Mixed fortunes for Jewish candidates in local elections

By Marcus Dysch and Jonathan Kalmus, May 23, 2014
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The local election results have produced a mixture of outcomes for Jewish candidates and voters.

By Friday afternoon only a handful of councils with Jewish interest had returned their results.

In Redbridge, control of the local authority was won by Labour. That result could have a significant impact on next year's general election in the Ilford North constituency, where incumbent Jewish Conservative MP Lee Scott will attempt to defend his seat against Labour's Wes Streeting.

Israeli-born Labour candidate Tal Ofer was unsuccessful in his attempt to be elected to Redbridge Council. He received 1,263 votes in Fulwell ward but narrowly lost out to three Conservatives.

Conservative councillor Jonathan Bianco was re-elected in the north-west London borough of Hillingdon.

Also in north-west London, Labour captured Brent Council from the Liberal Democrats. The Hampstead and Kilburn constituency - parts of which fall within Brent - is a three-way marginal and will be a key battleground next May.

Jeremy Zeid, chairman of Ukip in Harrow, failed to get elected in the Kenton East ward. He got 453 votes - a four per cent share - and finished ninth out of 10 candidates. Labour gained the borough, where previously no party had overall control.

Newcastle upon Tyne City Council's Liberal Democrat member David Slesenger held his seat. The Newcastle Hebrew Congregation member is a former Lord Mayor of the city.

Long-standing Bury Conservative councillor Bernie Vincent narrowly lost his seat in the authority's Pilkington Park ward, by 19 votes, to Labour.

On Salford City Council, strictly Orthodox candidate Chavi Odze came second in the Broughton ward with 685 votes for Ukip, but failed to be elected.

In Kersal, her husband Shneur Odze also came second with 782 votes for the party, but also failed to be elected.

Rabbi Arnold Saunders, Conservative, came third in Langworthy ward, which was a Labour hold. He got 207 votes.

Howard Balkind, in Salford's Swinton South ward, held his seat with a narrow margin of 130 votes.

More results in the key Jewish areas of Barnet, Hackney and Camden were slow to emerge.

The British National Party was reduced to two councillors nationally on results announced by 4pm on Friday. Five years ago the far-right party had more than 50 elected representatives on local authorities.

The results of voting for the European Parliament will be revealed on Sunday.

Last updated: 4:49pm, May 23 2014