Colville Ward, Kensington and Chelsea.
Lib Dems 634. (+18%. Last time 511, 431, 373.)
Con 330. (+2%. Last time 361, 354,321.)
Lab. 300. (-21%. Last time 703, 663, 625.)
Green Party 77 (-1%. Last time 122, 106, 75.)
Lib Dems gain from Labour.
Commiserations to the excellent Conservative candidate Samia Bentayeb. Perhaps she will have better luck in May as the Lib Dem candidate in the byelection obviously had a strong personal vote.
Significant that Samia beat Labour into third place in this contest – unusually held on a Wednesday. This is a ward with 47% in social housing. This is the ward where large numbers of voters who are black or poor (or both) in the past automatically voted Labour. Not any more.
Certainly there has been some social change. When I went canvassing on Saturday morning I walked along All Saints Road – notorious in the past as a base for drug dealing and violence during the Notting Hill Carnival. It still has a second hand record shop and there was the whiff of ganga from one of the adjoining streets. But there were also rather chichi shops with luxury bathroom fittings and interior designers.
Of course the middle class element also pose an electoral challenge for the Tories – all the creative types who like the area because of the trendy cafes in Portabello Road. One woman I spoke to thought she would probably vote Conservative but felt divided loyalties because she worked for the BBC. She was involved in making a successful cookery series with high ratings and great success in teaching people to cook. "Why do the Tories think that the BBC should only produce obscure stuff that nobody wants to watch?" she asked going into a rant about John Whittingdale.