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Camden News - by PAUL KEILTHY
Published: 11 June 2009
Roger Robinson
Roger Robinson
Labour buck trend at the Euro polls

Party stay in first place with just a small drop in votes as rest of country turns its back on them

LABOUR clung on to first place in the Euro elections among Camden voters, who emphatically rejected fringe and extremist groups at the polls.
The results, which count for nothing at a local level in Camden but are pored over by the parties seeking a steer for the general and council elections that must come in the next year, showed the main parties drawing ever closer together.
The battle for votes in the north of the borough looks set to be among the most fiercely contested in the UK.
Last Thursday, Labour dropped 2.1 per cent from their share of the 2004 European poll, an outcome that compares favourably with the crash of 12 per cent nationally.
Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems all finished within 1,000 votes, or two percentage points, of each other.
Chief whip on the Camden Labour group, Councillor Roger Robinson, said: “At the moment we are seeing a protest by people who are rightly angry at Parliamentary allowances and you are bound to get by-elections or elections where votes are cast against the party in government.
“But in Camden, rather than the rest of the country, we have done well.”
Both Conservative and Lib Dem activists claimed the poll results, if translated into a general election, would give them the lead in the new Hampstead and Kilburn constituency which replaces Glenda Jackson MP’s Hampstead and Highgate seat.
“This result suggests that in a general election when people are choosing a government, it will be a battle between Labour and Conservative in both Camden seats,” said Conservative leader Cllr Andrew Marshall.
In fact, the Conservatives made a negligible gain from the misfortunes of Labour and UKIP in Camden, with larger, though still unspectacular, advances being made by the Green Party and the Lib Dems.
The Greens improved its share of the poll to 17 per cent, while the Lib Dems, who have the largest representation in Camden Council, improved their share of the vote but not the third-placed finish they held in 2004.
Lib Dem whip Cllr Russell Eagling dismissed the third place finish: “We’ve got a swing from Labour and a swing from Conservative, and that is all pointing well for the future. Euro elections are never our strongest elections and we knew.”
In Camden, votes for the UK Independence Party fell compared to 2004, bucking the national trend, while the sixth-placed BNP flatlined on 1,300 votes, less than 3 per cent of the vote.

How Camden residents voted in the Euro elections:
Party Votes Share
Labour 11,167 23.68%
Cons 10,400 22.05%
Lib Dems 10,180 21.58%
Greens 8,040 17.05%
UKIP 2,720 5.77%

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