I am currently sitting in the Guildhall waiting for the conclusion of the mayoral election count, so here’s a very preliminary look at the local election results for Cambridge, which were declared earlier today. Labour won seven seats to five for the Lib Dems:
- Abbey: Labour held off a strong Lib Dem challenge to win with a majority of 75
- Arbury: A relatively comfortable 412-vote win for Labour ahead of the Lib Dems
- Castle: Independent John Hipkin lost out in a tight three-way race, finishing 27 votes behind Labour but 14 ahead of the Lib Dems
- Cherry Hinton: A comfortable win for Labour in their safest seat
- Chesterton: Lib Dem Ian Manning scored a solid win, 308 votes ahead of Labour
- King’s Hedges: An improved Lib Dem performance, but Labour held them off by 191 votes
- Market: A fairly comfortable win for Lib Dem Nichola Harrison by 287 votes
- Newnham: Lib Dem Lucy Nethsingha won 51% of the vote and a 548-vote majority over Labour
- Petersfield: Another seat where Labour won ahead of an improved Lib Dem vote, with a margin of 249
- Queen Ediths: A very solid win for Lib Dem Amanda Taylor, 716 votes ahead of Labour despite boundary changes
- Romsey: Similarly to Petersfield, Labour won by 274 votes from the Lib Dems
- Trumpington: A Lib Dem victory by 269 votes from Labour, with the Conservatives third once again.
Labour and the Lib Dems were neck-and-neck in the vote across the city, with the Lib Dems winning 13,572 to Labour’s 13,542, just 30 ahead.
So what does this mean for the Cambridge result in the General Election in five weeks? There are a couple of reasons why we can’t extrapolate directly. Firstly, the Cambridge local election results include Queen Edith’s, which isn’t part of the Cambridge Parliamentary constituency. The Lib Dems won a majority of 716 votes in Queen Edith’s, and although boundary changes cloud the picture a little, this means Labour won more local election votes in the Cambridge Parliamentary constituency overall. On the other hand, Labour tend to do slightly better in local elections compared to General Elections, though this factor is far from constant. The bottom line is that the contest for Cambridge MP looks very close, with only a few votes likely to separate Daniel Zeichner and Julian Huppert on June 8th.
Update: Across Cambridge (including Queen Edith’s), Rod Cantrill got 13,273 first-round votes in the mayoral election, 1,051 votes ahead of Kevin Price, who got 12,222. Allowing for the Queen Edith’s effect, this also points to a very close race between Labour and the Lib Dems in the Cambridge constituency.