Shock for Labour in Hounslow
No single party now in control of the borough council
There has been a major shock for the Labour party with the party losing control of Hounslow Council. There were early indications that a surprise was on the cards when the first ward to be announced was Hanworth Park which was represented by the Council Leader, Colin Ellar. This was a key target for the Conservatives but their margin of victory was much bigger than anticipated. This was the start of a miserable night for Labour.
Labour losses continue to mount with defeats to the Tories in Feltham West and Hounslow South. Syon ward was expected to fall but the size of the majority achieved by the Isleworth Community Group was much bigger than expectd.
Further humiliation was heaped upon Labour when former Council leader John Connelly, who had a very public failing out with Colin Ellar, was elected as an independent for the Hounslow Heath ward.
Hounslow was widely seen as a borough that Labour would retain control of despite a strong national swing against the party. However, what appears to be co-ordination between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives and a split in the Labour group which led to independent candidates standing in the west of the borough, meant that the party suffered greater losses than expected.
There is no firm indication as yet what the composition of the Council is to be. Labour remain the largest party with 24 votes and could be part of a coalition with the Lib Dems and the two Hounslow Independent Alliance candidates. Alternatively the Tories, the Lib Dems and the ICG and/or the HIA could combine to keep Labour out.
The election in Hounslow was marred by an arson attack on the home of one of the Labour candidates for the Isleworth ward. The police investigation into this incident is continuing.
May 5, 2006