MR. DODDS RETURNED
LABOUR MAJORITY CUT 1,304 ELECTION FOUGHT IN BEST BRITISH SPIRIT
Mr. Norman Dodds (Labour and Co-operative) retained his seat in the Dartford Division on Thursday last week with a majority of 12,334 over the Conservative candidate, Miss Margaret Roberts.
In the absence of a Liberal candidate, Miss Roberts sliced 1,304 votes off the 1950 Labour majority. A total of 67,854 votes were cast compared with 67,629 last year.
In an 85,139 poll, almost identical with the previous figure, and with the electorate only a few hundreds up, both candidates received increased support—Miss Roberts putting on 3,270 votes and Mr. Dodds 1,966.
There were more than 60 spoiled papers and 1,400 took advantage of the postal vote.
Counting began about 12.35 a.m. and the result was declared just after 2 a.m. to a small crowd waiting outside Dartford Grammar School.
In Best British Spirit
Previously, in the school hall, the Mayor, as Returning Officer, said both Mr. Dodds and Miss Roberts had fought the election in the best British spirit and without personalities.
Mr. Dodds received bouquets of red and white carnations and roses, lilies of the valley and violets, which he handed on to Mrs. Dodds, sitting nearby. Mr. Dodds thanked those who had worked so unselfishly and enthusiastically for his election once again. To the electors who had put their trust in him he would do his utmost not to let them down and he added a special “Thank you” to his wife.
He sincerely congratulated Miss Roberts for a clean and gallant fight and continued “May I congratulate both Miss Roberts and Mr. Thatcher on the step they have taken and wish them every happiness and the best of good fortune.”
He congratulated the Returning Officer and his staff on the unfailing courtesy and the usual high efficiency associated with post-war General Elections in the constituency, and thanked the police for courtesy and co-operation. He was resolved to do his best for all people in the constituency, irrespective of political differences.
Seconding the vote of thanks, Miss Roberts thanked Mr. T. Armstrong (Town Clerk) and the staff under his direction for not only doing a job efficiently but also for the spirit in which they had carried it out. She also thanked the public and congratulated Mr. Dodds on being elected. She said that in the last three years they had always, as political opponents, been quite good friends and she hoped this was not unique in Kent, or elsewhere, in politics. She thanked members of corporations of the separate townships in the Division for all the courtesy they had shown her in the past in many happy times she had spent with them.
Finally, said Miss Roberts, because they were apt to think of candidates at such a time, she thanked the political agents whose task was tremendous and who got more grumbles than any other persons, except the candidates.