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Greens get no seats on Hackney Council despite nailing a fifth of the vote

PUBLISHED: 17:35 27 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:29 28 May 2014

Mischa Borris (right).  Photo by Gary Manhine, Hackney Council.

Mischa Borris (right). Photo by Gary Manhine, Hackney Council.

Gary Manhine: 07989 418 474 gary@manhinephoto.co.uk

As predicted Labour defended their seats to secure a landslide victory in Hackney’s mayoral and council elections - but the most interesting outcome of the night was the emergence of the so-called fringe Green party as the people’s second favourite choice.

Cllr Simche Steinberger peruses the voting sheets.  Photo by Gary Manhine, Hackney Council.Cllr Simche Steinberger peruses the voting sheets. Photo by Gary Manhine, Hackney Council.

However although they were second choice in 80 per cent of Hackney’s 21 wards, the Green party failed to secure any seats on the council because of the first past the post system.

Jules Pipe surged ahead with 40,858 votes to bag the elected mayoral role for a fourth term with 60 per cent of the vote.

But the Greens were delighted their candidate Mischa Borris emerged in second position, with 11,849 votes, ahead of Linda Kelly who racked up 7,853 standing for the Tories.

Candidates from all parties watched on as ballot papers were counted at Hoxton’s Britannia Leisure Centre, before results for councillors were announced ward by ward by Hackney’s returning officer Tim Shields.

Jules Pipe was voted in as Mayor again. Photo by Gary Manhine, Hackney Council.Jules Pipe was voted in as Mayor again. Photo by Gary Manhine, Hackney Council.

Again Labour emerged victorious, winning back the 50 seats they previously held out of a total of 57.

The council results demonstrated the same resounding support for the Green party, which secured 21 per cent of the overall vote.

But the Greens got no seats, despite getting more votes than the Conservatives, which only took 12 per cent of the vote but retained four councillors, and the Lib Dems which got eight per cent of the votes and three councillors.

Mayoral candidate Mischa Borris slammed the antiquated first past the post system.

Lib Dem Abraham Jacobson and Labour whip Louisa Thompson, who were both re-elected.  Photo by Gary Manhine, Hackney Council.Lib Dem Abraham Jacobson and Labour whip Louisa Thompson, who were both re-elected. Photo by Gary Manhine, Hackney Council.

She said: “There are a lot of people in Hackney whose votes don’t really count, until we have a modern form of electoral system in this country that will continue.

Green council and European election candidate Danny Bates added: “At the moment all those people have voted Green and that whole swathe of Hackney’s population who are not getting their preferences represented.

“But in Hackney the voice of the Greens is an important voice and should be taken into account with decision making.”

Lib Dems Ian Sharer, Abraham Jacobson and Dawood Akhoon maintained their three seats in Cazenove, despite a labour push to try and oust them there, but otherwise generally came last in most wards.

New River ward candidate Ben Mathis said: “We are all feeling a little bit bruised in general but we are very pleased to have held Cazenove, we are alive.”

Mayoral candidate Simon de Deney, who came fourth, agreed: “It’s hard when you are taking on the Labour machine in Hackney, it’s like a butterfly going up to a baboon.

“But the fact that we managed to, probably almost uniquely in inner London, hold onto our three councillors, is a tribute to how hard they work, they have a real local following.”

Meanwhile Conservatives Simche Steinberger, Michael Levy and Harvey Odze held onto Springfield ward, and Benzion Papier was re-elected in Stamford Hill West.

But Bernard Aussenberg lost his seat there to Labour’s Rosemary Sales.

Long-time standing councillor Linda Kelly also lost her seat in Leabridge ward, where she had been elected as a Labour councillor before defecting to the Tories.

Jules Pipe told the Gazette he was happy he came through with 60 per cent of people’s first preference votes.

“I’d like to think of it as an endorsement of our past record but also our plans for the future,” he said.


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