No Victories For Student Council Hopefuls

Students lose out in council elections amidst a low turnout.

None of the three students running in last night’s local elections were successfully elected as councillors.

Conservative candidate Nikesh Pandit and Ashley Walsh from Labour both lost out in the Castle ward, while Green candidate Billy Aldridge missed out in the Newnham ward.

In Castle, Pandit came in fourth place with 173 votes, while Walsh finished in an impressive second, with 330 votes. In Newnham, Aldridge finished fourth, garnering 241 votes.

The result showed an admirable fightback from the Labour man, who was no doubt rocked by his poor showing on The Tab’s Fit Councillor poll.

National events seemed to have shaped the election, with the Liberal Democrats losing ground to Labour. Out of the 14 contested wards, Labour won 8 and the Lib Dems won 4, whilst the Conservatives and an independent candidate took a ward each. Labour took 43% of the vote compared to the Lib Dems’ 26%.

The elections saw the Lib Dems (who had no student running) lose their 10-year grip over the city’s politics, with the council now passing to no overall control. The council will now be made up of 21 Lib Dems, 19 Labour, one Tory and one independent councillor.

The city’s turnout was in line with the poor showing nationally: only 32% could be bothered to vote. There was also a reported increase in ballot spoiling.

With high levels of apathy among students, The Tab wants to know: did you vote?

  • Robert Aske


    • Greatjon

      Vote for Robb Stark! I won't be ruled by some poncy southern Lord!

  • Lib Dem

    Ashley got 330 votes compared to the winner's 925.
    What an impressive second!
    If he's got LESS THAN 3 TIMES as many votes he would have won…so close

    • Stones, glasshouses?

      Ashley's election marked the first time Labour EVER beat the LibDem/Liberal candidate in Castle since the ward was created 1945.

      Even including previous elections when the Independent won, the LibDems have NEVER gotten below 32% of the vote in Castle. Last night, Ashley pushed their vote down to 14%.

      Pretty fucking impressive if you ask me.

      • Context

        Notice how the liberals took a huge nosedive in the entire country, and labour a huge gain. Is this because every libdem candidate suddenly got shit and every lab candidate amazing? I think not. I'm sure the guy worked hard but I suspect he got most of his votes by virtue of being labour, and the ld lost his by virtue of being a ld.

        • Question

          Is that not the entire point of candidates aligning themselves with a political party rather than running as independents?

          • Answer

            Arguably not in local politics. I think its more a question of funding.

      • Lib Dem

        Sorry! Next time a candidate's vote share goes down by 7.5% when their party achieves its best results for years, I'll congratulate them shall I?

        You're living on another planet!

        • Number crunching

          Comparing the last time the independent ran, it looks like both the independent and Ashley took a significant share of the vote from the LibDems. Labour went from 4th to 2nd, which is pretty good.

          May 2008
          John Hipkin (Ind) 851 39.0%
          Valerie Holt (LDm) 707 32.4%
          Edward MacNaghten (Con) 255 11.7%
          Samuel Wakeford (Lab) 225 10.3%
          Stephen Lawrence (Gre) 145 6.6%

          May 2012
          John Hipkin R (Ind) 925 49.5%
          Ashley Walsh (Lab) 330 17.7%
          Alan Levy (LDm) 275 14.7%
          Nikesh Pandit (Con) 173 9.3%
          Jack Toye (Gre) 164 8.8%

          Labour vote goes up 7.4%. LibDem vote collapses by 17.7%.

          • Lib Dem

            2008: Labour's worst local elections for decades – 24% of the vote nationally.
            2012: Labour's best local elections for over a decade – 38% of the vote nationally.

            Shall we keep playing my stats v your stats? I never said he did badly, but his result is hardly 'impressive'

            • Guest

              To be fair, that he managed to get students out to vote at all must be counted impressive.

              • Lib Dem

                Most voters in Castle ward aren't students.

                • Guest

                  Well that reply makes a lot of sense.

          • another cusu cockup

            Samuel Wakeford (Lab) 225 10.3%

            presumably the same chap who will be a sabb next year?

  • Social Scientist

    After careful analysis, what these results show is that you don't have to be good-looking to do well in the polls.

    Truly fascinating phenomena.

  • hal

    Ashley Walsh seemed like a lovely bloke in the interview on here. Didn’t vote for him, mind, but he was the only normal, amusing one.

  • Great reporting

    …what about Richard Johnson…?

  • quality

    Talk about incompetent journalism.

    Not only did you miss THREE other students running for election, one of them WON.

    Richard Johnson (Lab) won his seat
    Tom Moule (Lab,Girton) and Ed Turnham (Con,Market)both ran and lost.

  • Bill O'Reilly

    Student politicians shouldn't be allowed to reproduce, get a real job first you glory hunting wannabes.

    • Dr GUYK

      They're all benders anyway, they cant reproduce (thankfully)

  • Tory

    Daddy owns a castle

  • Vote green?

    We found dove in a soapless place…

  • Voodoo poll

    Asking students who choose to read an article about elections if they voted?

  • another cusu cockup

    and a current CUSU Trustee splits the labour vote….


    Rachel Eckersley (Lab) 813

    Philip Salway (Con) 175

    Catherine Helen Lindsay Smart (Lib Dem) 1,020

    Tom Woodcock (Cambridge Socialists) 457

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