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Thousands off to polls as election fever hits county
THOUSANDS of voters across Oxfordshire went to the polls yesterday to choose their councillors and MEPs.
European elections were held across the county while in Oxford, West Oxfordshire and Cherwell there were also district council elections.
In Oxford, 25 of the 48 city council seats were up for election while in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire there were 17 places on the council up for grabs.
Meanwhile voters across the South East were electing 10 MEPs to represent them in the European Parliament and these were being elected by a form of proportional representation called the party list system.
Polling booths closed at 10pm yesterday and the votes for the local elections will be counted today.
Counts begin this morning at Oxford’s Town Hall, at the Windrush Leisure Centre in Witney and at the Spiceball Leisure Centre in Banbury.
Results for the European elections will be counted across Oxfordshire on Sunday evening and then announced by Southampton City Council after the number of MEPs each party is allocated has been calculated.
In Oxford, Labour currently have the majority of seats in the council chamber with 30 councillors and will be hoping to increase the strength of their administration.
Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have 13 seats and will be hoping to avoid too much of a backlash from its presence in the Coalition Government. A total of 25 seats of the council’s 48 are up for election and nine of these are currently held by the Lib Dems.
The Green Party, which has five seats, is attempting to profit from any Lib Dem losses and become the city council’s official opposition.
In West Oxfordshire, the Conservatives have a large majority of the 49 councillors and are hoping to resist a challenge from Labour, which together with the Lib Dems curre-ntly has four seats.
But UKIP has put 11 candidates up in the 17 district council seats that are being contested this year, and is hoping to make its first breakthrough in Oxfordshire by winning a seat in the Prime Minister’s own backyard.
Conservatives in Cherwell have the overwhelming control of the council, with 41 of the 50 seats. But last year’s elections to Oxfordshire County Council saw them lose to Labour in Banbury, something they will be attempting to avoid.
The Lib Dems only have three councillors – all in Kidlington – and will be hoping a very localised campaign will see them keep the two seats which are up for election this year.
But UKIP also poses a challenge in this district and is standing candidates in every ward but one.
- Follow the council election results live today here on our website
I don’t really care because it doesn’t matter who you vote for, they are not going to keep their promises so there’s no point. The BNP and UKIP, it’s atrocious what they are doing. Everyone has a right to live in this country and some of the things they are saying are diabolical.
- Diane Dodson, 53, of Botley
All of the old laws are being stretched to the point that people are being able to come over here in any way that is a benefit for them, but it is part of the EU agreement. Some people are not entitled to the benefits that the taxpayer has been paying for.
- Dennis Rodgers, 56, of Headington
There has not been anyone round to see us or give us much information. A lot of people do not know what is going on. I don’t think we have been given a clear indication of what we are voting for. We need someone to discuss and turn up on our doorstep.
- Julie Hayday, 60, of Forest Hill
I’m not happy with the Tory party as I don’t think all these facts are true about immigration. I think they are making it very hard for people. I don’t think they are doing things for the working class people. I think we should be independent, I think Scotland has got the right idea.
- Johnson Henry, 60, of Yarnton
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