Hackney Labour win big at election and top Euro poll as Greens criticise ‘antiquated’ system

Labour Party activists celebrate

Jubilation: Labour Party activists and newly elected councillors celebrate with Jules Pipe at the Britannia Leisure Centre count on Friday. Photograph: Josh Loeb

Labour’s Jules Pipe was on Friday re-elected to serve a fourth term as Mayor of Hackney with almost 59 per cent of votes at the same time as his party increased its majority in the borough.

The Liberal Democrats held onto their three seats in Cazenove ward, though it was a close run poll in this ward, and the Conservatives remain the main opposition with four seats.

In Lea Bridge and Stamford Hill West wards the Conservatives’ Linda Kelly – the party’s mayoral candidate – and Bernard Aussenberg lost their respective seats.

Votes being counted.

Votes being counted. Photograph: Annalies Winny

Mayor Pipe said: “I’m pleased with the result in Stamford Hill West, where we took a seat off the Conservatives, and I’m personally pleased with my result – 59 per cent is a big uplift from last time, which I was already amazed at. During the general election the bigger turnout brought me success on first preferences of 51 per cent, and now it’s 59 per cent of the vote.”

Mayor Pipe, who has been Mayor of Hackney since first being elected to the post in October 2002, declined to rule out running for a fifth term.

He said: “I was surprised when I did a third term, but it’s not something I would ever decide until the end of the term because otherwise the dynamic changes and everyone is looking for who the successor is.”

Jermain Jackman, Jules Pipe and Rita Krishna

Labour’s Youth Coordinator for Hackney and winner of The Voice UK 2014 Jermain Jackman with Jules Pipe and Rita Krishna, who stood down as a councillor at this election. Photograph: Annalies Winny

Labour also did well in traditional Conservative strongholds such as Springfield Ward, where the party showed signs of gaining on the Tories despite the fact that Conservatives Simche Steinberger, Michael Levy and Harvey Odze were elected here.

The Greens gained no seats but came second in 17 out of 21 wards and in the mayoral election. The only wards where they did not place second were Cazenove, Springfield, Stamford Hill West and Woodberry Down.

A spokesperson for the party said: “The Green Party garnered 20.5 per cent of the vote in the borough, more than the Lib Dems and Tories combined – yet these parties are represented on the council and we are not. This is due to the UK’s frankly antiquated first past the post system.”

Turnout tended to be highest in hotly fought-over wards like Cazenove and Clissold and relatively low in “trendy” wards like Dalston and Shoreditch.

European Parliament election results were announced on Sunday night. Labour came top in Hackney with 35,491 votes. The Greens came second (11,608 votes) and the Conservatives came in third place with 7,367. UKIP did relatively badly in the borough – coming in fifth place just behind the Liberal Democrats – despite big gains nationally.

Turnout was 41.5 per cent in the European poll and 39,61 per cent in the mayoral election.

See the Hackney Citizen’s June print issue for more results and analysis.