Camden Council elections: The wards to watch on May 5

Polling day less than two weeks away

Friday, 22nd April — By Richard Osley

cooper:simon

Councillors Oliver Cooper and Tom Simon clash in Belsize

THE first past the post electoral system means that in some wards, voters may not be able to make the impact they might hope for – the parties more or less know which are their “safe” wards. In a handful of neighbourhoods, however, the results are harder to predict:

BELSIZE

THIS is an unusual ward because Labour – so dominant elsewhere – are struggling to compete, setting up a Tory vs Lib Dems showdown. Conservative leader Oliver Cooper is so confident he has switched wards from Hampstead Town to stand here. The Lib Dems, however, have two of the three seats and are throwing resources at a spirited defence. Their former MEP Luisa Porritt is stepping down as a councillor here, though.

FORTUNE GREEN

ANOTHER key area for the Lib Dems if they are to keep their end up in Camden. They won here in a by-election last summer, but Labour held the other two seats in 2018 – losing one councillor last autumn, however, when Lorna Russell defected to the Greens. Finance chief Richard Olszewski has stayed in the ward despite the threat of losing his seat and a ding-dong battle is unfolding.

HIGHGATE

HERE it is the Greens versus Labour with Sian Berry, the former Green national leader, and Labour cabinet councillor Anna Wright needing to be mindful of the trapdoor. In a ward where voters often share votes around the ballot paper, both of them are predicted to survive. Less clear is who will take the third seat. Cllr Russell, now living in Holly Lodge, runs for her new party for the first time in this ward.

PRIMROSE HILL

A NEW ward where the Conservatives spy possible new seats – now the Camden Town part has been hived off. Labour speak confidently of winning here though. Phil Cowan, the independent candidate, adds an extra edge of uncertainty.

SOUTH HAMPSTEAD

ANOTHER new seat but this is the closest thing to the old Swiss Cottage ward where Labour ousted the Tories in 2018. Boundary changes should make it easier to hold on, but they are campaigning here with the sour backdrop of the deselections controversy. Leo Cassarani was blocked from restanding.

Related Articles