Carling accused the Liberal Democrats of running an "ageist" campaign against him

Sam Carling, a Cambridge postgraduate student, was re-elected as a Labour councillor for West Chesterton ward in yesterday’s local elections.

Carling, who originally gained his seat from the Liberal Democrats in 2022, won with a majority of 208 votes over his closest competitor.

Five other Cambridge students ran for seats in the city council, but none were successful. Among the students running, three campaigned with the Green Party, two with Labour, and one with the Conservatives.

Among these unsuccessful students were Szymon Sawicki and Esme Hennessy who ran directly against each other in Castle Ward, which is home to students from Churchill, Fitzwilliam, and Murray Edwards.

Labour maintained their overall control of the council, after winning nine of the fourteen seats up for election.

Carling has described himself as a “serial multitasker,” having served as president of Christ’s College’s JCR for two years, as well as co-chair of the Cambridge University Labour Club, debates officer at the Union, and a University Councillor.

Carling is currently studying for an MPhil at the University.

He recently launched a bid for MP for North West Cambridgeshire in the next General Election. If elected, Carling could become the youngest MP in government.

During his campaign, Carling told Varsity that he drew on his experience as a councillor and his “strong record of action in West Chesterton”, pointing to his “efforts to end pollution in the River Cam” and securing of “funding for a variety of local projects”.


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He also accused the Liberal Democrats of running an “ageist” campaign against him, telling Varsity that “the sorts of tactics we’ve seen are exactly why more young people feel they can’t contribute to politics, but it just galvanises me to work harder to win”.

Speaking on his success in the election, Carling said that he “pledged to improve our street scene and open spaces, and to fight food poverty - and I’ll rightly now be held to account for delivering my promises”.

“More broadly, Cambridge Labour stood on a platform of continuing to build new homes and tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, alongside standing up for our city as national government interest in it increases - and the re-election of all our existing councillors shows that residents want us to get on with those plans,” he said.