Camden News
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Camden News - by RICHARD OSLEY
Published: 8 May 2008
Alex Goodman clinched a Green by-election win
Alex Goodman clinched a Green by-election win
Greens spoil Tory party with by-election victory

Conservative mayoral celebrations are hit by defeat in key ward

THE Green Party punctured Conservative election celebrations with a stunning victory in the Highgate by-election on Friday.
While the Tories toasted the new London mayor Boris Johnson, the joy among the Camden branch has been tempered by defeat in a ward that represents a target area in the party’s long-term aim of taking outright control of the Town Hall.
Winning by nearly 300 votes, Alex Goodman, aged 30, became the third Green councillor to be elected in Camden’s history, giving the party a clean sweep of the three councillors in Highgate.
The vote took place on Thursday – the same day as the London and mayoral elections, leaving Labour and Conservative campaigners hoping voters would be stirred into action by the high-profile face-off between Ken Livingstone and Mr Johnson.
But the Greens, in the words of their campaigners “bucked the trend” of the wider picture, and won by nearly 300 votes.
Group leader Adrian Oliver said: “It was a great result and has come after a lot of hard work. We said we would be good local councillors when we came in and we have been. I think the support in time will spread across the borough and we will see results like this elsewhere.”
He added: “I think Highgate ward has a lot of caring professionals that were moved to vote for us. There are also people who have chosen to live close to Hampstead Heath and so are more likely to have a Green lifestyle and support what we are saying in the community.”
The seat’s previous incumbent was Tory banker Paul Barton, who quit the council in March after just two years as a councillor, blaming heavy work commitments.
Instead of defending the seat, Conservative Richard Merrin could only muster third place, finishing behind both the Greens and Labour’s Michael Nicolaides.
It is the third time Mr Merrin has been defeated in the polls in Camden, but the Conservative group leader Councillor Andrew Marshall played down the disappointment.
He said: “We did well in the London elections but we didn’t win in Highgate.
“Highgate is just one of many wards that we are campaigning in actively ahead of future elections.”
The ballot is the first of four by-elections in the last two years which have not gone the way of one of the parties joined together by the Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition.
Labour MP Frank Dobson said: “Even though Michael Nicolaides didn’t win – he did a great job by pushing the Tories back into third.”
The Lib Dems’ share of the vote went up but the party polled less than half of Cllr Goodman’s haul.

Alex Goodman (Green): 1,482
Michael Nicolaides (Labour): 1,185
Richard Merrin (Conservative): 1,180
Henry Potts (Lib Dem): 633

Turnout: 56.47 per cent
Spoilt ballots: 23

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)







Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions