|Green Party Candidates and Councillors outside the Kirklees Election Count|
Andrew Cooper - Green Party - 2414 (52%)
Nadeem Iqbal - Labour - 1822 (39%)
Conservative -312 (7%)
Lib Dem -113 (2%)
Green Party majority - 606
The election of 2016 in Newsome was an interesting one. The Green Party entered the election period with a robust record of tackling local issues of concern to the various communities that make up the Newsome Ward. So we had a good story to tell on the doorstep about the value of voting for the Green Party. In our literature we were able to say substantial things about local concerns from an informed and involved perspective.
We were fortunate to have a committed team of activists who canvassed and leafletted throughout the campaign and put in many hours of work. We had planned the campaign months in advance and knew what we were going to do. There were only small variations to what we usually do and in retrospect there are things we could have done that might have upped our chances
The Labour Candidate was certainly enthusiastic. We soon got reports from people about their encounters with him on the doorstep " Vote for me I'm going to win" and " the Greens are going to lose this time" seemed to be his principal messages. The first Labour leaflet had pictures of the Labour Candidate with all sorts of local folks we knew. Nadeem with people at a coffee morning and Nadeem with people outside his family's shop holding 'Hands off HRI' posters. Quite a number of them were rather nonplussed and some needlessly apologetic to us when they found themselves appearing in his election literature as his assumed supporters. We could have made something of this in the election campaign but decided that the local grapevine would be effective enough without us pushing it. It was.
Every now and again I'd knock at a door with a Labour poster in the window and say "I respect the fact you're voting Labour but is there anything we should be doing that we aren't doing?" It transpired that the Labour Candidates persistence might have got a poster in the window but that didn't necessarily mean they were voting for him. He got out a lot and saw a lot of people but what he said when he got there didn't help him much with most folks.
He also knocked at the doors of our supporters and started telling them that "Andrew Cooper has given up in this election because he's going to lose". I found this particularly annoying and when I tackled him in the street about it he said, "You have given up! I can see the frustration in your eyes". What I said to him after that isn't worth repeating!
Then there was the graph on his leaflet that showed him in the lead entitled 'Polling Report'. It transpires this was derived from Labour's own canvassing. As most of their canvassing was done by Nadeem, who seemed to start out believing he'd won, perhaps their canvass returns may have been seem through rose tinted spectacles
So we come to the count and obviously we're interested to see the outcome given the Labour Candidates boundless confidence. Election protocol/rules/law prevent me from divulging too much about the count but it would appear that we did very well in most parts of the Newsome Ward. The majority was 606 with a 52% share of the vote was about the same as last time I stood in 2012 and nearly twice as big a majority than we got last year (though it was a General Election year). As the last votes were counted I was going to go to Nadeem and say "I can see the frustration in your eyes" but just decided to shake hands and call it a night.
|The actual result|