Fringe Box



Labour Candidate Reflects on Party’s Local General Election Performance

Published on: 10 Jun, 2017
Updated on: 13 Jun, 2017

Howard Smith

Guildford’s Labour candidate Howard Smith has been reflecting on his success in increasing his party’s vote share in the general election, and the whirlwind five weeks leading up to it.

He told The Guildford Dragon, immediately after the declaration of the result: “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of standing in the Guildford constituency in which I was born and bred.”

Howard, who was only adopted as the Labour candidate just after the snap election was called, said he had a hectic schedule ever since, aiming to meet as many Guildford voters as possible, in the limited time available.

A party spokesperson said: “The result, Labour’s best performance since 1979, was an extraordinary achievement. Since polling 2,812 in 2010, Labour rose to 6,534 in 2015 and now a further 7% rise to 10,545.

And reflecting the, sometimes bitter, competitiveness between the main two opposition parties in Guildford, he added: “During the same time frame the Liberal Democrats vote has fallen from 21,836 to last night’s 13,255 – a result which is their second worse since 1979.”

Smith paid tribute to his local supporters: “It was an honour for me to be the Labour Party candidate. I had a fantastic team and we went out there with a really positive message and policies that we believe in.”

See also: Anne Milton Re-elected in Guildford As Her Support Stands Firm and Guildford’s Lib Dem Candidate Vows to Fight On

Share This Post

Responses to Labour Candidate Reflects on Party’s Local General Election Performance

  1. Pete Brayne Reply

    June 11, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Whilst I rejoice in the Guildford Labour revival, I most disappointed that having criticised the Lib Dems for misleading figures in their publicity, this piece is equally, if not more misleading. It plucks figures at choice to imply that the Lib Dems vote fell, whereas it increased by 8.4%. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    June 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    The Liberal Democrats did not exist in 1979.

  3. Brian Creese Reply

    June 11, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    A good point, about the Lib Dems not existing so far back. That was the plain old fashioned Liberals. And to answer Pete Brayne’s point, it is clear that the Lib Dems did better than 2015, but they are still a long way off their performance in the early years of this century. These are the exact Lib Dem voting figures and % in general elections since they fielded candidates as Lib Dem (as opposed to Liberal or Social Democrat)

    1992 20,112 33%
    1997 19,439 34%
    2001 20,358 43%
    2005 22,248 43%
    2010 21,836 39%
    2015 8,354 16%
    2017 13,255 24%

    2015 is by far their worst performance, but even this year is far below their old norms.

    And for comparison, Howard’s result for Labour on Thursday does represent a historic high. The comparable figures are:

    1992 6,781 11%
    1997 9,945 18%
    2001 6,558 14%
    2005 5,054 10%
    2010 2,812 5%
    2015 6,534 12%
    2017 10,545 19%

    So yes, I think this is a great result for Labour in Guildford and for Howard Smith.

  4. Sally Parrott Reply

    June 13, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Many congratulations to Howard Smith.

    “Telling” at polling stations was a great pleasure this time because groups of young people came to vote, and afterwards stood outside having political discussions (with each other, not the tellers!).

    This election is the first for many years to engage young people (1.5 million registered to vote after the election was announced, 90,000 on the final Sunday of registration).

    I hope they will encourage their friends to register, and vote whenever the next general election is called. Only then will there be fair representation from all age groups in the UK.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *