Thursday, May 30, 2024

Victory for Labour in Stifford Clays By-election

LABOUR have retained the ward of Stifford Clays in Thurrock.

Local woman Sue Shinnick won the ward with a majority of just 76.

This compares with a majority of 354 in 2011.

But Sue who was joined at the count by her three daughters beamed as the result was announced by the returning officer, Graham Farrant.

The win means the Labour group continue to have a majority of one in the council chamber.


UKIP polled 504 but may well be disappointed at not getting into second place but it was an increase of on their 2011 vote of 475.

Candidate, Clive Broad left the building smiling declaring it a “Good result. I am very happy.”

An un-named UKIP source said: “The Thurrock branch has recently re-organised to go from old UKIP as this campaign demonstrates to new UKIP. The other parties should not be complacent because a new efficient election machine is getting ready for next year.

It was a better night for the Tories than many had anticipated with a hard-working and focussed campaign by Danny Nicklen retaining second place.

Whilst Labour went off into the night to celebrate, it may well be regarded as a pyrrhic victory.

Some may point to 2007 when the Conservatives and BNP polled 1,067 votes between them. This year the Conservatives and UKIP polled 1,074.

Others may see this result as somewhat similar to the Ockendon ward in 2012. The Tories bucked the trend to win that ward and may have bucked the trend by improving on their 2011 showing.

Some may want to reflect that Labour may want to search their soul and ask that despite all those people nodding in agreement with them on the front doors of Stifford, folk at the moment, just don’t fancy them. That may be a challenge not only for John Kent, not only for Polly Billington but for Ed Miliband as well.

By-election result

Sue Shinnick (Labour)-646
Danny Nicklen (Cons)-570
Clive Broad (UKIP)-504
Kevin Mulroue (Lib-Dem)-35

Turnout: 1762


  1. How can any party claim victory with a minority turnout, almost 65% of the local people obviously feel so disenfranchised with local politics that voting for any party would not make one iota of a difference, all party’s need to take stock and look at the reasons why the vast majority of eligible voters do not take part.

  2. Unless, of course, the local populus is content with their local authority services and feel that things will carry on as before and do not feel the need to vote.

  3. Why did the Conservative campaign fail?

    Perhaps having a damaged candidate and having a joke campaign about Labour merging Thurrock with London?

    And next year with the Local elections on the same day as the Euros then seats like this will be vulnerable to a UKIP victory as the ward has become a 3 way marginal.

  4. Lambo is right a turnout of just 35% in a bye- election which could have changed the balance of power in Thurrock is damning evidence of the electorates disillusionment with local politics.

    Labour should be very worried that despite all the Government’s problems they still lost rather than gained votes yesterday,as Michael intimated people still reluctant to give them their vote.A hollow victory for them yesterday.

  5. I didn’t expect the Tories to do this well. Bit of a suprise, but then again I guess on the whole the avenues should be Tory and the estate Labour, but they did win well in 2011 with Diana Hale, perhaps it was a personal vote. Result above isn’t a clear endorsement of anyone really, and I’d agree that it may well become a pyrrhic victory for Labour – control of the council rests on 76 votes and this seat could go either Tory or UKIP next time.

    The Labour campaign seemed to be entirely on national issues, barely anything to do with Stifford at all with no real local message on issues in Stifford Clays, I wonder whether this is why the Tories did well as at least the Barking and Dag merger has a local dimension.

    With the Labour big guns coming out for Stifford for them only to win by 76 with the Tories in government isnt a great result at all, but a 1 vote majority is a win regardless

  6. Oh Ed, if this counts as failure for Thurrock Tories then it’s a disaster for everyone else!

    I picked my daughter up from William Edwards yesterday, and in the unscientific ten minutes or so I was in Stifford Clays, I saw

    5 UKIPers sitting in a bus stop
    2 groups of people representing trade unions
    A group of Tory Councillors with 2 chaps I didn’t recognize (who may be Councillors I don’t know to be fair…)

    If the Tories have taken on the combined might of Labour and the Unions, and achieved a 7% swing on 2011 it’s truly remarkable. If that is repeated in May, the Tories will hold Stanford East, Ockendon, Aveley, and are going to be putting Labour on the defensive in places like West Thurrock and Grays Riverside.

  7. I think Danny done very well considering he was fighting both UKIP and Labour.

    I very much agree with Horndon about the spread of votes in the ward. The problem with Thurrock, and the country as a whole, is that many of the boundaries work in Labours favour. On paper things look ‘equal’ but in reality that is not the case. I call this ‘socialist equality’ – its all good as long as those on the left are benefitting from it.

  8. I can see UKIP putting up a monumental fight next May and I’d be surprised if they didn’t walk away with a number of local councillors joining Robert Ray on the council benches.

  9. Apart from deluded Tweets from Cllr Anderson (he is a politiican so expect him to lie) the percentage vote shares for the candidates are=

    Labour – 646 votes = 36.8% -8.3% decrease in vote share
    Conservative – 570 votes = 32.5% +5.6% increase in vote share
    UKIP – 504 votes = 28.7% +4.3% increase in vote share
    Lib Dem – 35 votes = 2.0% -1.5% decrease in vote share

    UKIPs share of the vote increased. Next year the local elections are on the same day as the Euro elections where UKIP are expected by many political pundits to come first.

    Labour’s lost share of the vote appears to have gone to both UKIP and the Conservatives. If this was repeated in all wards in the borough that are up for election next year you will find some close 3 way fights.

  10. Polly must be horrified. A relatively safe Labour seat and they just about mustered up a third of the vote. They’ve spent ten years bussing in their supporters in their tens of thousands and just about hang on to a safe seat. If Cameron could grow a backbone over Europe, the ECHR and immigration, Labour would be dead in the water at the next general election.

  11. Ed’s calculations give the insight – the Tories are the biggest winners, certainly against my expectations. Big swing away from Labour when they really should be comfortably holding places like Stifford Clays by 200-300 votes. For Labour, it was all national, not about Thurrock.

    I think this is an election where the victor will have the smiles – for now. Impossible to predict who would win next year, it could easily go Tory again, go UKIP, or remain a marginal Labour hold. With the euro elections next year Labour will be on the defensive big time. I’d say they have kept control of the Council with a sticking plaster.


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