R4U makes voter gains, wins Newport, but Conservatives regain Saffron Walden county seat

Thank you to all the people that voted for and supported us in yesterday’s local elections.

The reception on the doorstep has been incredibly positive. People are engaging in local issues, discussing them with passion and interest. And we are really positive that the local message has a bright future. However the election delivered mixed results for us. We retained the Newport seat, saw a gain in voters in every county division we contested, but ultimately lost the Saffron Walden divisional seat by a few hundred votes.

Naturally we’re disappointed to lose the Saffron Walden county council seat by such a small number of votes. In fact we increased our vote there by 5%, but a large spike in the Tory vote nationally, coupled with the collapse of the UKIP vote locally to the Conservatives, gave them back the seat. However they have seen a smaller increase in Uttlesford compared to the national average.

It is always difficult to fight the resources of the national party juggernauts, but a grass-roots local organisation supported by people with a passion can make a real difference, and we’ve seen it here. We have strengthened our position in Newport; we have seen an increase in our vote in Saffron Walden, and obtained huge gains in votes in Stansted and Dunmow. The message that residents want proper representation is clearly spreading wide across the district. The results confirm that we are the second party for the whole of Uttlesford. We will continue to hold the Conservatives to account and we will give residents a bigger voice in the 2019 district elections, and the county election after that.

Thank you to Heather, Anthony and Alex for the great campaigns they ran, and again a special thanks to the increasing number of people that support and vote for us.

John Lodge

PS: R4U was also interviewed on BBC Radio Essex: