Nov 08 2013

Harrow on the Hill By-Election Results – Labour win

polling_stationAfter a day of excitement, the results are now in from the Council on the Harrow-on-the-Hill by-election:

  • Glen Hearnden – (Lab) – 991
  • Stephen Lewis, (Con) 836
  • Eileen Kinnear (Independent) 308
  • Gajan Idaikkadar (Harrow First) – 173
  • Jeremy Zeid (UKIP) – 168
  • Gaye Branch (Lib Dem) 70

Turnout 29.2 per cent.

There are a couple of quotes already received from the groups:

Independent Labour said:

As a brand new party we received more than half the votes that former Councillor Eileen Kinnear got who stood as Independent, and we beat Liberal Democrats and UKIP, both of whom have the luxury of daily national TV coverage.

Dr. Gajan Idaikkadar campaigned on the theme of putting the residents of Harrow first. We are proud of our campaign. We will continue to provide a genuine alternative to the people of Harrow.

We wish Councillor Hearnden well for the future in his new role and welcome him as a member of the Council.

Susan Hall, for the Conservatives, said:

Leader of the Council Cllr. Susan Hall said: “We are obviously disappointed that Labour were able to hold their seat – especially after the previous Labour councillors let Hill residents down so badly – but I am proud that the Conservative campaign was focused on local issues and that in Stephen we had a candidate who would have stood up for local interests.

Our mission is to show all residents that Conservatives are the only party which can deliver a cleaner, safer and fairer Harrow. We have already increased street cleaning, and we are working more closely with the police and have revitalised Neighbourhood Champions. We are also helping residents with the cost of living by scrapping the 2% increase in council tax Labour planned for next year.

Labour, meanwhile, took a moment to send us:

We are delighted that Glen Hearnden is the new Labour Councillor for the Harrow on the Hill ward. As a local businessman Glen knows the area well and will be a councillor that local residents can rely on for support, and to campaign on their behalf about issues that matter to them.

Glen campaigned on Labour’s policy to freeze energy bills and lower tube fares, as well as supporting Labour’s pledge to freeze council tax. Glen’s victory shows that these are the issues that residents are concerned about, and that Labour is the party that will support residents in the face of the damaging Tory-cuts and greedy price rises by energy companies.

We now look forward to the local council elections and working with local residents on a wide range of local issues, from ensuring their roads are re-surfaced to stopping the expansion of RAF Northolt, and everything in between.

Cllr Glen Hearnden Quote: ‘I am delighted to be elected and represent the residents of Harrow on the Hill, the hard work starts now and I will certainly repay the trust the residents of Harrow on the Hill have placed in me.’

Cllr David Perry Quote, leader of the Labour Group: ‘I am delighted at a Labour victory in Harrow on the Hill, Glen Hearnden has worked extremely hard and together we look forward to championing the local issues which matter to local residents over the coming months.’


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  1. Shameful

    All parties should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. With only 29.2% turnout no one has really won and certainly there is nothing to be proud of or delighted with.

    It just shows the total disdain the residents have for our local council and all their political shenanigans, and I for one am totally embarrassed to live in such a shoddily run London borough.

    Come on councillors get your acts together and start making a difference for people and showing them you really do care about them and not just scoring political points over one another – then we may have some meaningful elections and councillors who truly deserve to be in office.

  2. Praxis Reform

    I’ve always thought that all elections should have the “None of the above” option, whereby if that option wins, the election must be re-run, but with all the previous candidates excluded.

  3. krishna lathia-james

    Could not agree with you more. I have been there for 6 years and what I have seen and experienced is not good. I think more of our residents should try and attend the council meetings just to witness the council in action. I have to say people come in with good intentions then the party engulfs them. It takes a lot of energy spirit and backbone to speak truth to power. When you stand up for your values you can pay dearly. Though it is difficult to find them there are still some people with integrity in the council.
    Perhaps this issue explains why Independent labour councillors took a stand.

    Cllr Krishna James

  4. I’m going to do something unusual, and comment, as I feel quite strongly on this.

    There are reports of Bill Phillips (Labour, Greenhill) being out with Harrow Street Pastors this weekend, which is an excellent strategy for getting out and about, doing something constructive, and seeing – first hand – the problems Harrow faces.

    I know he’s not the only one out there doing ‘stuff’ and many of our councillors are similarly engaged in the community. There are, however, far too many who simply ignore anything outside the occasional council or cabinet meeting, and it’s those that need to get out, get busy and get noticed. Unfortunately, too many[1] simply don’t give a damn.

    I hope we’ll see Glen out and about, connecting with the public, very soon.

    [1] Above, ‘too many’, means ‘more than none’ in my books.

  5. King David

    As a self branded independent website it is perhaps better not to publicise one particular cllr from a particular party especially when you say others are also doing similar good “stuff” but i suppose you wanted to back up your point.

  6. Praxis Reform

    I don’t think that any councillor should be promoting religious organizations as part of their effort to engage with the community, but then what Cllr Phillips does in his own time is his own business. I’ve exchanged the occasional tweet with him, and he seems like a decent fellow (even if I don’t agree with his politics).

    Cllr James though confirms a hunch I’ve had about how politics works for a long time… So, I’ve been giving the by-election result a little thought, and come to the conclusion that all the candidates fall into one of three categories:

    1. Parties that helped cause the current economic crisis
    2. Parties that scapegoat the poor instead of dealing the economic crisis
    3. The party that will say anything whatsoever just to get into power

    Further, although politicians bang on about democracy, we don’t have anything like democracy here in the UK. If Cllr Hearnden turns out to be a clot (and I’ve no evidence that he is), Harrow-on-the-Hill residents are stuck with him till the next election, whereupon we all will be presented with the same supposed choice I’ve described above.

  7. Sweet William

    I wonder whether Praxis Reform is aware that the next election for Harrow on the Hill seat is in about six months time. So the fortunate electors of Harrow on the Hill be able to re-elect Glen Hearden with an even bigger majoriy and two other Labour councillors as well.

  8. Praxis Reform

    Yes I am aware… it’s all rather depressing, isn’t it?

    Perhaps Paul could run a sweepstake on how low the turnout will be

  9. Concerned Harrovian

    As I see it Cllr.Glen Hearnden has six months to prove he can deal with any problems the residents bring to his attention. He has to be out and about talking to residents’ now that he has been voted in and demonstrating that the job of a Hill councillor is not a sincecure. Cllr. Simon Williams has had to manage single handedly so far because Ann Gate was on the move. Also David Gawn,conviction for fraud.does not seem to have been on the scene.

    Residents are not interested in the various politicaL power struggles. They want a councillor who will commit to serving the folks on the Hill. Pathetically low turn out shows the level of disillusonment amongst voters.
    Remember we vote you in but we can also vote you out.

    Remember we vote you in but we can also vote you out.

  10. Marcello Borgese

    Oh dear, oh dear, the Tories mucked up this one (again). If they don’t learn from their historical mistakes, they are bound to repeat them. Two former conservatives fighting against them! At least Labour only had one! It seems that elections in Harrow have now come down to whose got the least number of disgruntled former members challenging them. What a ridiculous state of affairs and therefore thoroughly consistent with the quality of Harrow politics currently.

    But then again, with only 29% turnout this was no election at all. You might as well have tossed a coin: heads – the people of Harrow lose, tails – the people of Harrow lose.

    But now the Deputy Leader must be reconsidering his fortunes. Currently he’s listed as an activist for Harrow on the Hill ward (as well as Belmont ward) so presumably he’s intending to stand for election in HotH but he must now think that’s a bit risky. HotH is not the safe Tory ward it once was and such a valuable and prominent party member will surely want a safe seat, such as, oh I don’t know, Hatch End maybe? A quick glance at West Harrow’s activist list shows they haven’t chosen their Hatch End candidates yet. Well I never, five months to go and still no firm candidates!

    The question is: who will fall on their sword to make way for BMC? Could history be repeated by the Tories creating yet another disgruntled former member who will stand for election against them and eat into their share of the vote?

  11. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    UK local by-elections always statistically have a turnout of 30% + or – 1% – it’s nothing to do with the politicians. My hat goes off to the two individuals who wrote “NONE” across their ballot paper-now THAT’S the way to protest.

  12. Praxis Reform

    Au Contraire Cllr Stoodley,

    I’ve spent a while now trying to understand UK politics, and from what I can see, although by-elections have always had traditionally low turnouts, they also have declined roughly in line with the number of voters going on strike at the major elections.

    I’ve scanned a graph from an academic paper that plots a graph of by-election turnouts from 1983-2007 (shortly before the paper was published): http://bobblackmanmp.info/images/TO.jpg (unfortunately the comments section at iHarrow doesn’t like picture links).

    That graph rather confirms my own theory that voters have been turned off in the 1980s by Margaret Thatcher’s decision to ignore the poor, working classes, trade unionists and the disaffected, etc. (they’re NEVER going to vote for her, so why bother doing anything for them?). Followed by Tony Blair’s incumbency, where there was then a small reversal as people initially thought that he might make some improvements; but instead he realised that the poor, working classes, trade unionists and the disaffected, etc. would ALWAYS vote Labour, so why bother doing anything for them?

    Since then, we’ve had Gordon Brown piss away the countries wealth and replace boom and bust with sending the economy into a headlong nose dive, and David Cameron’s attempt to out-Thatcher Margaret Thatcher (even she said she’d never see the Queen’s head privatized).

    And, now we get endless talk about how one can vote out the present incumbents, but this of course is only available many years after its been discovered that the Politician suffers Pseudologia fantastica, or has just decided to sit on his or her hands for the duration – whereupon one is presented with the choice between a rotten apple and a rotten egg.

    So, in the words of the old song, “No matter who you vote for, the Government always gets in!”…

    It’s funny though how the Politician’s answer always seem to be that what is needed is yet more politics (no doubt so they can put their mates on the gravy train), and thus we go from Local elections that have become a referendum on what people think of the current Government, to Mayoral elections that few people take seriously, to PCC elections which seem to be nothing more than a joke.

    Spoil the ballot paper? In my mind, I always imagine the Returning officers and Politicians looking at them and saying “Geeze, these people are so stupid, they don’t even know how to put a cross in a box”.

  13. j p hobbs

    Thank you Praxis , I wish I had said that and bet a lot of other people do keep it up , why does the word PARASITES come to mind ?

  14. Concerned Harrovian

    I agree with Praxis and J P Hobbs. Some Harrow Councillors had to be chased to make their Council tax payments. I wonder if they were involved in taking decisions on how to spend the council tax that residents had dutifully paid on time. If these councillors cannot manage their personal budgets why are involved in decision making on the Harrow Council’s budget. I bet they were not late in claiming their allowances.
    Also politicians are never going to be involved in any long term planning because they react in the short term to keep themselves in office. As Ken Livingstone said, “If voting changed anything they would abolish it.”
    Look at the website liars, buggers and thieves and you will see some of Harrow’s councillors featured: David Gawn and Brian Gate.

  15. j hobbs

    Hear Hear . say no more

  16. Praxis Reform

    It’s an oldie but a goodie: The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’, meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’, meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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