Election results show Labour progress in Woking

Fiona at Woking Station

In the June 8th General Election, our Parliamentary candidate Fiona Colley significantly raised the Labour share of the vote in Woking, from 16% to 23.8%. We would like to thank her for her consistent and cheerful leadership during the campaign and for her clarity of contributions and ready responses at the hustings on June 1st at the HG Wells Conference Centre.

The count also took place at the HG Wells, and while we fortified ourselves at the bar swapping news about the exit polls the boxes began to arrive from the polling stations at 10.15pm. The exit polls were showing Labour much higher than expected against the Tories and turned out later to be uncannily accurate.

The Conservative Jonathan Lord came in with 29,903 (29,199 in 2015), Fiona second with 13,179 (the Labour share was just 8,389 in ’15), Lib Dem’s Will Forster 9,711 (6,047), Ukip 1,161 (5,873), and the others far behind. The turnout was 72%, with young voter turnout massively greater than before. If more young voters understood how their votes can influence the policy-makers on issues affecting them they would make sure they got registered and voted. The count finished at around 4am, more like the old days when the count always took place on the same day as the vote, and finished in the wee small hours with the sky getting light and the birds waking up.

In spite of the short notice given of the election we managed to have canvassing on several Saturday mornings and afternoons, on Sunday afternoons and, in the last two weeks, nightly canvassing from 6.30 until the light was fading. Our Newsflashes and social media produced a higher level of new support than in previous years, and new and old supporters also offered to help with leaflet deliveries. Four members also went over last Friday to canvass in Slough and three to Brentford and Isleworth for the Get-Out-The-Vote on polling day as both were marginals. Both were won comfortably by Labour.

On the campaign trail: (l to r) Hassan Shah, Fiona Colley, Patrick Lonergan, Chris Martin, Liz Evans
Looking ahead to the 2018 borough elections next May, this result gives Labour a good platform for raising our vote. Jeremy Corbyn has confounded the critics and much of the uncertainty we met on the doorstep will have gone. We found a great deal of support for Labour values and the Labour manifesto and if more of the Labour parliamentary party can support Corbyn now, the vote should rise even further in Woking. We need our members and supporters to give more help with canvassing, delivering, street stalls and demos around the local issues we are working on.

Join in with the debates at our meetings every month (except August). Street stalls will be running on Saturdays from 11–2 in the town centre and we need your help. Canvassing will be stepped up from September onwards and is the best way to win votes. It is enjoyable and not difficult at all so long as you like people! Don’t stop now. Let this election be the template from now on and keep the momentum going. All dates and details will be on the Newsflashes, website and social media – so just turn up.

Disappointing result in SCC election

In one of the hardest fought campaigns in recent memory, our candidate for Woking North in the Surrey County Council election, Mohammed Sakhawat Khan, gained 1666 votes but lost by 247. The seat was one of many potential Labour seats lost across the country, an outcome mainly of the UKIP vote merging with the Tory vote.

Thank you to Sakhawat for leading from the front so well, and also to our other stalwart candidates in the seven County seats.

Labour Conference

The annual Labour Party Conference takes place this year in Brighton from September 24th-27th. Papers can be downloaded from the National Policy Forum web page.

If you would like to be the Conference 2017 delegate for Woking CLP please contact our Chair, Sabir Hussain, on 07887 553716 as soon as possible. The closing date is June 23rd. The conference fee is free and some contribution towards accommodation can be made from constituency funds. It is advisable to find somewhere to stay early as the best cheap ones go quickly. Lists can be obtained from the Conference Arrangements Committee.

Could you be a Councillor?

Woking Council is currently looking ahead to the 2018 Borough elections, and advertising their annual ‘Could you be a Councillor?’ event.

This year, the event has been brought forward to be held on Saturday June 10 at 11.30am in the Skylight Room at Christ Church, Jubilee Square, Woking. If you would like to go, please contact the Council’s Election Officer Charlotte Griffiths on Charlotte.Griffiths@woking.gov.uk.

New guidance documents from Labour

The Labour Party has issued some new guidance documents on the safeguarding of young people and two additional notes which deal with the general behaviour of party members and the use of social media. They are designed to ensure the Labour Party is a safe and welcoming place for all our members and supporters, where the contribution of all is valued and the abuse of anyone is unacceptable.

Copies can be downloaded from this site:

Members’ Pledge
Safeguarding Code of Conduct
Labour Social Media Policy
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

Jo Cox MP

Jo Cox MP
Jo Cox MP
Woking Labour stands with all who care about democracy and humanity in mourning the loss of our sister Jo Cox MP. We remember her life’s work which was committed to those core values. Jo was an ardent defender of human rights and an internationalist, to her, humanity saw no borders. Today we mourn her loss but tomorrow we will continue her quest to try our best to develop a world which values every human being, a world which sees no colour, a world free from destitution and a world which challenges bigotry. We send condolences to the family of Jo Cox MP and to her friends at this dreadful time and we hope they find some solace in the love and solidarity of millions in our nation who have shown their support.
Barry Faulkner, Chair, Woking Labour

Vicki Kirby

Woking Labour has been in the media spotlight over the past few days as a result of allegations made against our vice chair Vicki Kirby. The matter has been discussed in the Labour Party at a national level and as a result the National Chair of the party, Ian McNicol, has suspended Ms Kirby pending a full investigation. At this point we feel as a local party it would be inappropriate to comment further as we do not wish to interfere with any ongoing investigation or prejudice the outcome.