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Enfield Borough Council election 2014 'lowest point in 20 years' says Conservative leader
Leader of the Enfield Conservative party group Michael Lavender admits that the election defeat was their lowest point in 20 years.
In what was a crushing defeat for the party who now hold 22 of the 63 council seats available, Mr Lavender believes the party has not been this low since 1994.
“If you look at the last local election during the midterm of a Conservative government, you will see one of our low points and we can unfortunately see the same again this time around.
“This is our lowest point since then, Labour had theirs in 2002. There will be a swing in change and we hope that this will come around quickly.”
Labour extended its lead from nine to 19 seats at the election last week, holding firm in all of its borough’s and crucially taking one seat in Bush Hill Park, Chase, Winchmore Hill and two in Southgate Green.
In wards where the Conservatives lost one seat (Bush Hill Park, Chase and Winchmore Hill) UKIP acquired 2,284 votes with the losing margins in each ward all lower than 215 votes.
Mr Lavender believes that UKIP was indeed a factor in the Conservatives not holding its ground in those wards.
He said: “If we look at the opinion polls and the EU election, we can see UKIP have had a marked improvement and if you combine their percentage with ours, we are pretty much neck and neck with Labour.
“The total collapse of the Liberals has also given more votes to Labour. If we look at the wards we lost seats in, we can see Chase ward now incorporates the former Worcesters ward, which was Labour.
“Bush Hill Park now had the old St Marks ward, which was Labour and Winchmore Hill, which now has Highfield as part of its ward, again, was Labour.”
When asked about the positives, Mr Lavender said: “We have some new and exciting councillors and I hope that we can provide a more united front for the next four years.”
However, leader of the Labour party Doug Taylor does not believe that UKIP had any major impact on the outcome of the results and revealed the hard work the party had put in.
He said: “We worked extremely hard to engage with the electorate and we are delighted that they have given us their confidence to implement our plan.
“We was very optimistic going into the election and I don’t think UKIP would have changed much of the overall result.”
Cllr Taylor believes that the party will deliver its manifesto as promised over the four years.
He said: “We promised that we will deliver our plans over the next four years. We will have to save £30million in next year’s budget because of cuts but we will deliver on the exciting projects such as mini-holland and Meridian Water.”
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