Map of the results of the 2003 St Albans City and District Council election. Liberal Democrats in yellow, Conservatives in blue and Labour in red.
Map of the results of the 2003 St Albans City and District Council election. Liberal Democrats in yellow, Conservatives in blue and Labour in red.

The 2003 St Albans City and District Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of St Albans District Council in Hertfordshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the council stayed under no overall control.[1]

After the election, the composition of the council was:

Background

Following the last election in 2002 the Conservatives were the largest party with 21 seats, compared to 20 for the Liberal Democrats, 15 for Labour, 1 independent and 1 seat was vacant.[3] However the Liberal Democrats gained a seat from the Conservatives at a by-election in Verulam,[4] which meant that going into the 2003 election both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats needed to gain 8 seats to win a majority.[5]

Voting trial

The election saw a trial of various voting methods. Voters could choose between e-voting, either by computer or on a touchscreen at a polling booth, voting by phone or by post, or on a traditional ballot paper.[6] The period for voting was also increased to allow voting from the 28 April to the 1 May 2003.[6]

However problems occurred at 15 polling stations where the system did not recognise voters pin numbers,[7] which meant that traditional paper ballots had to be used in those polling stations.[8] The issues meant the election nearly had to be voided, with the count only able to start over 3 hours after polls had closed.[9]

However turnout was up by 5% on the previous election in 2002 at 43%.[10]

Election result

The Liberal Democrats gained 2 seats from Labour to become the largest party on the council with 23 councillors.[9] The Conservatives remained on 21 seats and there was still 1 independent, while the losses for Labour in Ashley and St Peter's wards reduced them to 13 seats.[9]

Following the election the Liberal Democrat group on the council chose Robert Donald as their new leader taking over from Brian Peyton.[11]

St Albans local election result 2003[12][13]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Liberal Democrats 12 2 0 +2 57.1 43.8 18,710 +5.0%
  Conservative 5 0 0 0 23.8 35.4 15,126 -0.4%
  Labour 4 0 2 -2 19.0 20.6 8,784 -4.5%
  No Candidate Deserves My Vote! 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 63 -0.2%

Ward results

Ashley[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Alan Marshall 942 43.4 +6.9
Labour Alistair Cooper 759 35.0 -6.3
Conservative Alec Campbell 468 21.6 +1.1
Majority 183 8.4
Turnout 2,169 44.4
Liberal Democrats gain from Labour Swing
Batchwood[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Martin Leach 873 47.1
Conservative Lee Foster 492 26.6
Liberal Democrats Debbie Williams 488 26.3
Majority 381 20.5
Turnout 1,853 37.6
Labour hold Swing
Clarence[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Sheila Burton 1,315 65.3 +6.1
Labour Clive Newport 356 17.7 -5.2
Conservative Louisa-Jane Rosalki 343 17.0 -0.9
Majority 959 47.6 +11.3
Turnout 2,014 45.8
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Colney Heath[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Christopher Brazier 972 58.1 +21.7
Conservative David Johns 522 31.2 -12.8
Labour David Mclean 179 10.7 -8.9
Majority 450 26.9
Turnout 1,673 43.7
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Cunningham[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Robert Donald 1,281 61.3 +18.0
Labour Rebecca Gumbrell-Mccormick 416 19.9 -16.1
Conservative James Vessey 394 18.8 -1.9
Majority 865 41.4 +34.1
Turnout 2,091 46.2
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Harpenden East[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Michael Waddilove 1,149 50.2 +3.5
Conservative Elizabeth Stevenson 854 37.3 -1.0
Labour David Crew 286 12.5 -2.5
Majority 295 12.9 +4.5
Turnout 2,289 45.5
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Harpenden North[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Albert Pawle 1,046 51.1 +3.2
Liberal Democrats Rachel Andrew 785 38.4 -3.2
Labour Rosemary Ross 214 10.5 +0.0
Majority 261 12.7 +6.4
Turnout 2,045 41.6
Conservative hold Swing
Harpenden South[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Foster 1,340 61.7 -1.7
Liberal Democrats Christopher Canfield 616 28.4 +5.1
Labour David Lawlor 216 9.9 -3.4
Majority 724 33.3 -6.8
Turnout 2,172 43.2
Conservative hold Swing
Harpenden West[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Julian Daly 1,319 56.3 -3.8
Liberal Democrats Mary Skinner 753 32.1 +7.0
Labour Benjamin Dearman 271 11.6 -3.2
Majority 566 24.2 -10.8
Turnout 2,343 43.6
Conservative hold Swing
London Colney[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Malcolm Macmillan 1,062 57.7 -4.2
Conservative Gilbert Massara 472 25.6 +2.1
Liberal Democrats Carol Prowse 308 16.7 +2.1
Majority 590 32.1 -6.3
Turnout 1,842 33.2
Labour hold Swing
Marshalswick North[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Geoffrey Churchard 1,003 48.5 +1.0
Conservative John Foster 782 37.8 +1.3
Labour John Baughan 282 13.6 -2.5
Majority 221 10.7 -0.3
Turnout 2,067 43.6
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Marshalswick South[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Kathleen Morris 1,364 53.3 -4.5
Conservative Richard Bretherton 858 33.5 +5.0
Labour Jane Cloke 338 13.2 -0.5
Majority 506 19.8 -9.5
Turnout 2,560 52.7
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Park Street[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Stephanie White 1,130 57.7 -7.8
Conservative Timothy Randall 554 28.3 +6.8
Labour Janet Blackwell 276 14.1 +1.1
Majority 576 29.4 -14.6
Turnout 1,960 38.8
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Redbourn[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Christopher O'Donovan 1,019 50.5 -1.8
Conservative Maria Maynard 836 41.4 +1.9
Labour Linda Spiri 164 8.1 -0.2
Majority 183 9.1 -3.7
Turnout 2,019 45.7
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Sandridge[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Christopher Whiteside 769 54.7 +13.4
Liberal Democrats Peter Klyhn 465 33.1 -6.9
Labour John Baker 171 12.2 -4.8
Majority 304 21.6 +20.3
Turnout 1,405 39.5
Conservative hold Swing
Sopwell (2 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Eileen Harris 781 49.6 -8.7
Labour Janet Smith 777 49.4 -8.9
Liberal Democrats Brian Sinfield 397 25.2 +8.0
Liberal Democrats David Terrar 375 23.8 +6.6
Conservative Eileen Brown 356 22.6 +1.3
Conservative Margaret Brownlie 344 21.9 +0.6
Turnout 1,574 32.4 +9.1
Labour hold Swing
Labour hold Swing
St Peters[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Richard Biddle 927 46.1 +8.0
Labour Lynette Warren 715 35.6 -8.1
Conservative Virginia Walker 367 18.3 +0.1
Majority 212 10.5
Turnout 2,009 42.1
Liberal Democrats gain from Labour Swing
St Stephen[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gordon Myland 1,247 58.1 +2.8
Liberal Democrats Louise Searle 634 29.5 -0.2
Labour Patricia Allen 266 12.4 -2.6
Majority 613 28.6 +3.0
Turnout 2,147 43.7
Conservative hold Swing
Verulam[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Martin Frearson 1,457 52.6 +15.5
Conservative Robin Streames 1,033 37.3 -11.4
Labour Richard Bruckdorfer 217 7.8 -4.9
No Candidate Deserves My Vote! Peter Goodall 63 2.3 +0.8
Majority 424 15.3
Turnout 2,770 56.3 +17.4
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Wheathampstead[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Christopher Oxley 1,330 59.8 +16.8
Conservative Linda Brent 730 32.8 -15.6
Labour Mary Cheale 165 7.4 -1.3
Majority 600 27.0
Turnout 2,225 48.9
Liberal Democrats hold Swing

By-elections between 2003 and 2004

A by-election was held in Verulam ward on 5 April 2004 after the resignation of Conservative councillor Pauline Buffham, who was moving abroad.[14] The seat was gained for the Liberal Democrats by Susan Campbell with a majority of 265 votes over the Conservatives.[15]

Verulam by-election 5 April 2004[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Susan Campbell 1,173 49.4 -3.2
Conservative Katherine Cramer 908 38.2 +0.9
St Albans Party Janet Girsman 167 7.0 +7.0
Labour Larry Heyman 90 3.8 -4.0
Green Marc Scheimann 37 1.6 +1.6
Majority 265 11.2 -4.1
Turnout 2,375 48.1 -8.2
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing

References

  1. ^ "Local elections". BBC News Online. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  2. ^ "How Britain voted: English and Scottish councils". The Independent. 3 May 2003. p. 18.
  3. ^ "St Albans". BBC News Online. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  4. ^ Price, Shannon (4 July 2002). "Lib-Dem victory this time around". Hertfordshire County Publications. NewsBank.
  5. ^ "London: Local election preview". BBC News Online. 4 April 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  6. ^ a b Morris, Owen (9 April 2003). "Pupils set to e-vote". Hertfordshire County Publications. NewsBank.
  7. ^ "Non-voters are the majority". BBC News Online. 2 May 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  8. ^ "A new day for democracy". www.publicservice.co.uk. 21 May 2003. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Collins, Paul (2 May 2003). "E-voting glitches hamper city elections". Hertfordshire County Publications. NewsBank.
  10. ^ "St Albans e-voting trial goes horribly wrong. Almost". The Register. 2 May 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Lib Dems name new leader". Hertfordshire County Publications. NewsBank. 19 May 2003.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "District Council Election Results 1st May 2003". St Albans District and City Council. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  13. ^ "Election results". Financial Times. 3 May 2003. p. 8.
  14. ^ "By-election date set after councillor quits". Hertfordshire County Publications. NewsBank. 26 February 2004.
  15. ^ a b "Verulam Ward By Election Result 5th April 2004". St Albans City and District Council. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015.