Southend Local Election Results 2023 (2)

Southend Local Election Results 2023 (2)

Two days ago, people went to the polls to vote for who to represent them on their council. We now know the results (discussed here). In this second of a two-part reflection, I consider the outcome and reflect on the results for each of Southend’s 17 wards, recognising I know some wards and personalities better than others.

I refer readers to Southend Council’s website when it comes to finding out how each candidate did (see here) and to my Part 1 (see here), where I set the scene for what I am about to discuss.


Turnout: 36.27% / Total Votes: 2,667

Independent Stephen Aylen regained his seat from its sitting councillor, Lesley Salter, with Conservative veteran Lesley not far behind, but well ahead of Labour Joe Cresswell and then another councilor veteran, LibDem Alan Crystall. Alan was the first mayor I engaged with, after I became a community worker, and it was he who officially opened the Growing Together gardens.

Blenheim Park

Turnout: 31.94% / Total Votes: 2,583

My biggest disappointment was that truly Independent Keith Evans, who I found to be a hard working, caring, switched on asset to the Council, who I worked with on homeless issues, losing his seat. But it was nice to see Labour Donna Richardson win. I got to know Donna when she stood in my Ward and felt then she would make a good councilor. Veterans who have served in the past standing this time is a recurring theme and here Conservative Bernard Arscott just pipped Keith for second place. Talking of recurring themes, Confelicity disappointingly under performing given their hopes of making inroads and Green candidates increasing their vote share, taking in a win and several third places, is a pattern, with reference to the results list, we see in most of the wards.   


Turnout: 33.95% / Total Votes: 2,421

Unsurprisingly, Conservative Stephen Habermel, mayor designate, and looking to retain his seat, won by a convincing majority, with Labour David Carrington in second place, some way behind. Third place was Green James Vessey-Miller, a long-time waver of the Green flag on social media and hard working supporter of its causes, who was evidently delighted as to how well Greens did overall.

Eastwood Park

Turnout: 35.85% / Total Votes: 2,646

LibDems Paul Collins, who was the sitting candidate, won by a big majority, ahead of Conservative Judith McMahon. I am pleased for Paul, who has shown himself in the past to be a gentleman who cares for his community, but I feel for ex-mayor, ex-Labour, Judith, who has served well over many years in the Council.


Turnout: 20.45%/ Total Votes: 1,621

The young, Labour Gabriel Leroy won by a large majority ahead of Conservative Andrew Brooke, and where there was a low turnout. Given in the past Kursaal has turned to more right-wing candidates, e.g. UKIP, the Heritage Party and British Democrats candidates would have fancied their chances, but both polled poorly.


Turnout: 36.19% / Total Votes: 2,671

Of all the wards in the City, Leigh is the one that contains the sort of people one might expect to vote Green and they did, with Richard Longstaff being the first of perhaps a lot more to come Green victories. Leigh has in the recent past returned LibDem candidates, with this time LibDem Syrie Cox not that far behind. I had to confirm my surprise though to find it is indeed the same lady who heads up Southend YMCA, who I have worked with in the past, who evidently has many more strings to her bow as a dedicated community activist. But that isn’t the end of it. There is my old friend, Psychedelic Jason Pilley, who picked up a paltry few votes but methinks has something to offer the electorate besides legalizing cannabis. Then there is the leader of the Confelicity Party, James Miller of Adventure Island, who like other Confelicity candidates will feel disappointed with his showing. I feel James has a lot of good ideas and much to offer, and that his time will come.


Turnout: 27.59% / Total Votes: 2,236

There was a time when Milton was a safe Conservative seat, but times change. Labour Cheryl Nevin, who I think has served well, retained her seat, well ahead of Conservative Marco Mann.


Turnout: 34.25% / Total Votes: 2,671

My favourite politician in the whole of Southend City Council is Conservative Meg Davidson, a serious Christian who puts her faith into action, who managed to retain her seat. Not far behind was Labour Shahid Nadeem, who I am told had campaigned especially hard, communicates well and knows what he is talking about.


Turnout: 26.71% / Total Votes: 2,292

Independent Steven Wakefield won, a little ahead of Conservative Steve Harvey,and thus retained his seat. Neither candidate I know, although more recently it has been a battle ground between Conservative and Independent. Ian Pope, who I met when he stood in my ward, some way behind that, in third place.


Turnout: 29.81% / Total Votes: 2,200

Conservative Colin Campbell won, a long way ahead of Independent Maggie Kelly, just ahead of Labour Gray Sergeant. I note Maggie Kelly had stood down from running in Kursaal, where she was a councillor. It is good to see Gray back, who impressed me a few years back when he stood.

St Laurence

Turnout: 30.93% / Total Votes: 2,448

Labour Daniel Cowan won, far way ahead of Conservative Cheryll Gardiner, who was far way ahead of the rest. St. Laurence is another ward that has turned from Conservative to Labour.

St Luke’s

Turnout: 25.13% / Total Votes: 2,014

Sitting Candidate, Labour Martin Berry won a lot bigger majority than I expected, ahead of Conservative Tamkeen Shaikh, who was still a fair way ahead of Independent Brian Ayling. I don’t begrudge Martin, who has served well, his win and feel for Brian who served well when he was councillor. While I expect Tamkeen’s time will come, I would like to see Brian mentoring the next generation.  


Turnout: 41.10% / Total Votes: 2,978

Party not given but I believe it is Residents First although it used to be Independent of the alliance ilk (which he led), Ron Woodley won but not as convincingly when last time he stood and won, partly due to another Independent, Andrew Hall, who came third. Close behind Ron was Conservative Ken Davidson. I should mention community minded, Confelicity, Melissa Aylott, yet another example of someone from the younger generation, in which my future hopes lie.


Turnout: 19.83% / Total Votes: 1,801

It is no surprise that Labour Mandy Connor retained her seat with an overwhelming majority, ahead of Conservative Bob Carr. If any ward in the City can be described as solid for one party, it is here for Labour, albeit the one with the lowest turnout, this is it!

West Leigh

Turnout: 39.18% / Total Votes: 2,804

Conservative Owen Cartey won and was quite a bit ahead of LibDem Stephen Cummins, with Green Stephanie Golder third. Not that it should be a political point but perhaps the most affluent ward in the City had twice the turnout as perhaps the least affluent is pertinent.

West Shoebury

Turnout: 29.75% / Total Votes: 2,183

Sitting councillor, Conservative (and leader of that group) Tony Cox won convincingly, well ahead of Labour Muhammad Ibrahim. Tony reminds me of a rottweiler but I like the chap and believe him to be a smart, hard working and effective leader.


Turnout: 24.03% / Total Votes: 1,830

Well done to sitting candidate Labour Anne Jones, who won convincingly in what has in recent years become a Labour stronghold, ahead of Conservative Andy Wilkins.


One thought on “Southend Local Election Results 2023 (2)

  1. Thank you John.

    You might want to correct a juxtaposition in your write-up for Shoeburyness Ward; Stephen Wakefield, who retained the seat, is an Independent and Steve Harvey, who came second, was the Conservative candidate. You’ve accidentally put it the other way around.

    With St. Luke’s, it’s not only you who was surprised at the size of my majority – I was astonished myself! I knew I had a fair chance of retaining the seat and, as you know, have worked my socks off over the last couple of years, but to have had such a high level of support from the voters on the one day such a thing is vital is much, much more than I expected. Gratifying of course, but also very humbling and I’ll continue working as hard or harder to repay their confidence in me. I had a bit of a rest on Friday, but have been out and about yesterday doing Ward work and have two residents to see today and start casework for them. And a load of emails to send council officers to act on when they return to work on Tuesday!

    Best wishes and I hope to see you soon. I’ll be litterpicking round your way with the usual team on Saturday week (20th).

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