Southend Local Elections 2022 – The Results
The results are now in (as they say) and we now know the outcome of this year’s local council election in Southend and, come to that, for most of the rest of the country.
Having attended the count, I knew the result before even it was announced. What we saw in Southend reflected what was being seen nationally – Conservatives losing ground (as well as Independents) and Labour and LibDems gaining ground, but a disappointingly low turnout should concern us all. I was sad the new kids on the block, the Confelicity Party, did not do as well as I had hoped – but their time will come. As for the Greens, it was a mixed outcome; still some way from topping the polls but can take consolation that other parties are pinching their ideas such that their efforts are not in vain. The count was fun (it always is and why I attend the best show in town) and as happened in the past, drama as interested parties waited on the result with conviviality seen between candidates and, along with catching up with “old friends” and enjoying meaningful conversations, it was worth having one’s sleep disrupted.
My interest naturally is with my own ward, having been involved the week earlier in organising a hustings (see here). Labour won by a good and surprising margin with the Conservatives second, followed by the Independent candidate (also some way behind – how the balance of power changes in a short time) and then by the Greens (who polled well considering). The remaining three all only polled in double figures. Congratulations to our new councillor, Kathy Murphy, who campaigned hard and well and has the makings of being a good representative for the ward and can now join our other sitting hard working councillors (one Labour; one Conservative). A word should be said about the Independent candidate who had previously served two terms as councillor, with whom it had been my pleasure to work with on ward related matters. I have no doubt Brian Ayling will be feeling disappointed, but there is no shame in losing. He has served the St. Luke’s residents well and should feel pride in what he has achieved. As for Tilly, the Green lady, of all the candidates, she impressed me most; her time will surely come!
In winding up my early thoughts on the subject, while having less seats in the Council than the Conservatives, Labour can still be looking to lead the next administration and when it comes to who they need to do deals with, while they could maintain the status quo and form an alliance with both, they can even choose between LibDems and the Independent Party. I am pleased Kevin Robinson, who I knew when a St. Luke’s councillor, won (unsurprisingly) Westborough, if only because there is nothing stopping him becoming mayor, which I think he will serve well, talking of which, I am down to attend next week’s mayor making ceremony, which promises to be the next best show in town (after the count).
Obviously, there are going to be glad winners and sad losers, and it could be so much different next time round. Congratulations to the winners, especially those who are going to serve the people they represent well and commiserations to the losers, especially those who have served well in the past and/or campaigned hard this time round. Remember: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same …” and “the race is not always won by the swiftest, the battle is not always won by the strongest; prosperity does not always belong to those who are the wisest, wealth does not always belong to those who are the most discerning, nor does success always come to those with the most knowledge–for time and chance may overcome them all”.