Here are the results of the county council elections in the four OX3 Divisions, held on 4 May 2017.
Overall there were no surprises and no change in the parties holding each seat. There were no strong signs in our area either of a Labour collapse or a LibDem surge. The absence of UKIP meant there were significant blocks of votes to go elsewhere. Turnout was generally close to 10 percentage points higher than in the County elections four years ago.
I think the Greens will be disappointed to come bottom in three divisions and next to bottom in Churchill & Lye Valley. However, they have a habit of fielding paper candidates, even to the extent of advertising for people to stand as such not long before the elections. The only Green who I know campaigned was Symon Hill in BS&R (if you know of others please leave a comment), but even so he couldn’t make any headway against the other parties.
Barton, Sandhills & Risinghurst
Independent Chaka Artwell appears to have collected a sizeable chunk of the UKIP vote, though perhaps this was more of a ‘none of the above’ vote rather than a vote for Mr Artwell’s politics. The Conservatives also appear to have gained some votes from UKIP.
Churchill & Lye Valley
No UKIP effect here but a small increase in the Conservative vote, and as in BS&R a slight drop for Labour and a small increase for the LibDems.
Headington & Quarry
It’s hard to believe that the big rise in the LibDem vote was due to votes transferred from UKIP, but it doesn’t look like they went anywhere else. Perhaps UKIP voters didn’t bother to turn out. Despite an active campaign newcomer Bill Asquith (Lab) couldn’t repeat the close race run by Dee Sinclair four years ago, so Roz Smith (LibDem) saw her majority rise from 31 to 892.
Marston & Northway
In 2013 UKIP’s Nicholas Fell and Independent Charlie Haynes took 27.5% of the votes between them, so it’s not surprising that the four candidates standing this time all saw an increase in their share of the vote. The big increases went to the Conservatives and LibDems, with re-elected Mark Lygo (Lab) only picking up a 2.8 percentage point increase and seeing his lead over Mark Bhagwandin (Con) drop from 32.6 percentage points to 24.0.