIP fan, but as a Brownhills man, born and bred, probably like yourself, i, personally, by my right of choice, which we hold sacred in this country, was never going to vote for someone who does not live in the constituency, and so that gives you 2 choices as to how i voted !!!!!
    As i said earlier, firstly, what matters is that people vote!!!!!
    And secondly, is that we as individuals, probably from different economic backgrounds, and political prospectives need to RESPECT the individuals choice to vote as they wish, accept the result gracefully, and continue to fight for what we believe in !!!!!!!!!

    • Hi

      Here’s what I had to say in my post the other day:

      I think it’s important that folk vote. It took centuries to get universal suffrage in this country, and to paraphrase, such things never come without something being sacrificed for them; freedoms are never given to anyone. I think we owe it to ourselves, and to our history, to take the short amount of time it requires to participate in the democratic process.

      It’s no secret that I’m an unreconstructed lefty, but you will have your own ideas and beliefs, and that’s cool. Even if you don’t like any of the options and spoil a ballot, having taken part sends a message.

      You will have your own beliefs. Vote according to them. That’s what this is all about.

      I think that illustrates the point.
      Cheers
      Bob

  14. Pingback: Can you smell fish? | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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