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Last updated 10 March 2012 11:15
EXCLUSIVE
Thursday 8 March 2012

Jubilant Labour Defeat By-election Challenge

Despite hopes of an anti-Labour victory, Pervez Choudhry fails

Mohammed Nazir wins


Four candidates contested the Baylis by-election called to fill the vacancy occasioned by Slough Borough Council officials dismissing the existing councillor Azhar Quershi - read our story

The only strong contenders were Labour's Mohammed Nazir and Conservative's Pervez Choudhry standing as an Independent. The other two, UKIP and a local Independent gained a total of 150 votes.

The result announced at 23:49 was Labour 1,300 and Independent Pervez Choudhry 764. Labour's majority was 536. Turnout was 28.54%.

The vote counting was held in a room called 'Mercury 1' at the council headquarters, St Martin's Place, 51 Bath Road - on the corner of Montem Lane. It was a private event with the public excluded.

Afterwards a very tired looking Cllr Mohammed Nazir told the Slough Times he wanted to thank the voters.

The final days of the election campaign were marked by a letter sent to candidates by police inspector Andy Young warning them of a police investigation if party workers continued to engage in unspecified improper conduct. Andy Young's letter told candidates they must ensure the party workers comply with unspecified guidelines. This upset one candidate who did not have party workers.

Days later an anonymous sleaze-type leaflet attacking the Labour candidate was delivered to households in the ward. However Labour still won the election.

The election results in greater detail are at slough.info/slough/s16/s16ele12.php

Cllr Mohammed Sharif (Labour, Chalvey) sent this comment to the Slough Times:

We believe in a clean campaign, positive points and forward thinking.

Baylis ward is predominately occupied by Muslim community. When the opposition is also from the Muslim community you will see more competitive elections. This is the reason for yesterday's smaller majority and also odd by election for a single ward meant lower turnout. Also remember there was alot of negative propoganda, classic example is a distributed leaflet said 'Labour closes Mosque' and yet people running the Mosque were supporting Labour.

The Slough Times understands the mosque mention is called Madni and is located at 1 Granville Avenue, next to the 'Cinder Track' (now tarmacked) linking St Mary's Church, Farnham Royal to St Michel's Chapel in Whitby Road.