Southend-on-Sea Borough Council election, 2000

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The 2000 Southend-on-Sea Council election took place on 4 May 2000 to elect members of Southend-on-Sea Unitary Council in Essex, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative party gained overall control of the council from no overall control.[1]

After the election, the composition of the council was

Campaign[edit]

Before the election the council was run by a coalition between the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties, but the election was expected to see the Conservatives take control from them.[3] 14 of the 39 seats were being contested,[4] with the Conservatives only needing to gain one seat in order to have a majority.[5] They only required a tiny swing to achieve this, which would give the Conservatives control of the council for the first time in 8 years.[5] The election was a high profile one with the Conservative leader, William Hague, campaigning in the area on the Monday before the election.[6]

A major issue in the election was the number of refugees in the town, which was estimated at up to 2,000.[6] The Conservatives said that the area had become a "dumping ground" and called on all asylum seekers to be detained upon entry into the country.[6] However Labour accused the Conservatives of "playing the race card"[6] and reported a Conservative leaflet to the Commission for Racial Equality.[7]

Other issues included Conservative plans to build a new bypass to ease traffic within the town.[4] Meanwhile the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties defended their record of investing £50 million in the town during their period in control of the council, while keeping council tax rises down, with the latest council tax level the second lowest in Essex.[4]

Election result[edit]

The results saw the Conservatives gain control of the council with an 11 seat majority after winning over 57% of the vote.[6] They gained 3 seats each from both Labour and the Liberal Democrats[6] with defeated councillors including 3 members of the executive, Nigel Baker, Stephen George and Chris Mallam.[8] These defeats meant that Labour failed to hold any of the seats they had been defending, while the Liberal Democrats only managed to hold onto 2 seats.[9] Overall turnout in the election was just above the national average at 30%.[6]

Following the election Charles Latham became the new Conservative leader of the council and announced they would scrap planned bus lanes and abolish charges for social care services.[10][11]

Southend-on-Sea Local Election Result 2000[2][12]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 12 6 0 +6 85.7 57.4 21,567 +11.2%
  Liberal Democrat 2 0 3 -3 14.3 23.0 8,625 -0.9%
  Labour 0 0 3 -3 0 17.5 6,564 -11.7%
  UKIP 0 0 0 0 0 1.5 579 +1.5%
  Cliffs Pavilion Area Residents' Parking 0 0 0 0 0 0.4 146 +0.4%
  Green 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 78 +0.2%

Ward results[edit]

Belfairs[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Howard Briggs 2,337 69.1 +10.7
Liberal Democrat Colin Ritchie 713 21.1 -6.4
Labour Charles Willis 331 9.8 -4.3
Majority 1,624 48.0 +17.1
Turnout 3,381 37.4 -0.7
Conservative hold Swing
Blenheim[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Peter Collins 1,367 46.6 +7.4
Liberal Democrat Christopher Mallam 1,010 34.4 -6.2
Labour Teresa Merrison 324 11.0 -9.2
UKIP David Stephens 233 7.9 +7.9
Majority 357 12.2
Turnout 2,934 32.3 +3.6
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat Swing
Chalkwell[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Lesley Salter 1,633 60.0 +5.6
Liberal Democrat Roger Fisher 623 22.9 -5.9
Labour Ruth Jarvis 285 10.5 -6.3
UKIP David Cooper-Walker 179 6.6 +6.6
Majority 1,010 37.1 +11.4
Turnout 2,720 28.3 +0.3
Conservative hold Swing
Eastwood[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Roger Walker 1,997 63.4 +13.9
Liberal Democrat Mervyn Howell 818 26.0 -8.0
Labour Denis Garne 334 10.6 -5.9
Majority 1,179 37.4 +21.9
Turnout 3,149 29.8 -0.1
Conservative hold Swing
Leigh[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Peter Wrexham 1,515 46.8 +9.3
Conservative Joyce Lambert 1,356 41.9 +1.6
Labour Jane Norman 197 6.1 -8.3
UKIP Melvyn Smith 167 5.2 +5.2
Majority 159 4.9
Turnout 3,235 35.2 +1.4
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
Milton[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jonathan Garston 1,096 50.4
Labour Stephen George 782 36.0
Liberal Democrat Amanda Smith 150 6.9
Cliffs Pavilion Area Residents' Parking Patricia Clark 146 6.7
Majority 314 14.4
Turnout 2,174 25.2 +1.3
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
Prittlewell (2)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Christopher Kerr 1,638
Conservative Anna Waite 1,557
Liberal Democrat Nigel Baker 975
Liberal Democrat Stephen Newton 902
Labour Sylvia Groom 357
Labour Anne Chalk 342
Turnout 5,771 33.1
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat Swing
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat Swing
St Lukes[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Melvyn Day 780 48.4 +14.0
Labour Joyce Mapp 627 38.9 -15.9
Liberal Democrat Michael Clark 126 7.8 -3.1
Green Adrian Hedges 78 4.8 +4.8
Majority 153 9.5 -10.9
Turnout 1,611 19.1 -0.7
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
Shoebury[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Anthony North 2,282 68.8 +15.8
Labour Peter Griffiths 802 24.2 -13.9
Liberal Democrat Granville Stride 232 7.0 -1.9
Majority 1,480 44.6 +29.7
Turnout 3,316 22.3 -0.5
Conservative hold Swing
Southchurch[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ann Holland 1,882 75.6 +12.3
Labour Colin Van-Assen 397 16.0 -11.1
Liberal Democrat Michael Woolcott 209 8.4 -1.1
Majority 1,485 59.7 +23.5
Turnout 2,488 28.3 +2.1
Conservative hold Swing
Thorpe[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Anthony Delaney 2,059 76.5 +8.0
Labour John Townsend 409 15.2 -6.2
Liberal Democrat Linda Smith 224 8.3 -1.7
Majority 1,650 61.3 +14.2
Turnout 2,692 27.1 +2.8
Conservative hold Swing
Victoria[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Jones 922 45.9 +16.5
Labour David Norman 870 43.3 -15.9
Liberal Democrat Robert Howes 217 10.8 -0.6
Majority 52 2.6
Turnout 2,009 21.8 -0.3
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
Westborough[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Mary Lubel 911 43.8 +2.6
Conservative Michael Samuel 661 31.8 +14.0
Labour Raymond Hales 507 24.4 -16.6
Majority 250 12.0 +11.8
Turnout 2,079 24.3 -5.0
Liberal Democrat hold Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Southend-on-Sea". BBC News Online. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  2. ^ a b "Election results: local councils". The Times. 2000-05-05. p. 4. 
  3. ^ Salman, Saba (2000-04-25). "Local voters set to kick Blair over mayoral 'fix'". Evening Standard. p. 22. 
  4. ^ a b c "South Essex: Elections kick off...". Echo. 2000-04-04. Retrieved 2010-04-02. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Reporting from Southend". BBC News Online. 2000-05-03. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Sherwin, Adam (2000-05-05). "Hard line on refugees helps Southend Tories". The Times. p. 4. 
  7. ^ "Southend: Labour says Tory leaflet is racist". Echo. 2000-04-13. Retrieved 2010-04-02. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Election round-up: Tories romp to victory in South Essex". Echo. 2000-05-05. Retrieved 2010-04-02. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Election round-up: Southend losers pledge to win next time". Echo. 2000-05-05. Retrieved 2010-04-02. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Southend: Tories axe charges for caring". Echo. 2000-05-10. Retrieved 2010-04-02. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Southend: Bus lanes ditched". Echo. 2000-05-08. Retrieved 2010-04-02. [dead link]
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Southend Borough Council: Borough Council Election". Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. Retrieved 2010-04-01. [dead link]