Vir Cantium

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London Election Stats

I am indebted to Croydonian for alerting me earlier this week to the release of the London election results broken down by ward*. Enjoy!

(Health warning for LibDems: You won’t enjoy this. As you’ll see further below, if these results were repeated in the 2010 council elections, you would end up with fewer councillors than the BNP.)

Firstly, the main contest …

Biggest Boris Vote
1. Stanley Ward (R.B. Kensington & Chelsea) 79.96%
2. Royal Hospital Ward (Kensington & Chelsea) 79.68%
3. Knightsbridge & Belgravia Ward (Westminster) 78.59%
Inner London average 36.24%
Outer London average 48.35%

Biggest Livingstone Vote
1. East Ham North (Newham) 73.42%
2. Green Street West (Newham) 70.92%
3. Southall Broadway (Ealing) 69.77%
Inner London average 43.80%
Outer London average 31.97%

Biggest Paddick Vote
1. The Wrythe (Sutton) 20.02% (Even here, Livingstone polled around 2.5% higher, and Boris over 26% more)
2. Wandle Valley (Sutton) 19.43%
3. St. Marks (K.C.) 19.28%
Inner London average 10.21%
Outer London average 9.49%

Now as any fule kno, it was Outer London that won it for Boris, with a 12 point lead in the outer boroughs, against Ken’s 12 point lead in the inners. Only with the ward results, and the resultant borough breakdowns, is this even clearer than when just comparing GLA constituencies, some of which straddle inner and outer London.

Although the gap was roughly equal and reversed between inner and outer London, it is clear that outer London, with approximately 800,000 more voters, was going to have the edge. Also, the inner London wards may have registered the very highest vote shares, but with the average ward size in outer London being approximately 500 voters larger, the Conservatives’ doughnut strategy was thoroughly vindicated.

“But but but..” cry the Lib Dems, “you’re only counting first preferences. That’s not fair.” Yes I am, and yes it is.

Moving on, with such a presidential style contest some focus has been given to the extra boost that that the mayoral candidates give to the “normal” party vote. Let’s compare the mayoral vote share (yes, first preferences again) to the party list “London Member” vote and look at the “premium” that the mayoral candidates gave to their parties.

Boris Premium
Highest in Mayesbrook (Barking & Dagenham) 24.64%
Lowest in Southall Broadway (Ealing) 2.88%
Overall 8.57%

Ken Premium
Highest in Spitalfields & Banglatown (Tower Hamlets): 31.50 %
Lowest in Eastbrook (Barking & Dagenham): 0.37%
Overall 9.42%

Paddick “Premium”
Highest in Thames (Barking & Dagenham): 3.27%
Lowest in Teddington (Richmond): -17.51%
Overall -1.61%

Not brilliant news for poor old Brian, then – he actually generated a negative premium – a “Brian discount” if you will. Well, as he has effectively said, the Lib Dems are rubbish at campaigning in London now. (Bad workmen and all that, Brian?)

So looking ahead to 2010, which could be the safest wards in London? Here are the final redoubts, based on the party list votes (as opposed to the mayoral votes – see above) for each party which scored a majority in any ward, which therefore includes the BNP and Greens:

Safest Conservative Ward
… by majority: Royal Hospital (Kensington & Chelsea) 65.41%
… by vote share: Knightsbridge & Belgravia (Westminster) 77.25%

Safest Labour Ward
… by majority: Southall Broadway (Ealing) 49.59%
… by vote share: Southall Broadway (Ealing) 64.94%

Safest LD Ward
… by majority: Muswell Hill (Haringey) 3.62%
… by vote share: Teddington (Richmond): 33.93% (but still beaten by the Conservatives)

In fact, based on these party list votes, the Lib Dems would take only two other wards in the whole of London: Alexandra (also Haringey) and Cathedrals (Southwark). The BNP would have more councillors, with eight wards.

Safest BNP Ward
… by majority: Mayesbrook (Barking & Dagenham) 15.67%
… by vote share: Mayesbrook (Barking & Dagenham) 38.47%

Safest Green ward
… by majority: Highgate (Camden): 0.18%
… by vote share: Brockley (Lewisham): 29.94%

And if you’ll indulge me, we’ll look at the absolute number of votes…

Largest number of votes (1st pref. mayoral)
Conservative: Hayes & Coney Hall (Bromley) 4,025
Labour: St Dunstan`s & Stepney Green (Tower Hamlets) 2,547
Lib Dem: Southfields (Wandsworth) 678

Now let’s wrap up the turnout records. I must admit I haven’t got the up to date electorate figures for every borough, most being brought forward from 2006, so take these with a pinch of salt …

Highest Turnouts
1. St. Katharine`s & Wapping (Tower Hamlets) 62.09%
2. Eastbrook (Barking and Dagenham) 59.86%
3. Stoke Newington Central (Hackney) 59.34%

Lowest Turnouts
1. Thames (Barking and Dagenham) 22.68%
2. Stratford And New Town (Newham) 22.77%
3. Cranford (Hounslow) 22.86%

Now for the booby prizes – we find out who will have to stand in the corner with the dunce’s hat on.

The most spoilt votes (1st prefs, of all votes cast) were 7.08% of ballots in Alperton (Brent)

And for the fewest spoilt papers, the gold star goes to …, the postal voters of the City, with the good burghers of the square mile only messing up two ballot papers. Otherwise, the electors in Royal Hospital ward (Kensington & Chelsea) can be smug, having only failed twelve times, or on 0.569% of ballots.

When we come to second preferences, a significant number of voters didn’t cast a vote, and this makes up the bulk (over 400,000) of spoilt 2nd preference votes. The ward whose voters were most sure that their choice would make it to the second round (or maybe they were just in a hurry) was Northumberland Park (Haringey) with 35.78% blank second preferences.

One particular category of spoilt ballot is “voting too many times”, and so we can reveal that the ward where Robert Mugabe would find himself most at home is … Plaistow South (Newham): 3.28% (95 such spoilt papers).

I think that’ll do for now. My anorak awaits its owner.

* Well, all except the postal votes, for which I only have the borough totals so far, and which I have had to ignore for the purposes of most of this election stat-fest.


3 responses to “London Election Stats

  1. Croydonian May 16, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Glorious psephoporn. I love this sort of thing.

  2. davidboothroyd May 16, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I’ve been doing some comparisons with the ward splits from 2004, which make interesting reading. There were six wards where Boris Johnson managed to lose votes compared to Steve Norris in 2004, the most being by 3.56% in Tokyngton, Brent; the best improvement was a whole +31.96% in East Wickham, Bexley.

    Meanwhile Ken Livingstone improved his 2004 first preference vote in 265 out of 627 wards, in nine of them by over 30% (all in Tower Hamlets and Newham). He was down 14.55% in the tiny polling district AL of the City of London, and by 12.69% in Thamesfield ward, Wandsworth.

    Brian Paddick actually improved on Simon Hughes’ 2004 showing in eight wards, but the most was 1.95% (Chatham, Hackney); he lost more than 20% in eight wards, all in Hughes’ own constituency where Hughes’ personal vote went elsewhere.

  3. Justin Hinchcliffe May 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Fasinating stuff. Well done!

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