Labour hold off BNP in Barking and Dagenham by-election
Friday 20 April 2012
Labour easily held off a BNP come-back challenge at Barking and Dagenham, East London in the latest council by-elections.
At Chichester District, West Sussex, Tories avoided a shock defeat by Liberal Democrats by only 47 votes.
The Barking and Dagenham contest at Goresbrook came in the borough where the far right's once large group was wiped off the council in the last main polls in May 2010.
These were on the same day as the general election when Labour former minister Margaret Hodge inflicted a crushing defeat on BNP leader Nick Griffin at Barking .
In another east London contest this week, Labour narrowly failed to recover a Spitalfields and Banglatown seat at Tower Hamlets, lost earlier through a defection.
This by-election, in which borough mayor Lutfur Rahman backed independent Gulam Robbani in his former ward against the Labour nominee, echoed an earlier bitter row which also involved London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone.
Despite a decision by the party's national executive committee to block Mr Rahman from running under its banner in the 2010 borough mayoral poll, Mr Livingstone campaigned with him when he stood as an independent and went on to win.
The Spitalfields poll was sparked by the departure of a former Labour councillor who had quit the party to back Mr Rahman.
This week's two London by-elections are the latest in a run of poor results for Tories in the capital with just two weeks until the mayoral and assembly polls.
Last week at East Finchley, there was a 16.6% swing to Labour in Barnet.
The Plaistow poll at Chichester was the fourth by-election in the ward in three years.
Barking and Dagenham London Borough - Goresbrookl: Lab 1113, BNP 593, Ukip 91, C 81, Lib Dem 48. (May 2010 - Three seats Lab 2142, 1963, 1872, BNP 1340, 1146, 1128, C 644, 533, Lib Dem 457, 347, Ind 335. July 8 2010 by-election: Lab 881, BNP 642, Lib Dem 136, C 108, Ind 63, Ukip 50, Ind 11). Lab hold. Swing 4.8% BNP to Lab.
Chichester District - Plaistow: C 455, Lib Dem 408. (May 2011 - Two seats C 1090, 1015, Lib Dem 477, 462, Ukip 221). C hold. Swing 14.0% C to Lib Dem.
Oxfordshire County - Watlington: C 865, Lib Dem 259, Lab 157, Ukip 110. (June 2009 - C 1720, Lib Dem 374, Green 292, Lab 114). C hold. Swing 5.1% C to Lib Dem.
Tower Hamlets London Borough - Spitalfields: Ind 1030, Lab 987, C 140, Green 99, Lib Dem 39. (May 2010 - Three seats Lab 1660, 1545, 1500, Respect 1068, Lib Dem 839, 673, C 571, 561, Lib Dem 532, C 492, Green 483, Respect 441, 437, Green 265, Ind 141. December 12 2010 by-election: Respect 666, Lab 553, C 135, Green 52, Lib Dem 33, Ind 28). Ind hold. Swing 5.4% C to Lab.
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