Search

Election analysis: Battle lines drawn in Camden wards key to deciding outcome on polling day

08:00 02 May 2014

Camden

Camden's current political make-up. Red = Labour. Blue = Conservative. Yellow = Liberal Democrat. Green = Green Party.

Archant

As it stands, the Labour Party in Camden has overall control of the council with 30 elected members spread across 11 of the borough’s 18 wards.

Having emerged from four years of government cuts totalling £83million, Labour leader Cllr Sarah Hayward says she is “quietly confident” her administration will bolster their council majority at the election on May 22 by up to four seats.

“Camden Labour has a record of which it can be proud,” she said. “Set against a backdrop of the biggest cuts the borough has ever seen, we’re tackling the issues people face in their day-to-day lives and making a difference.

“We could have bunkered down in the face of overwhelming adversity, but instead we’re ambitious for the borough and its residents. If they re-elect us, we’ll continue to make a difference.”

But with only a slim four-seat majority, the Labour group does not have an easy ride to polling day with Camden’s three opposition parties – the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Greens – nipping at their coat-tails in a number of crucial wards.

One of the closest contests is set to take place in Highgate where the Green Party is ploughing all its efforts into grappling back control of the three seats the party held following a by-election in 2008.

Cllr Maya de Souza is stepping down after eight years and Green candidate Siân Berry, a former London mayoral contender, is determined to continue Cllr de Souza’s work after her departure.

“It’s clear it’s between us and Labour and we think we can do this,” said Ms Berry. “People in Highgate will vote for who they want to, they are not particularly tribal.”

Ms Berry will be joined by architectural designer Matt Johnston and lawyer Robert McCracken QC in trying to oust Labour’s Highgate councillors Valerie Leach and Sally Gimson, who is bidding to stand as an MP in Sheffield next year.

Ms Berry said that as well as winning unanimously in Highgate, the Green Party’s main aim is to finish the election with more seats than the Lib Dems.

For the Lib Dems, who entered a power-sharing coalition with the Tories in 2006 after winning 14 new seats, the challenge is to hold onto seats this year – in light of the unpopular work of the party in government nationally.

But Lib Dem leader Cllr Keith Moffitt believes his party has worked hard enough locally to hold the six seats the Lib Dems control in West Hampstead and Fortune Green.

The party also hopes to wrest the council majority from Labour by reclaiming the three seats the Lib Dems lost in Kilburn in 2010.

“In Kilburn, Mike Katz is the most well-known councillor and he’s standing down,” said Cllr Moffitt. “The two sitting Labour councillors are just not well-known, they live down in King’s Cross.

“If the Greens take a few seats in Highgate and Labour lose Kilburn then we will have a hung council.”

However, Camden’s Tory group have different ideas about the Lib Dems’ election prospects.

Tory leader Cllr Claire-Louise Leyland singled out Lib Dem seats in West Hampstead and Fortune Green as major targets.

In Fortune Green, Cllr Leyland believes the Tories can capitalise on the departure of incumbent Lib Dem councillor Russell Eagling and she said Tories felt buoyed by the response they have received canvassing in West Hampstead.

“We just get the feeling from talking to residents that the demographic has changed,” said Cllr Leyland. “It’s influenced partly by the national picture and partly because residents have seen us a lot.”

Cllr Leyland is also confident that the party’s new candidate, Shahin Ahmed, will be able to fill the place of outgoing 
Labour councillor Tulip Siddiq in Regent’s Park, where she believes Mr Ahmed will draw a lot of support from fellow Bangladeshis.

As for the ruling Labour group, the election mission is clear.

“The wards where we don’t hold all the councillors and the wards where we have had councillors before are targets,” said Cllr Hayward.

“We are speaking to well over 3,000 people a week.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Yesterday, 20:11
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan celebrated his first game as Middlesex’s T20 skipper with a classy knock of 93 as his side hammered Hampshire by 69 runs.

Yesterday, 17:00
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in THE NICE GUYS. Picture: Daniel McFadden

Shane Black has had his ups and downs in Hollywood – going from a million dollar screenwriter (Lethal Weapon) in the ‘80s to being largely ignored in the ‘90s.

Yesterday, 12:58
Nurul Islam celebrates at his Belsize Park kiosk with customers and Ham&High reporter Emily Banks, right.       Picture: Polly Hancock

The vendor who runs the Belsize Park newspaper kiosk today thanked his customers for pressuring Camden Council into doing a u-turn over the rent hike which threatened his business.

Yesterday, 12:00
Ava Potter as Lilly in Michael Morpurgo's Running Wild. Picture: Johan Persson

Reuniting a Michael Morpurgo story with ex-War Horse puppeteers– in the glade-like Regent’s Park theatre - sounded an enticing prospect for a children’s show.

Yesterday, 11:17
Gabriella with mum Nazanin on her first birthday

A distraught father whose daughter faces her second birthday forced apart from her parents while detained in Iran has urged children around the world to send her a birthday card.

Yesterday, 10:56
Victor in Delhi

A ‘smart and popular’ 22-year-old who died in a motorbike crash has been remembered at his former school.

Yesterday, 09:00
Interiors themed wedding gifts any couple would love

Looking to buy a wedding gift that’s not on the list? Here are 17 chic buys that are guaranteed to make any couple supremely happy

Yesterday, 08:00
Michael Palin seen on the first day of rehearsals in London, for their new show Monty Python Live (mostly) which is on at the O2 Arena in London on July 1-5, 15, 16, 18-20.

Ahead of a poetry evening in aid of Keat’s Library Bridget Galton talks to Michael Palin, the latest star signed up to the director’s long-delayed The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

Results

Hampstead and Kilburn

  • Tulip Siddiq (Labour)
    23,977 (44.4%)

Finchley and Golders Green

  • Mike Freer (Conservative)
    25,835 (50.9%)

Holborn and St Pancras

  • Keir Starmer(Labour)
    29,062 (52.9%)

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are no rules when it comes to buying studio pottery beyond choosing what you love

With The Great Pottery Throwdown captivating viewers across the nation, pottery courses at capacity, and hipsters snapping up vintage studio pieces to display their succulents in and post on Instagram, studio pottery and ceramics are definitely having a moment.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe