The Green Party candidate for Gillingham & Rainham at the last general election, Neil Williams, has defected to the Labour Party. Williams cited Jeremy Corbyn’s recent victory as the main motivation for his decision.
Still, it’s all happy families now, with Medway Labour leader Cllr Vince Maple saying “it is great to welcome Neil to the Labour Party”.
Medway Labour have apparently seen a surge in membership over the past few weeks, presumably inspired by Jeremy Corbyn. It’ll be interesting to see how well these new members manage to work with the more traditional members of the party, and if any other candidates from the Greens or TUSC decide to make the jump to the party.
Conservative win. Medium majority. Greens, Lib Dems, TUSC and Christian People’s Alliance to lose their deposits.
Conservative win. Medium majority. Greens, Lib Dems, TUSC, and Christian People’s Alliance to lose their deposits.
Conservative win with a large majority. Increased vote and vote share.
Lib Dems reduced vote.
Greens vote increased.
Lib Dems, Greens, CPA and TUSC lost their deposits.
A victory and re-election for Tracey Crouch which wasn’t nearly as close as we thought it would be, a sign of the election overall.
The Labour result was very disappointing for them given it was a target seat.
UKIP result here was significant, considering they changed candidate late on, who only made his presence known late into the campaign.
Liberal Democrats should focus on clarifying their local party system rather then thinking too much about the result.
Some positive news for Medway Greens where their vote increased into four figures.
Conservative win. Large majority. Greens, TUSC and independent candidates to lose their deposits. Naushabah Khan, Councillor, to stand and do better in 2020.
Conservative win. Large majority. Greens, TUSC, and independent candidates to lose their deposits.
Turnout similar to 2010.
Conservative win with a large majority, up on 2010.
Labour vote share down on 2010.
LibDems failed to break 5% of vote.
Greens vote increased.
Will Naushabah, bruised by a by-election and General Election battle in Rochester & Strood stand again? If so, then the recently elected Councillor for Gillingham South should be Labour’s focus in this constituency.
Did we see the rebirth of the SDP, with Mike Waters? (No, we didn’t – Jennings)
Will TUSC and Left Unity build on this result? Or stand separately in future?
Conservative win. Small majority. Lib Dems and TUSC to lose their deposits
UKIP win. Small majority. Lib Dems and TUSC to lose their deposits.
Turnout up on 2010 and by-election.
Reckless vote almost the same as the by-election.
Conservative vote almost the same as 2010.
Labour increased result from by-election, but still below 2010 level.
Greens failed to hit 5% but vote stayed above 1500 from by-election.
Lib Dem result in four figures.
Greens, LibDems and TUSC lost deposits.
Will Mark Reckless stand again, as he has a General Election record of 1 win in 4!
Will Clive Gregory stay as Medway Greens coordinator and presumptive candidate?
Can Labour return to being the second party of Rochester & Strood, let alone win the constituency?
Whilst Lib Dems were being massacred nationally, how did they gain 1,000 votes after the by-election?
Total Medway Vote Share by Party
Lib Dems: 3%
Keevil 3 for 3
Jennings 2 for 3
In our previous post, we discovered that gender equality for council candidates is something sorely lacking, and that the council will likely include less women following the election than the small number it already had.
From here, it’s only natural to move onto the parliamentary candidates to see how the parties are doing there. At first glance, it doesn’t look much better, with each constituency looking like this:
Rochester & Strood is definitely the winner here, with half of the candidates standing for the seat being women. This is an improvement over the by-election, where out of the 13 candidates, only 4 were women, and one of those was a sex worker and one was a racist. This in turn is an improvement on 2010, when only one candidate was a woman. Have a gold star, Rochester & Strood!
Sadly, not much has changed in the other two constituencies. In 2010, Gillingham & Rainham only had one female candidate, so little change there, and Chatham & Aylesford actually had two, so there’s been a step backwards in that particular seat.
Still, three seats isn’t necessarily the best sample size for this kind of analysis. Let’s take a look at the individual parties to see if we can learn anything about progress there:
Overall, the “main” parties aren’t doing too bad when it comes to female candidates. When there’s only three seats, it’s hard to argue that any party standing one or two women isn’t doing enough, so well done to everyone except UKIP and the Greens. One of those seems rather more surprising than the other, but both are in line with how well those parties have done with council representation.
But how many women are actually in a winnable position? Here, again, things aren’t too bad. Tracey Crouch is very likely to retain Chatham & Aylesford, and while the authors of this blog disagree on whether Kelly Tolhurst will win in Rochester & Strood, she is in a strong position to do so. So it’s almost certain than Medway will have one female MP following the election, and quite possible it could have two. Which is a hell of a lot better than it is going to manage at a council level.
As part of the Vote for Policies test, Jennings held to type the Liberal Democrat, whilst Keevil showed support for Labour’s policies on democracy.
So what Democracy do the residents of the Medway Towns have?
As you should be aware, there are 3 Members of Parliament representing Chatham & Aylesford, Gillingham & Rainham, and Rochester & Strood. But it wasn’t always this way!
We have mostly stuck with 1997 as the line in the sand date for this blog, but not anymore..
Chatham & Aylesford An electorate in 2010 of over 68,000. Half of the constituency is based in Medway and the other half in Kent.
Stay with me..
The Chatham & Aylesford constituency was created in 1997 from parts of the Mid-Kent and Tonbridge & Malling seats. The first incumbent of the newly formed seat was Labour’s Jonathan Shaw who was returned to the seat in the subsequent 2001 and 2005 elections, before the aforementioned boundary changes and Conservative’s Tracey Crouch win in 2010. Tonbridge & Malling, like Aylesford, is outside of Medway, and therefore outside of our understanding. The Mid-Kent seat was created in 1983 from parts of the Rochester & Chatham and Maidstone seats. The only winner of the seat was the Conservative’s Andrew Rowe from 1983 to 1992. Rowe won the newly formed Mid-Kent and Faversham seat in 1997, showing that Conservative’s could win seats in 1997. However the seat doesn’t represent Medway, and so like Maidstone, we don’t care.Rochester & Chatham was a parliamentary seat created in the 1950’s from the Chatham Constituency.
The 1950’s and 60’s saw several elections, except for 1959, return the Labour candidate, before 1970 when the constituency was won for the Conservatives by Peggy Fenner, the first polititian, outside of the Prime Minister, that Keevil remembers, which is impressive considering he wasn’t born until 1979. Anyways.. Fenner held the seat, with the exception of the snap election in Oct 84, winning it back in 1979, until the seat was abolished in 1983. Fenner won the newly formed Medway seat in 1983, and we’ll come back to that. Because as the name suggests, it represented Medway. The Chatham Constituency was created in for the 1832 general election. I think we’ve gone back far enough there! But a clear record of Chatham going back and forth between Labour and the Conservatives doesn’t look like changing, though there’s a good chance that the constituency will.
Rehman Chishti voted very strongly for an equal number of electors per parliamentary constituency.
Tracey Crouch voted very strongly for an equal number of electors per parliamentary constituency.
Mark Reckless voted strongly for an equal number of electors per parliamentary constituency.
So should boundary changes come back up, theres a good chance, should they get re-elected, they would be in favour.
Where were we?
Gillingham & Rainham Formed in 2010 with an electorate of over 71,000.
The Gillingham & Rainham constituency was formed in 2010 from the Gillingham constituency.
As far as I can tell there were little actual boundary changes. It’s just nice that Rainham got added to the title. It has only had one MP, the Labour Conservative councillor Rehman Chishti, who beat the Labour incumbent Paul Clark.
The Gillingham constituency goes back to the turn of the 20th century. It was mainly Conservative held until, with the exception of the 1945 election, Paul Clark won and held the seat in 1997. Well, that was simple.
Dagenham & Rainham is a constituency that is somewhere else and so shouldn’t be confused.
Rochester & Strood Created in 2010, with an electorate of over 75,000.
The Rochester & Strood constituency was created from the Medway Constituency in 2010. The seat has been won by Mark Reckless twice, first for the Conservatives in 2010 and again for UKIP in 2014. As if you didn’t know that..
As Naushabah Khan rightly said on the Sunday Politics South East, there have been boundary changes from when Labour held the Medway seat, with Bob Marshall Andrews since 1997. Andrews won the seat from incumbent and previously mentioned, but now Dame, Peggy Fenner, see how this all comes full circle! Here at least there was at least a reason for the name change as it was found to be confusing with the recently formed Medway Unitary Authority, when the constituency covered only part of the authority.
For History bores, the Medway seat previously existed 1885-1918 when it was held by the Conservatives and Rochester has been sending a member to parliament since the 14th Century and the Medway Lib Dems should take heart they held the seat in 1910 so they are due a comeback.
Which seems a slightly mean joke to finish on, but there you go.
On Monday the 23rd of February, while Nigel Farage was in town announcing UKIP health policy, a funny thing happened. Mark Reckless introduced the audience to Mark Hanson, UKIP’s newly selected parliamentary candidate for Gillingham & Rainham.
Still, we’re sure the other Medway UKIP candidate in that photo – Steve Newton, the candidate for Chatham & Aylesford – isn’t having any problems either, right? Oh, wait, he’s been removed from his position in recent months as well, and the seat is currently waiting for a new candidate to be selected.
A member of Medway UKIP wouldn’t offer any comment on the situation.