In what was probably one of the most underwhelming by-elections ever held in Tower Hamlets, Respect has regained a foothold in Spitalfields and Banglatown.
Its candidate, the former councillor Fozol Miah, won by 113 votes from Labour’s Abdul Alim. The turnout was a mesmerising 16.8 per cent.
Fozol was a Respect councillor between 2006 and 2010 and while he seemed to be a genuinely decent bloke he hardly set the council chamber on fire. I imagine he will now join the queue for jobs in Mayor Lutfur’s administration, which is already looking decidedly threadbare.
As for Labour’s loss… . Spitalfields and Banglatown is a law unto itself and Fozol
only just missed out on re-election back in May does have a large personal support there. However, it is the back yard for both Helal Abbas and Lutfur Rahman. I’m sure that if Lutfur had really put his heart and soul into a pro-Labour campaign, Alim would now be a councillor.
I suppose it’s also interesting that Abbas’s currency there seems to be on the wane. This result will inevitably add momentum to moves to oust him at Labour’s April AGM.
The following is taken from the Tower Hamlets council website:
An election was held for a vacant council seat in the Tower Hamlets Borough ward of Spitalfields and Banglatown on Thursday, 16 December 2010.
The result of the election was as follows:
- Abdul Alim, Labour Party – 553 votes
- Jewel Chowdhury, Independent – 28 votes
- Magaret Ann Crosbie, The Green Party – 52 votes
- Fozol Miah, Respect – 666 votes (elected)
- Ferdy North, Liberal Democrats – 33 votes
- Matthew James Smith, Conservative Party – 135 votes
Number of ballot papers spoilt: 19
Electorate for Spitalfields and Bangaltown Ward: 8,827
Votes polled: 1,486
Turnout: 16.83 per cent
16 December 2010