Oxford Labour gained another seat on the Council in September, winning the North Ward by-election on a large swing.
The seat had previously been held by the Liberal Democrats, but their councillor resigned in July after making inappropriate comments to a young girl.
This trigged a hard-fought by-election on September 19th. A close marginal, it was always going to be a close outcome. In the end, our fantastic candidate Louise Upton emerged victorious with 35% of the vote, beating the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 4%.
Compared to when this seat was last elected in 2010, this marks a 15.7% swing from the Lib Dems to Labour. This was thanks to the many hours of hard work that Louise and her team spent campaigning in the ward and the massive turnout from Labour activists across the County to campaign on Polling Day.
In 2010, Labour came third in North Ward with under 20% of the vote, but three and a half years later we now hold both seats in the ward after Councillor James Fry pulled off a similar impressive victory for Labour in 2012. This shows the level of dissatisfaction with the Tory / Liberal Democrat coalition in North Oxford, exemplified by the Tory vote almost being cut in half, and the success of the Labour City Council in working hard for local residents. The Green Party also languished in third place, dropping from second in 2012, suggesting that voters mistrust them after the recent debacle at Green-controlled Brighton City Council.
Louise Upton said: “I want to thank the people of North Ward for electing me as your new City Councillor. I am proud and honoured to represent the people of this great area and, like my colleague James Fry, I will do my best to support local people and businesses. I will be holding regular ward surgeries and do my best to create a better North Oxford for all.
“My immediate priorities will be improving traffic-calming in specific streets, developing a planning system that ensures residents are better informed about the impact of new applications, pointing out the need for better and safer provision for cyclists and pedestrians and raising concerns about noise during the extensive railway works.”