Labour holds Iffley Fields & St Mary’s in tight County Council by-election

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Just before midnight on 18th October, Labour’s Damian Haywood was duly elected Oxfordshire County Councillor for Iffley Fields & St Mary’s after a tight contest with the Green candidate David Williams.

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Labour Councillor Helen Evans, who gained the district from the Greens in 2017. The County Council district covers the area around Cowley Road and Iffley Road and contains two City Council wards, both of which were held by the Greens in the 2018 local elections.

The Labour Party managed to increase its vote share from 46.5% to 49%, while the Greens also saw an increase, from 40.5% to 45%. However, all four parties which contested the seat saw the total number of votes they received decline due to a fall in turnout from 48% in 2017 to 33%.

The election was critical for the local Labour Party which risked losing its position as the official Opposition on the County Council if they lost this seat.

The Conservative candidate, John Sims, came in third with 100 votes while the Liberal Democrats, who entered an electoral alliance with the local Green candidate and urged their supporters to vote Green, came in fourth, with their vote declining from 222 to 43.

Oxfordshire County Council has important powers over the city and its surrounding areas. Recently, it has received criticism for cutting funding for services for roughsleepers.

The County Council will remain without overall control, with 31 Conservative members, 14 Labour, 13 Liberal Democrats and 5 Independents.

The full election results can be found on the Oxfordshire County Council website: http://mycouncil.oxfordshire.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.aspx?ID=198&RPID=18111697 .

Name of Candidate Description (if any) Number of votes Elected? 
HAYWOOD Damian Joel Labour Party 1162 Elected
PROCTER Josie Liberal Democrat 43
SIMS Paul John The Conservative Party Candidate 100
WILLIAMS Arthur David Green Party 1087