Labour struggle to understand election results

The Watford Labour Party has published a members’ newsletter and placed a copy online. In the report of May’s local elections it reads:

In the Mayoral election, Nigel Bell came a close second.
Which is strange. Because in the vote for Watford’s elected mayor, won for the third time by Lib Dem Dorothy Thornhill, Labour’s candidate Nigel Bell didn’t come second, close or otherwise. He came third.

In the first ballot of the AV election, the votes were:

  • Nigel Bell (Labour) 10,029
  • Steve Johnson (Conservative) 10,403
  • Alex Macgregor Mason (Green) 2,173
  • Dorothy Thornhill (LibDem) 19,153

After the votes in this AV election were transferred, Dorothy Thornhill had a total of 23,429 votes and the Conservative candidate had 11,508 votes. Nobody was a close second, least of all Nigel Bell, who was a distant third.

Oh well, this is the Labour Party who in the same newsletter described Labour’s Claire Ward plummeting from first to third place as ‘a resilient General Election vote’.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Keith Underhill 6th Jun '10 - 2:15pm

    The election was under SV

    If it was under the much superior AV it is possible that Labour could have come second if a lot of the greens transferred to Labour.

    Under AV voters get to rank ALL the candidates in order of preference.

    Under SV voters can only rank 2 candidates (presumably their favourite and the one they least dislike out of the two candidates they think might come first or second

  • `But their decision to support the Tories in government proves what we in Watford have known for many years – that you cannot trust the Liberal Democrats. Their decision will not only be their downfall but also that of the good people of our town and country who wanted and most of all needed the return of a Labour`

    Spare me the patronising garbage – if the `good preople of Watford` (as it says later in the article) wanted Labour they would have returned a Labour MP – and if you add up the coalition votes they come to more than the Labour votes

  • No offence, guys, but surely we can do better than nit-picking a local Labour newsletter?

    How about an exposée on the horrible flaws of FPTP? Or whether Lib Dems should give their whole-hearted support to the AV referendum or try to campaign further for STV?

  • Tony Greaves 6th Jun '10 - 5:11pm

    The Supplementary Vote is a particularly stupid system. So it is worth discussing, and I will continue my efforts in the Lords from time to time, to get it changed to AV.

    Tony Greaves

  • Matthew Huntbach 7th Jun '10 - 5:35pm

    In the mayoral election in Lewisham this year, the Tories were claiming “the Liberal Democrats came a poor third in the last mayoral election”. Which seemed weird, because the Liberal Democrats clearly came second in the mayoral election in Lewisham in 2006. It took me a while to work out that by “last mayoral election” they meant the one which elected Boris Johnson as Mayor of London. And they have the cheek to accuse US of “dirty tricks”.

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