Labour’s wafer-thin council majority on CWaC will be put to the test in a critical by-election today.
The ward result will have even greater significance in the light of this week’s General Election announcement, with the Chester Parliamentary seat being the top Tory target as the Labour constituency with the narrowest majority nationwide.
Voters in Blacon will be going to the polls to elect a successor to Labour’s Reggie Jones who is standing down after serving the community for more than a quarter of a century.
Labour took control of CWaC in 2015 on the same day as the General Election, ousting the Tories who had controlled the local authority since its inception.
But Labour only has a two-seat majority over the Conservatives and a Tory victory would place the parties at neck and neck, with an Independent councillor holding the balance of power on the 75-member council.
Blacon is a three-councillor Labour stronghold and party members have visited 7,000 homes in support of their new candidate, former CWaC member Ben Powell. He’s been proposed by Reggie Jones as his successor.
Other candidates include Steve Ingram who is standing as an Independent after previously standing as a Ukip candidate when the last CWaC elections.
Conservative candidate Jack Jackson also stood in Blacon in 2015 while the Liberal Democrat candidate is Lizzie Jewkes, a former City of Chester constituency Parliamentary candidate’.
Candidates for the Blacon Ward by-election today are:
l Steve Ingram (Independent), of Treborth Road, Blacon.
l Jack Jackson (Conservative), of Wenlock Way, Chester.
l Lizzie Jewkes (Liberal Democrat), of Bedford Avenue, Ellesmere Port.
l Ben Powell (Labour), of Hartington Street, Handbridge.
Blacon Ward election results for three seats in May 2015 were:
*Reggie Jones (Lab) 3,579, *Marie Nelson (Lab) 3,349, *Carol Gahan (Lab) 3,119, Christian Dunn (Con) 1,109, Stephen Ingram (Ukip) 1,054, Chris Erskine (Ukip) 1,037, Alexander Roberts (Con) 979, Jack Jackson (Con) 941, Liz Hutchison (Ukip) 805, Christine Watson (Green) 482, Zoe Gorzelak (Green) 303, Colin Watson (Greeen) 227 (* denotes elected councillor).
Voting will take place between 7am and 10pm and counting will take place at CWaC HQ building in Chester afterwards.