At face value a disappointing result but there are positives for Labour in Alwoodley.
There is no doubt the Conservative Party knew it had to hold Alwoodley and that there would be very little joy for them in the rest of Leeds NE, so Alwoodley was the focus of their attentions. In the face of this pressure, with UKIP the home for the vote of those people with a real distrust and alienation from mainstream politics, Labour still polled much the same vote as in 2012; and this without the volunteers that would have helped put more work in to the ward and build a greater connection.
If we learn from Moortown and Roundhay, where over recent years Labour have built a substantial presence leading to resounding victories for Sharon Hamilton and Ghulam Hussain then there is no doubt that Labour can and should build a similar presence and have a real impact in Alwoodley.
This year was always going to be tough. Many people across the ward have said that Peter Harrand has been an effective ward councillor for many years, so we wish him well, and we will continue to scrutinise Alwoodley’s three Conservative Councillors and hold them to account.
As we now look forward to 2015 and the next Council Elections which will be alongside the General Election we must look carefully at how Labour makes it relevance to Alwoodley clear, and gets its message across.
And to the 1910 people who voted Labour and voted for our candidate Keith White this year – Thank You, and we will continue to work for you across the ward in partnership with our Labour colleagues in Roundhay and Moortown and our Labour MP Fabian Hamilton.