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    May 2015    

Victory for Tahir: Woking gets a second Labour councillor

Tahir meets a local resident at Dartmouth Avenue shops in SheerwaterTahir Aziz romped home for Labour in the Maybury & Sheerwater elections on Thursday May 7th, winning 1913 out of the 4093 valid votes cast. With M. Ilyas Raja elected in June 2014, Woking Labour now has two councillors, both representing Maybury & Sheerwater. Congratulations to Tahir and his energetic campaign team!

Sadly, our candidate in the General Election failed to topple the sitting Tory MP Jonathan Lord. But Jill Rawling's tireless campaigning allowed her to double Labour's share of the vote from the 8% achieved in 2010 to 16%, and brought her a well-deserved second place out of eight candidates. Well done, Jill! Woking's parliamentary election results were: Tory 29,199; Labour 8,389; LibDem 6,047; Ukip 5,873; others 2,456.

Jay Butcher and Jill Rawling canvassingLocally, Labour is now just 2% points behind the LibDems. The Tory share, however, also went up. It is interesting to compare the General Election result, where the Lab and Tory share of the vote was higher than for the locals, and the LibDem much lower. There was a slight increase in Labour’s vote share locally from 2014. We gained good results in Maybury & Sheerwater, Goldsworth East (where local Labour candidate Jay Butcher can be seen canvassing with Jill Rawling) and Knaphill.

Thank you to all you intrepid doorstep and telephone canvassers, deliverers, printers and tellers! Until the entirely unexpected bombshell of a Tory victory exploded on May 8th, it had been an exciting campaign both nationally and locally. Locally we had more boots out there than for several years, and we have gained a good number of new members too.

Nationally, too, according to Harriet Harman 30,000 new members have joined in the last few days.

Owen House on election night

Tahir's campaign support team at Owen House on election night

Woking Labour – the way ahead

Poster board May 2015At the next Executive Committee meeting on May 20th at 8pm, there will be an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign, reportbacks from our four key seats, reports on our progress with social media campaigning, an update on the Electoral Fraud High Court case, on events coming up, and then forward planning for what will be the new ward boundaries next year. The new boundaries are due to shifting population figures and the decision to have a uniform number of three councillors on each of 30 wards instead of one, two or three on the 36 wards, as at present.

EC meetings are open for all members and supporters to attend, so come if you want to find out what is going on. All offers of help will be welcome – perhaps you could join in with some ongoing activity?

Our intrepid election team - canvassers, distributors, print team, the lot - are all invited to join the EC at the Sovereigns pub restaurant for a celebration on May 28th at 7.30pm.

Fighting to give Labour more SAY locally is the other reason why we exist, and winning more Labour councillors in Woking is essential. We had some good candidates this year and hopefully will have several more next year too. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in standing or at any time would like to know more about it. It is always best to have candidates in place by the new year if possible.

Labour leadership election

Please note that the rule change from the March 1st Special Conference this year on eligibility to vote in the leadership election requires membership to be in place by 12 noon on August 12th. It will be on a basis of person one vote and will include all full members, registered supporters and those in the new category for trade unions called associate members.


Dates for your diary

All at Owen House unless otherwise shown

May 20th (Wednesday), 8pm
Executive Committee.

May 26th (Tuesday), 7.30pm
Fabian Society meeting at Education Centre, Guildford Cathedral. Subject: "Constructive Engagement with Muslim Youths". Details from Warren Weertman, email secretary@surreyfabians.org.uk.

May 28th (Thursday), 7.30pm
Sovereigns Pub, Guildford Road, Woking. Celebration for all our intrepid election team.

June 17th (Wednesday)
Climate Change day of action in central London. Details on the Campaign Against Climate Change website.

June 24th (Wednesday), 8pm
Executive Committee.

  Woking Labour Constituency Party, Owen House, Heathside Crescent, Woking, Surrey GU22 7AG.
Web: www.wokinglabour.org
Chair: Paul Blagbrough (chair@wokinglabour.org)
Acting Secretary: Liz Evans (secretary@wokinglabour.org)