Not in Newton anyway. We finally had the thank you leaflet from the Tories. I suppose it is better late than never but I have to say it is very disappointing. It’s pretty clear now that the election campaign is going to be the battle of the couples. Val & Tony for the Tories, Joyce & Tony for the Lib Dems, Dave & Shirley for Labour and perhaps Donald & Daisy for the Greens. All the declared candidates so far live in the ward and they are all women; I wonder what the significance of that is?
I’m not going to comment much on the Tory leaflet because it is so poor and does not really address any of the real problems we face here. They have not been following the blog. One interesting statistic from their leaflet was that the BNP polled more votes in Sandwell at the last local election than the Liberals. If the Tories are going to make progress on May1st they will have to do better than this. In terms of Bonus & Banana Skins bonus points they mentioned two of my top ten, council tax and street cleaning, so I suppose I will have to award a couple of points. The Liberals never mentioned any of the top ten major concerns. Are they living in this ward?
It will be a strange contest this time and more difficult to judge the result than in January. We clearly have an outstanding candidate in Shirley Hosell but she represents Labour and I believe that with Gordon Brown as leader, his continuing bundling, inflation and the affects of the budget they will get punished this time.
Dave & Shirley have to some degree, wisely distanced themselves from Labour and are trying to sell the Hosell brand, which is currently held in high regard locally. Ward and Underhill brands are in decline but because of the long standing nature of Liberal loyalty in this ward and the shock defeat last time they will be working hard to keep this seat. Without having enough data yet to run my guestimometer I predict a Liberal win but its going to be close.
In respect to how I am likely to vote? It’s likely to be none of the above but there’s a long way to go yet. Labour has so failed my generation but the others locally have been a big disappointment. I wonder if a well known local Independent candidate might do well?