Worcester City Council election, 2003

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The 2003 Worcester City Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of Worcester District Council in Worcestershire, 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]

13 seats were contested in the election with 2 seats available in St Nicholas ward after a Labour councillor stood down.[3] Labour defended 7 seats as against 5 for the Conservatives and 1 for the independents.[4] Meanwhile, the decision of the British National Party to put up a candidate in Holy Trinity ward received attention in the press.[3]

Worcester was a top Conservative target council in the 2003 local elections,[5][6] with gains here seen as important signal for the parties performance at the next general election.[7] The Conservatives had controlled the council as a minority administration since the 2000 election and were hoping to win a majority.[4] They said Labour had been out of touch when they ran the council and had made poor decisions suching as using green fields for transport schemes.[4] However Labour attacked the Conservatives for the council's budget, including a council tax rise of 9.5% and poor waste collection services; as well as the controversy over the closing and then rescue of Swan Theatre in Worcester.[4]

The level of postal voting in the election was up on previous years with 5,000 postal voting forms being sent, compared to 3,000 in 2002.[8][9]

Election result[edit]

The results saw the Conservatives win a majority on the council,[10] after gaining 2 seats from Labour but losing 1 seat to the Liberal Democrats.[11] This meant that Labour only held 10 seats which was the lowest number of seats they had held on the council up to then.[11] However Labour did manage to retain Holy Trinity ward, defeating the British National Party who came second in the ward.[11] Voter turnout was low, dropping as low as 18% in St Barnabus ward.[11]

Worcester Local Election Result 2003[2][12]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 6 2 1 +1 46.2 41.3 9,399 -3.1%
  Labour 5 0 2 -2 38.5 35.9 8,163 -2.2%
  Liberal Democrat 1 1 0 +1 7.7 10.8 2,452 -0.7%
  Independent 1 0 0 0 7.7 9.5 2,164 +3.5%
  BNP 0 0 0 0 0 1.2 271 +1.2%
  Socialist Alternative 0 0 0 0 0 1.0 220 +1.0%
  UKIP 0 0 0 0 0 0.4 83 +0.4%

Ward results[edit]

All Saints[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Francis Lankester 722 48.1 -8.7
Labour Andrew Watson 559 37.2 -6.0
Socialist Alternative Douglas Menzies 220 14.7 +14.7
Majority 163 10.9 -2.7
Turnout 1,501 32.0
Conservative hold Swing
Bedwardine[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Clark 900 55.8 -4.0
Labour Simon Arnold 389 24.1 -4.4
Liberal Democrat Louis Stephen 325 20.1 +8.4
Majority 511 31.7 +0.4
Turnout 1,614 30.5
Conservative hold Swing
Claines[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Elizabeth Smith 1,346 57.2 -1.0
Conservative William Elsy 1,009 42.8 +1.0
Majority 337 14.4 -2.0
Turnout 2,355 44.0
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative Swing
Holy Trinity[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Geoffrey Williams 566 51.6 -5.9
BNP Martin Roberts 271 24.7 +24.7
Conservative Robert Campbell 259 23.6 -2.9
Majority 295 26.9 -4.1
Turnout 1,096 26.2
Labour hold Swing
Nunnery[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Michael Layland 852 54.3 +9.4
Labour Christopher Taylor 505 32.2 -7.7
Conservative James Denlegh-Maxwell 212 13.5 -1.7
Majority 347 22.1 +17.1
Turnout 1,569 32.0
Independent hold Swing
St Barnabas[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Adrian Gregson 563 74.2 -5.0
Conservative Nicholas Turner 196 25.8 +5.0
Majority 367 48.4 -10.0
Turnout 759 18.3
Labour hold Swing
St Clement[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Colin Phillips 871 41.0 -9.1
Labour Matthew Lamb 858 40.4 -9.5
Independent Paul Coveney 394 18.6 +18.6
Majority 13 0.6 +0.4
Turnout 2,123 33.5
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
St John[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Candler 753 53.1 +0.6
Independent Colin Layland 396 27.9 +0.1
Conservative Gordon Hazelton 185 13.1 -6.6
UKIP Jean Eaves 83 5.9 +5.9
Majority 357 25.2 +0.5
Turnout 1,417 28.5
Labour hold Swing
St Martin[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Lucy Hodgson 1,460 50.2 -1.1
Labour Pamela Clayton 1,447 49.8 +1.1
Majority 13 0.4 -2.2
Turnout 2,907 23.6
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
St Nicholas (2)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Robert Peachey 837
Labour Richard Bird 834
Conservative David Tibbutt 759
Conservative Rodney Staines 715
Turnout 3,145 33.0
Labour hold Swing
Labour hold Swing
St Peter[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert Rowden 1,121 42.9 -8.8
Labour George Squires 524 20.1 -7.7
Independent Craig Mills 522 20.0 +20.0
Liberal Democrat Iain Macbriar 446 17.1 -3.4
Majority 597 22.8 -1.1
Turnout 2,613 30.0
Conservative hold Swing
St Stephen[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Stephen Inman 990 59.9 -1.4
Liberal Democrat Paul Griffiths 335 20.3 +2.8
Labour Ali Asghar 328 19.8 -1.4
Majority 655 39.6 -0.5
Turnout 1,653 30.0
Conservative hold Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Local elections". BBC News Online. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Election Results". The Times. 2003-05-02. p. 17. 
  3. ^ a b "Worcestershire council nominations: Far right join in battle for city ; Worcester". Birmingham Mail. 2003-04-08. p. 13. 
  4. ^ a b c d Walker, Jonathan (2003-04-20). "Elections 2003: Tories hoping to tighten their grip for majority". Birmingham Post. p. 4. 
  5. ^ Dillon, Jo (2003-04-20). "Tories in election plot to boost IDS". The Independent on Sunday. p. 4. 
  6. ^ Sherman, Jill; Kite, Melissa (2003-04-11). "Blair risks forfeiting a dozen councils to mid-term blues". The Times. p. 16. 
  7. ^ Courtauld, Charlie (2003-04-27). "Worcester Woman is unimpressed and may not be voting at all ; The Tories invented her, then wooed her. But she seems likely to rebuff them again on Thursday". The Independent. p. 10. 
  8. ^ Walker, Jonathan (2003-04-22). "Demand for postal votes on the rise". Birmingham Post. p. 4. 
  9. ^ "Post-your-vote idea catching on". Malvern Gazette. 2003-04-19. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  10. ^ Parker, Simon (2003-05-02). "Backlash costs Labour 750 seats". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Tories cling on to Worcester". icBirmingham. 2003-05-02. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Electoral Services - Results 2003". Political Science Resources. Retrieved 2010-01-04.