Labour's love lost as majority is slashed to just three seats
PUBLISHED: 16:01 12 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:28 07 September 2010
Jonathan Marciano LABOUR has hung on to power in Haringey but with a severely reduced majority. The party dropped from 41 to 30 seats, with the Lib Dems increasing their share from 16 to 27. Council leader Charles Adje said he was satisfied with the perfo
Jonathan MarcianoLABOUR has hung on to power in Haringey but with a severely reduced majority.The party dropped from 41 to 30 seats, with the Lib Dems increasing their share from 16 to 27.Council leader Charles Adje said he was satisfied with the performance of his Labour group.He said: "We are pleased with the result despite the fact that we have dropped some seats. This is despite the fact the Liberal Democrats said they would take the council which they have not delivered."The party now has a majority of only three councillors - its worst performance ever in the borough. The Lib Dems secured Alexandra, Crouch End, Fortis Green, Highgate and Muswell Hill.They added the wards of Hornsey and Stroud Green in the west of the borough. And the party - capitalising on the general election victory of Lynne Featherstone in May - took its first ever seats in Wood Green and Tottenham.Haringey is one of only four remaining Labour boroughs in London.High profile casualties who lost seats amid a climate of voter discontent included former Haringey finance chief Richard Milner, social services spokeswoman Kate Wynne and former executive member for the environment Peter Hillman.Mr Milner, who saw his ward of Hornsey taken by the Lib Dems, said: "I hope we as a group learn from this. In the west I think we need to listen a bit harder. "When [former Labour Hornsey and Wood Green MP] Barbara Roche lost her seat in May we knew the demographics had changed. The Lib Dems treated Hornsey as a target ward. "Their literature was almost entirely talking about Lynne Featherstone, off the back of her success. I think nationally after nine years people were angry at things they did not agree with."In Highgate the Conservatives fought a tough contest against the Lib Dems, while Labour was humiliatingly beaten into fourth place by independent candidate Ralph Crisp.Highgate also had one of the highest voter turnouts at 45 per cent.But core Labour voters failed to turn out with a few as 15 per cent coming out in the east. Highgate Tory candidate Peter Forrest said: "At a personal level, I have decided that now is the right time to step down from front-line politics."Labour candidates said voters were angry about the Iraq war and perceived anti-libertarian legislation.Crouch End Lib Dem councillor David Winskill said: "People like the stance we take on civil liberties. In Crouch End residents could not find any reason to vote Labour. It has shown that the Lib Dems are a serious alternative. "Last time we had votes of 1,400 and that has actually jumped to 1,800."I think it is going to be a very interesting four years. Labour is a very split party. "Because it is such a slim majority for Labour I think any by-elections will be extremely interesting."Haringey Lib Dem leader Neil Williams added: "It was not quite enough but there was a huge increase in our number of councillors. Now we have councillors in Wood Green and Tottenham for the first time.