The efforts of Labour staff at Head Office, in the three regions and, most importantly, in southern constituencies has been rewarded by a significant increase in Labour candidates standing in next month’s local elections.
Across the political south Labour will be standing over 650 more candidates than 2007, when these seats were last up for election – an increase of 25%
Labour is contesting just over half of the seats up for election in the south west (up from 39% four years ago); 65% of seats in the south east (up from 53%) and an impressive 78% in the east of England*.
The figures are as follows (2007 in brackets):
+148 Labour candidates
Labour candidates 643 (495)
Total councillors to be elected 1259 (1267)
Labour candidates as percentage 51% (39%)
+223 Labour candidates
Labour candidates 1352 (1129)
Total councillors to be elected 2072 (2123)
Labour candidates as percentage 65% (53%)
East of England
+293 Labour candidates
Labour candidates 1155 (862)
Total councillors to be elected 1470 (1433)
Labour candidates as percentage 78% (60%)
Total for South
+664 Labour candidates
Labour candidates 3150 (2486)
Total councillors to be elected 4801 (4823)
Labour candidates as percentage 65% (52%)
Elections are not decided by the number of candidates; but you cannot win an election if you don't have a candidate in the race, and these figures suggest a Labour party in the south that is motivated and enthused. Thousands of additional southern voters now have the chance to vote Labour in next week's elections - the task now we have the candidates, is to get them elected.
* while these successes are the result of much work on the ground by a great many staff and members, Alan Olive in the East of England regional office deserves particular recognition.