Although no Young Independence candidate managed to land a major council seat this past election, impressive and encouraging results were to be found all across the country.
One of the most notable was the result of 19 year old Nathan Brittain, who came in at second with a huge 31%. Brittain, who contested the Cross Heath ward of Newcastle under Lyme borough council, vowed to become a “stronger candidate next year” in an effort to win the seat.
Also in the North came third places a-plenty in Manchester, under much organisation by YI Elections Officer Chris Cassidy and former YI Membership Officer Danielle Brannon. Chris himself gained a 3.3% increase on his previous effort in Baguley and comfortably beat Lib Dem opposition into fourth. The present YI Membership Office, Sean Howlett, grabbed a respectable 13% in his Bedwell ward of Stevenage Borough Council on his first time standing. “People were getting worried about us” said Howlett, 18, similarly affirming his commitment to standing next time around.
Further south was the big result of Tim Aker in Thurrock, who after gaining support of even the outgoing Conservative councillor, came within a mere 98 votes of gaining the seat from the Tories, garnering 23.5%. Writing on his Facebook page, Tim said that he was “pleased with the result”, noting “my vote share went up nearly 10%. Compared to last May the Tory vote is down 600, Labour down 500, Independent down 200 and I’m only down 25”.
Chris Warner (Tendring) and Carl Whitwell (Hockley Central) also broke the 10% barrier, as did Adam Bufton in Horsham. 21 year old Lee Burgess grabbed a superb third behind two Conservative incumbents in double member Woodstock, Sittingbourne, rocketing up from his last place one year ago. The former and current YI chairmen, Michael Heaver and Harry Aldridge respectively, stood as paper candidates with each getting around a steady 4.5%, an indication of UKIP’s increase in popularity amongst voters, even without campaigning for support.
“What we have seen in these elections is a raft of enthusiastic first time candidates from YI, from whom we have got some very encouraging results” said YI Chairman Harry Aldridge. “The key now is to ensure that these candidates stand next time around and that we in YI help them build on their successes. Let preparation for 2012 begin”