|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 30th March, 1934
Labour Gains From Heavy Poll
Six new members join the Rushden Urban District Council as the result of the polling which took place on Saturday.
It was the most eventful campaign of recent times, and Labour won the fight for the four seats given up my Messrs. T. Swindall, C. Claridge, L. Tysoe and W. C. Tarry. By winning three of these seats and holding the seats it already occupied, the Labour Party increased its representation from four to seven.
This was a striking performance, and Mr. John White’s top-of-the-poll triumph in the South Ward was another, yet nothing equalled as a sensation the entirely unlooked-for defeat of Ald. C. W. Horrell, the Council’s vice-chairman, in the West Ward. Mr. Horrell would have become chairman next month. He has a magnificent record of sound and generous service to the town and county, and to the boot industry. Many good judges look upon his defeat as a freak result, and it is recalled that the chairman-elect of six years ago had the same grossly unfortunate experience.
One other old member lost his seat. Mr. T. F. B. Newberry, a Conservative, had had a much shorter term on the Council than Mr. Horrell claimed.
The net result of the polling was three Labour and one Independent gains, two Liberal and two Conservative losses.
In the East Ward the first three places were held by the sitting members in the same order as in 1931. The only change was that Mr. E. A. Sugars (Labour) captured the seat from which Mr. Leonard Tysoe, a Liberal, is retiring. Mr. A. S. Knight (Liberal), Mr. H. Waring (Labour) and Mr. C. K. Baxter (Labour) polled well at their first attempt. The Labour vote in this ward jumped considerably.
A personal success in the South Ward was that of Mr. W. E. Capon (Liberal), who moved up from fifth to second, but the top position was claimed by Mr. John White, whose sweeping campaign as an Independent had given the election its most picturesque touch. In this ward Mr. J. E. Dilks won a seat for Labour, and there were two Conservative losses.
Evidently the West Ward voters considered they had a difficult problem. Mr. John Spencer, the veteran Labour member, who is the outgoing chairman, won back his old place at the head of the poll and enjoyed a record vote. Mr. W. J. Sawford, a candidate for the first time, won the fourth place for Labour, and voting for the lower positions was very close. Mr. Thomas Cox (Conservative) and Mr. J. S. Denton (Liberal) were both making a maiden venture, and their success kept out Mr. F. T. Short, a Labour man who ran well last time, and Mr. Horrell whose proportion of the votes would have made his a winner in either of the other wards. The net result for the West was one Labour gain from the Liberals.
Party strength on the new Council will be: Labour 7, Conservatives 5, Liberals 5, Independents 1. On the retiring Council it was Labour 4, Conservatives 7, Liberals 7.
There was an enormous increase this year in the proportion of electors who used their votes, and the poll was one of the heaviest on record, the percentage in the South rising from 58 to 77, and in the East from 52 to 63.
As shown in the following table, the response of the voters varied sharply in the different wards:
Mr. Spencer had the greatest personal triumph, because over 75 per cent. of those who polled in the West Ward gave him a vote. Dr. Greenfield, top of the poll in the East, had votes from 69 per cent., and Mr. White, leader in the South, was favoured by 62 per cent.
Although allowance has to be made for the generally heavier poll, the average vote per Labour candidate was interesting. In the East it increased from 321 to 515, in the South from 614 to 776, in the West from 858 to 1,368.
There were two spoilt papers in the East Ward, one in the South, and four in the West.
Polling took place on Saturday, when the officials in charge were as follows:
The presiding officers and poll clerk were:
East Ward: No. 1, Miss M. T. Tailby, Miss M. Eaton, Mr. F. Berrill; No. 2, Mr. E. T. Huke, Mr. S. F. Langham, Mr. W. Fuller; No. 3, Mr. A. H. Butler, Mr. H. J. Baker, Mr. C. E. Bates; No. 4, Mr. J. S. Parker, Mr. Russell Wood, Mr. Dennis H. Jeeves.
West Ward: No. 1, Miss T. Keeler, Miss E. Leigh, Mr. W. T. L. Flood; No. 2, Mr. E. L. Brightwell, Mr. H. W. Dunmore, Mr. F. W. Throssell; No. 3, Mr. R. Tusting, Mr. S. E. Hobbs, Mr. F. T. Browning; No. 4, Mr. W. W. Rial, Mr. H. Neville, Mr. L. Newell.
South Ward: No. 1, Mr. H. Lack, Mr. G. E. Newell, Mr. W. Taylor; No. 2, Mr. J. C. J. Simpson, Mr. F. V. Abbott, Mr. H. Ette; No. 3, Mr. L. Baxter, Mr. W. E. Davison, Mr. A. Loakes; No. 4, Mr. Reg. White, Mr. C. T. Carter, Mr. F. T. Pashler.
Counting commenced at 9 a.m. on Monday, and was expeditiously carried out by Mr. W. L. Beetenson, the Returning Officer, and his staff.
A fairly large crowd heard the results declared from the balcony of the Council Buildings at 12.10 p.m.
Addressing the people in Newton-road, Mr. John Spencer said he had already proposed a vote of thanks to the Returning Officer and his staff for the excellent way they had carried out their duties. Thanking the West Ward electors for the support they had given him, Mr. Spencer said he had stood for the Council twelve times. Each time he had been elected, and this time he had polled a record vote for the West Ward. In the old days, when there were no wards, he polled 2,198 votes at the last election before the town was divided into wards, and was over 500 in front of anyone else. This time he had again 300 votes to spare. “I shall carry out my duties in the same way as I have done previously,” Mr. Spencer added.
Dr. Greenfield said he would very much like to thank all the electors who had supported him.
“As in all elections,” he continued, “we very much deplore that we have lost some valuable members, but we welcome the new members, and I have no doubt whatever that the work of the Council will be carried on in the same friendly and amicable way as it has always been conducted, and with the same efficiency, because although we have lost some valuable members, we have some very good new ones.”