2003 Sunderland City Council election

← 2002 1 May 2003 2004 →

One third of 75 seats on Sunderland City Council
38 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
 
Party Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats
Seats before 62 11 1
Seats won 21 2 0
Seats after 63 9 1
Seat change Increase1 Decrease2 Steady0

  Fourth party Fifth party
 
Party Independent Liberal
Seats before 0 1
Seats won 1 1
Seats after 1 1
Seat change Increase1 Steady0

Majority party before election

Labour

Majority party after election

Labour

The 2003 Sunderland Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of Sunderland Metropolitan Borough Council in Tyne and Wear, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour party stayed in overall control of the council.[1]

Campaign

25 seats were contested in the election by a total of 92 candidates, with the Labour party, Conservative party and British National Party contesting every seat.[2] With the British National Party contesting every seat the issue of asylum seekers was important in the election, with the British National Party saying that Sunderland had seen a "palpable invasion of asylum-seekers".[3] However Labour, who were defending 21 of the 25 seats, said that in the previous 2 years only 1,800 had been temporarily housed in the city of a population of 289,000.[3] During the campaign a number of prominent people from the North East including the Bishop of Durham Michael Turnbull and the chairman of Sunderland Football Club Bob Murray issued a statement calling on voters to reject the British National Party.[4]

Labour defended their record pointing to an excellent rating in government league tables, having the second lowest council tax in the north east despite a 7.7% rise and to regeneration projects.[5] They targeted the Conservative wards of Hendon and St Peters, but the Conservatives attacked the management of the council for being bloated and said they could bring more efficiency.[5] Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats contested 13 seats and said there needed to be more opposition councillors to challenge Labour.[5]

The election in Sunderland saw a trial of all postal voting in an attempt to increase turnout.[6] This helped lead to turnout being over double that seen at the 2002 election at 46%.[7]

Election result

The results saw Labour hold control of the council with 63 seats after gaining 2 seats from the Conservatives who were reduced to 9 seats.[8][9] One of the 2 gains saw the former leader of council, Bryn Sidaway, win Hendon by 39 votes after a recount, regaining the seat that he had lost in the 1999 election.[9] However Labour did lose 1 seat in Eppleton to an independent Colin Wakefield who had stood to represent a Residents Against Toxic Site campaign.[9]

The British National Party failed to win any seats, but did win 13,652 votes, 13.75% of the total[7] and came second in 5 wards.[8] The failure of the British National Party was partly attributed to the increase in turnout due to the all-postal voting.[7]

Sunderland Local Election Result 2003[10][11][12]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Labour 21 2 1 Increase1 84.0 52.5 52,060 Decrease4.4%
  Conservative 2 0 2 Decrease2 8.0 22.3 22,089 Decrease9.6%
  BNP 0 0 0 Steady0 0 13.8 13,652 Increase10.7%
  Liberal Democrats 0 0 0 Steady0 0 7.3 7,265 Decrease0.6
  Independent 1 1 0 Increase1 4.0 2.7 2,669 Increase2.5%
  Liberal 1 0 0 Steady0 0 1.4 1,408 Decrease1.6
  National Front 0 0 0 Steady0 0 0.1 73 Increase0.1

This resulted in the following composition of the Council:

Party Previous council New council
Labour 62 63
Conservatives 11 9
Liberal Democrats 1 1
Liberal 1 1
Independent 0 1
Total 75 75
Working majority  49   51 

Ward by ward results

Castletown[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Leslie Mann 2,087 64.5 -21.7
BNP Ian Mcdonald 752 23.2 +23.2
Conservative Gwennyth Gibson 396 12.2 -1.6
Majority 1,335 41.3 -31.2
Turnout 3,235 43.1
Labour hold Swing
Central[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Colin Anderson 1,594 49.0 -10.3
BNP Christopher Lathan 686 21.1 +21.1
Conservative Dorreen Storey 487 15.0 -4.6
Liberal Democrats Jane Walters 487 15.0 -6.1
Majority 908 27.9 -10.4
Turnout 3,254 42.3
Labour hold Swing
Colliery[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Norman Dent 1,722 52.4 -9.8
Conservative John Brown 878 26.7 -11.1
BNP Ian Leadbitter 685 20.9 +20.9
Majority 844 25.7 +1.4
Turnout 3,285 48.4
Labour hold Swing
Eppleton[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Colin Wakefield 1,839 39.6 +39.6
Labour Robert Heron 1,788 38.5 -28.5
Conservative David Wilson 464 10.0 -23.0
Liberal Democrats Philip Dowell 330 7.1 +7.1
BNP James Davison 225 4.8 +4.8
Majority 51 1.1
Turnout 4,646 48.9
Independent gain from Labour Swing
Fulwell[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Walton 2,506 53.8 -12.7
Labour Rosalind Copeland 1,313 28.2 +6.5
BNP Joseph Dobbie 431 9.3 +4.0
Liberal Democrats Amie Leung 406 8.7 +2.2
Majority 1,193 25.6 -19.2
Turnout 4,656 56.8
Conservative hold Swing
Grindon[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Forbes 1,885 62.3 -4.7
Conservative David Andrew 627 20.7 -12.3
BNP Paul Humble 515 17.0 +17.0
Majority 1,258 41.6 +7.7
Turnout 3,027 43.2
Labour hold Swing
Hendon[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Brynley Sidaway 1,711 42.8 -2.2
Conservative Paul Maddison 1,672 41.8 +0.9
BNP David Guynan 619 15.5 +1.5
Majority 39 1.0 -3.1
Turnout 4,002 51.5
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
Hetton[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Florence Anderson 2,807 72.9 -2.2
Conservative Olwyn Bird 624 16.2 -8.7
BNP Andrew Morris 419 10.9 +10.9
Majority 2,183 56.7 +6.6
Turnout 3,850 43.9
Labour hold Swing
Houghton[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Louise Farthing 2,461 70.1 -10.2
Conservative Gordon Newton 571 16.3 -3.4
BNP Ian Patterson 480 13.7 +13.7
Majority 1,890 53.8 -6.7
Turnout 3,512 43.9
Labour hold Swing
Pallion[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Robert Pells 1,695 38.3 -6.1
Conservative Stephen Daughton 1,581 35.8 -4.1
BNP David Martin 556 12.6 +12.6
Liberal Democrats Sham Vedhara 410 9.3 -1.8
Independent Ronald Smith 178 4.0 -0.7
Majority 114 2.6 -1.9
Turnout 4,420 53.5
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
Ryhope[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Aileen Handy 2,657 54.5 -15.3
Liberal Democrats Martyn Herron 798 16.4 +16.4
Conservative William Dunn 730 15.0 -15.2
BNP Michael Matthews 691 14.2 +14.2
Majority 1,859 38.1 -1.5
Turnout 4,876 45.9
Labour hold Swing
St Chad's[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour John Porthouse 2,090 50.2 -8.0
Conservative Lee Martin 1,224 29.4 -12.4
Liberal Democrats Elizabeth Foreman 437 10.5 +10.5
BNP Carol Dobbie 415 10.0 +10.0
Majority 866 20.8 +4.4
Turnout 4,166 51.9
Labour hold Swing
St Michael's[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Peter Wood 2,727 56.7 -10.2
Labour David Errington 1,551 32.2 -0.9
BNP Stephen Bilton 534 11.1 +11.1
Majority 1,176 24.4 -9.5
Turnout 4,812 55.8
Conservative hold Swing
St Peter's[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Christine Shattock 1,481 34.0 -1.8
Conservative Lilian Walton 1,362 31.3 -8.1
Liberal Democrats John Lennox 841 19.3 -5.4
BNP Jason Dent 674 15.5 +15.5
Majority 119 2.7
Turnout 4,358 54.1
Labour hold Swing
Shiney Row[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Anne Hall 3,060 60.8 -11.7
Liberal Democrats Neil Grundy 878 17.4 +17.4
Conservative John Calvert 621 12.3 -15.2
BNP Sharon Leadbitter 474 9.4 +9.4
Majority 2,182 43.4 -1.7
Turnout 5,033 45.2
Labour hold Swing
Silksworth[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Patricia Smith 2,760 65.7 -6.5
Conservative Patricia Francis 646 15.4 -6.1
BNP Trevor Jenkins 575 13.7 +7.4
Independent Georgina Kennedy 221 5.3 +5.3
Majority 2,114 50.3 -0.4
Turnout 4,202 44.3
Labour hold Swing
South Hylton[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Susan Watson 1,927 61.7 -6.7
BNP Debra Hiles 674 21.6 +21.6
Conservative Kathryn Chamberlin 520 16.7 -14.9
Majority 1,253 40.1 +3.3
Turnout 3,121 43.0
Labour hold Swing
Southwick[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Bryan Charlton 1,519 53.1 -9.8
BNP Alan Brettwood 510 17.8 -1.9
Independent Frederick Crone 431 15.1 +15.1
Liberal Democrats Christine Griffin 217 7.6 -3.7
Conservative Alice Mclaren 183 6.4 +0.2
Majority 1,009 35.3 -7.9
Turnout 2,860 45.7
Labour hold Swing
Thorney Close[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Allan 1,983 63.7 -3.4
BNP Joseph Dobbie 680 21.8 +6.2
Conservative Paula Wilkinson 450 14.5 -2.8
Majority 1,303 41.9 -8.0
Turnout 3,113 42.6
Labour hold Swing
Thornholme[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Winifred Lundgren 1,408 42.9 -13.7
Labour Phillip Gibson 919 28.0 -2.2
Conservative Marjorie Matthews 499 15.2 +2.0
BNP Philip Clark 453 13.8 +13.8
Majority 489 14.9 -11.5
Turnout 3,279 45.5
Liberal hold Swing
Town End Farm[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Gowan Scott 1,760 59.4 -1.7
BNP John Martin 878 29.7 +1.7
Conservative Gillian Connor 323 10.9 +0.0
Majority 882 29.8 -3.3
Turnout 2,961 45.1
Labour hold Swing
Washington East[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Eric Timmins 3,003 61.0 -1.1
Conservative Jacqueline Atkinson 822 16.7 -6.1
Liberal Democrats Avril Kitching 650 13.2 -1.9
BNP David Richardson 371 7.5 +7.5
National Front Mark Farrell 73 1.5 +1.5
Majority 2,181 44.3 +5.0
Turnout 4,919 44.2
Labour hold Swing
Washington North[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour John Murray 2,703 74.0 -5.5
Conservative Kathleen Irvine 528 14.5 -6.0
BNP Ian Guilbert 422 11.6 +11.6
Majority 2,175 59.5 +0.5
Turnout 3,653 42.2
Labour hold Swing
Washington South[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Bryan Williams 3,152 52.4 +2.6
Liberal Democrats Owen Dumpleton 1,169 19.4 +1.9
Conservative Michael Dixon 1,112 18.5 -14.2
BNP Gordon Pace 586 9.7 +9.7
Majority 1,983 32.9 +15.8
Turnout 6,019 42.4
Labour hold Swing
Washington West[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour William Craddock 2,432 61.5 -4.3
Liberal Democrats David Griffin 642 16.2 -1.4
Conservative Justin Garrod 536 13.5 -3.0
BNP Keith Byrne 347 8.8 +8.8
Majority 1,790 45.2 -3.0
Turnout 3,957 42.8
Labour hold Swing

References

  1. ^ "Local elections". BBC News Online. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  2. ^ Redvers, Louise (2 April 2003). "BNP bid to seize Town Hall seats". Evening Chronicle. p. 10.
  3. ^ a b Norfolk, Andrew (15 April 2003). "BNP to make history at council elections". The Times. p. 16.
  4. ^ Jennings, Lindsay (18 April 2003). "Bishop leads campaign to block BNP in North-East". The Northern Echo. p. 1.
  5. ^ a b c Dargie, Alison (19 April 2003). "Labour set to harness optimism". The Journal. p. 28.
  6. ^ Young, Peter (17 April 2003). "Armchair electorate put in the hotseat". Evening Chronicle. p. 18.
  7. ^ a b c Norfolk, Andrew; S/herman, Jill (2 May 2003). "BNP surges in Burnley but stalls in Sunderland". The Times. p. 15.
  8. ^ a b Johnston, Philip; Stokes, Paul (2 May 2003). "BNP's gains will give it a first taste of power". The Daily Telegraph. p. 9.
  9. ^ a b c "Sunderland". The Journal. 2 May 2003. p. 2.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z "Postal Voting - 1st May 2003". Political Science Resources. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Election results; English Councils; Local elections 2003". The Times. 2 May 2003. p. 16.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z "Election results". The Journal. 2 May 2003. p. 44.
Preceded by
2002 Sunderland City Council election
Sunderland City Council elections Succeeded by
2004 Sunderland City Council election