Wepre By-Election: Win for Chris Risley but Labour's share of the vote shrinks by 15%
Connah’s Quay Town Council has a new councillor, 34 year old local magistrate and Labour constituency press officer Chris Risley.
Mr Risley beat his two rivals to the Wepre seat made vacant by the outgoing Cllr Kevin Kelly who resigned due to moving house.
— Alyn&Deeside Labour (@aanddlabour) October 16, 2014
Turnout appears to be the lowest ever for this seat with 413 of the 1700 (26% – 10% fewer than 2012’s election) Wepre residents registered to vote braving the elements, making it down to Connah’s Quay Civic Hall.
Mr Risley (Lab) took 47.6% of the vote, with Antony Wren (Ind) gaining a credible 36.9% – while UKIP candidate Richard Purvis convinced 15.5% of Wepre voters he could be to one to make a difference!
Although there’s been a significant amount of ‘noise’ around UKIP in recent weeks due, in part, to their new ‘shop’ in Shotton, which along with their Parliamentary candidate was generously featured the other day by the BBC, the impact their presence has had on voters appears to be minimal so far.
We were told UKIP membership has doubled in Deeside since the shop opened, that must have been coming from an incredibly low base though.
UKIP’s performance as you may expect was mocked by some on twitter while candidate Richard Purvis didn’t even turn up for the results announcement according to Cllr Bernie Attridge via twitter.
Interestingly while Deeside Labour supporters, Politicians and Councillors lined up to congratulate their good friend on social media, no mention was made of Labours dramatically shrinking majority.
Antony Wren, the Independent candidate and the only one to actually live in the ward, performed admirably increasing the vote on 2012’s Independent candidate performance by nearly 11%
Clearly a Town Council by-election is more about the individual than the party they represent, or at least you would think that, so its highly unlikely you would get any tactical or ‘protest’ voting.
However, if you do a comparison of political party performance, as we have done below, and to be fair you can only really do that on Labour’s performance given Connah’s Quay is such a party ‘stronghold’, Independents aren’t an organised party and UKIP is, well UKIP, you can see Labour’s majority takes an absolute kicking – with the gap reducing by a massive 15.3% versus the 2012’s Town Council elections. Significant?
*Note there is a slight variable with 2012’s add up of 0.1% –
Christopher Risley’s sets out his priorities for the ward.
Safety is his watchword, with a promise to get white lines painted on the entrance of Dee Road as a starter.
For the sharp eyed local politics watchers amongst us, you’ll probably have noticed the 20mph school speed advisory signs (not zones or speed limits!) make an appearances in Mr Risley’s priorities ‘blurb’ bit below.
This you can guarantee will be trotted out quite a bit over the next 8 months or so as Labour councillors use it to score some valuable political points in their wards during the run up to the General Election, it tickles a certain demographic ‘sweet spot’ one that is in our view where key Labour/UKIP – Conservative battle’s will be fought, and clearly identified by UKIP as where they could ‘make a bit of hay’
The signs may well turn out to be the best 50 grand Cardiff has invested in Flintshire in a long time.
Mr Risley doesn’t like inconsiderate parking and he has youngsters at heart due to his role as a School Governor and safety officer.
And finally as promised, the result of the ‘fun vote’ we ran yesterday, 84% got it right with ONE.
Antony Wren, the Independent candidate was indeed the only one candidate to live in the Wepre ward…
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