Wednesday, 18 April 2018

You don’t have to be popular to win

Elections are often described as popularity contests, and sometimes this is true. But in low turnout elections popularity can be trumped by efficiency. Get more of your supporters to vote than the others manage to and you have won.
It is possible, and has happened, to win an election with less than one in ten voters.

The average ward size in Southend-on-Sea is 7852 voters (2017) ( Ward sizes in Southend-on-Sea).

Let’s assume that ten percent as 780 in any given year, below is a list of winning votes than fall below this bar, from 2001 when the last ward boundary changes were made.

All parties have been the beneficiary of wins in low turnout elections in Southend-on-Sea, but none so often as Labour. Efficient or lucky, take your pick. What is clear to this blogger is that there is everything to play for in most wards, even at this late stage

The list of winners succeeding with fewer than 780 makes for remarkable reading. In 2002, the Westborough winner got 6.8% of the possible vote. The 2012 success in Westborough was won with the support of 7.3% of the eligible voters, St Luke’s in 2003 was won with 7.7% of the electorate there supporting the winning candidate.

year ward votes winner
2002 Westborough 487 Labour
2012 Westborough 551 Independent
2003 St Luke’s 590 Labour
2014 Kursaal 612 UKIP
2012 Kursaal 614 Labour
2004 Kursaal 627 Labour
2003 Westborough 640 Independent
2003 Kursaal 644 Labour
2002 Kursaal 648 Labour
2006 Kursaal 650 Labour
2003 Victoria 667 Labour
2006 Westborough 673 Alliance Southend
2012 Milton 675 Labour
2012 Blenheim Park 683 Liberal Democrat
2016 Westborough 693 Labour
2016 Kursaal 709 Labour
2012 Prittlewell 712 Liberal Democrat
2007 Kursaal 715 Labour
2008 Victoria 719 Labour
2006 Victoria 719 Labour
2014 Westborough 726 Labour
2016 Shoeburyness 728 Independent
2007 Victoria 744 Labour
2008 Kursaal 747 Conservative
2016 Prittlewell 758 Conservative
2012 St Laurence 758 Conservative
2007 Westborough 768 Independent
2014 Westborough 779 Labour






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