Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Disappearing Local Candidates

Tony Sharp explains HERE the number of candidates contesting elections in Northamptonshire. Out of 270 seats the LibDems are only contesting 66 (none in Wellingborough) and UKIP only one seat. It would be interesting to see if this is reflected in other areas of the country. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that both the LibDems and Labour are having real difficulty finding candidates in some parts of the country. Maybe it's also happening to the Conservatives in some areas too. Once these elections are over we really need to think very carefully about how we can attract more and better council candidates in future - and this applies to all parties.

NOTE: UKIP has just announced it is fielding 1,000 candidates in the council elections. One of them is my old adversary in North Norfolk, Stuart Agnew... who will probably be elected because the Conservatives haven't put a candidate up against him.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

The candidates are dire but so is the role. Councils made sense in Victorian England but today - I get to vote for one Councillor out of 90 to administer 500.000 people.....

and all the decisions are made in Whitehall.......and I don't want this Council given any powers back.....I don't want a Council for 500.000 people where I vote 3 years out of 4 for some deadbeat pledging things such as planning which only Westminister can do anyway

Anonymous said...

ukip/bnp have a single candidate each in Northants, neither party is putting up anybody in Corby

I think Farage's claims of 1000 candidates should be fact-checked.

Farage claimed that alleged embezzler MEP Tom Wise was suspended from the party whilst under investigation but when his MEPs threatened to walk out, he buckled - Wise is still a member of UKIP and still sits with their group

Journalists should not trust Farage's statements.

Anonymous said...

Would you want to tell your friends you just joined New Labour or the Lib Dems, let alone stand for them!?

Better tell them you caught a contagious disease, at least you'd get the sympathy vote

Anonymous said...

Iain further to my last seems Farage is a liar about the 1000 council candidates... check out this post from a UKIP supporter on Iain Lindley's Vote 2007 blog

"As for 1,000+ candidates, let's wait and see, shall we? It will be close! That claim will definitely be true if we include parish/town councils..."

https://www2.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6214838&postID=6186410512309092459

Parish councils, right. That's not what most commentators think of when they say "council seats" in this election.

Media should check Garage and call him on it if he has been lying. Just one candidate in Northamptonshire suggests he has.

Jackart said...

I was a candidate, but no more. All councillors can do is implement the velvet facist government agenda better than the Labour party, when we should be taking to the hills (metaphorically speaking) over the gerrymandering and political corruption of the central grant.

1001 Saudi nights said...

Up in Wyre borough in Lancs there is one ward that is uncontested (2 seats and 2 tories standing). The Conservatives have put forward a canditdate in every single ward which neither the Libdems or the Labour party have managed. It would appear that conservatism is on the rise again here having won back the Lancaster and Wyre seat from labour in the last general election.By the way Thanks for the mention the other day Iain.

UKIP@HOME said...

Nigel Farage was telling yet more pork pies this morning claiming UKIP had 15 proper Councillors and 50+ Parish Councillors.

UKIP have lost 6 of their Councillors already as Nigel has waved his magic wand and made them vanish as they are either not restanding or standing as Independents. UKIP have less than 10 proper Councillors (mostly defections from other parties)and probably 20 or less Parish Councillors.

The claim to having 50+ Parish Councillors is also a load of pork pies.

I also question the 1000 Candidates claim and believe the figure has been 'bulked' with people standing in Parish Council elections.

UKIP are keeping their exact number of candidates and where they are standng secret - although as more and more Councils publish list of candidates the truth is slowly emerging.

The Daily Pundit said...

The Lib Dems have given up completely in Westhoughton, Bolton, after "intimidation, harassment and bullying" by their rivals."

"The six sitting Lib Dems have decided against seeking re-election after 18 months of bitter rows with the five Labour members and one Independent councillor."

Bolton Evening News, 'Lib Dems pull out of town election'

Anonymous said...

The surprise isn't that there are so few candidates, but that there are so many. There are two big problems - councillors make very few decisions, and they are unpaid. If it weren't seen as a stepping stone to Westminster and if there weren't at least some local service to the community/name recognition attached, I doubt you'd get anybody at all.

Anonymous said...

very unfortunate google ad at the bottom of that post Iain:
"Want Big money for your Story? Why settle for small fry - ring the Sun"

You and google trying to entice some former Iranian captives out of the woodwork?

Anonymous said...

Bring on Direct Democracy and some real powers at local level.

Anonymous said...

Here in Basildon Conservatives and Labour have are contesting all of the 14 wards where there are elections, but the Liberal Democrats are only fielding 9 candidates. Even the BNP managed 11.

BJ said...

In the past few years I've lived both in London, and a rural part of England quite a long way from it. In London, I've dealt (as a taxpayer) with younger, enthusiastic Conservative councillors who do stuff like run their own businesses and seem really keen to make a difference in their community. This contrasts with the rural Tories I dealt with as a journalist, who knew close to fuck all about their brief, were all aged old dinosaurs, and who mostly couldn't care less.

I live in a Tory area so haven't met any Labour councillors in London yet. In ruralshire, most of the Labour councillors were typically a bit younger and in tune with reality, but not much. The Lib Dems, of course, were just pre-occupied with stabbing each other in the back as much as they could, and then jumping into bed with either Labour or the Tories, whichever suits.

Vicky Ford said...

The Labour party are for the first time in recent history fielding a candidate in nearly every seat in South Cambridgeshire - is this a ruse to get their "share of the vote" up?

Anonymous said...

Here in Malvern Hills, there are 38 seats. The Conservatives have a candidate for every seat and, in fact, 5 Conservatives are unopposed.

Across the remaining 33 seats, the Lib Dems are putting up 28 candidates and the Green Party 16. UKIP has 6 (at least 3 of whom are former Tory activists), there are 4 Independent candidates and a solitary BNP chap.

Anonymous said...

Here in Harlow, Labour have been unable to find even a token candidate to stand as the second sacrificial lamb for the Church Langley ward - a Conservative stronghold. Conservatives and Lib Dems each have two candidates nominated for the ward.

However, the Lib Dem candidate list looks like their version of dynasty. I'm surprised that one Lib Dem Councillor's family cat isn't nominated, since four members of her family are - which plugs a lot of holes for the Lib Dems, I suppose.

Spouse and partner teams abound on our council. Why is Harlow's council and so dominated by just a few families?

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Another surprise here in Harlow is that there's no sign among the nominees of the Metric Martyr, Tony Bennett.

Lawyer Tony's claim to fame was that he dedicated his life to the removal of outrage of metric signposts all over the UK.
When he was eventually prosecuted and taken to court for this, Tony deftly extricated himself by proving that the signs were illegal.

He was a UKIP candidate until he and Kilroy Silk defected and formed Gravitas, with Tony as Kilroy Silk's agent. What was all that business about Marks and Sparks mirrors?

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

This is the position in the Socialist Borough of South Tyneside (18 seats up for grabs.)

18 LABOUR
17 CONSERVATIVE
8 LIB DEMS
3 PROGRESSIVE
13 INDEPENDENTS
6 BNP
6 GREEN
1 SOCIALIST

The 13 Independents can be viewed as "the alternative Labour Party (nearly all ex-Labour members)The Progressives are defending three seats, and used to be viewed as quasi Conservative.

Newmania said...

Have no fear for I will be standing again soon and as I am leaving Islington it may be with some hope of success. Three cheers for the embattled Conservatives in Iz thought . We have contested every ward despite not having got as single bod in for decades.

Good Luck Duncan Webster the new leader in continuing the harrying.

Auntie Flo why are you always anonymous and yet signed Auntie Flo?

Dan Hassett said...

Here in Shepway, only the Conservatives are fielding a full slate of 46 candidates. There are 11 Labour and 42 Lib Dems - amazingly they are a candidate short in Dymchurch, which was the first place to return a Liberal locally. On the Town Councils, we have struggled in Folkestone with only 3 Conservative candidates, whilst the Lib Dems have struggled in Hythe. Meanwhile Sandgate Parish Council is already Conservative controlled as there are only 5 non-Tories for 11 seats (and 3 of them are ex Tories who are running as Independents.)

It certainly hasn't been easy finding candidates and I can see why. I'm standing down after 3 years as s Town Councillor, as I've found it very hard to balance working full time with a public life and a private life. I'm getting married later this year, and simply don't have the time to plan a wedding and represent 3000 people. It's also frustrating as a councillor that it takes a ridiculous amount of effort to achieve very little, as there is so little power.

Anonymous said...

The Lib Dem South Norfolk Council candidate in Newton Flotman, Norfolk lives in Hethersett.

She is also off to London in September to attend Gold Smiths. She will be away from the area for at least three years. I bet the Lib Dems didnt mention this point on the door step. No doubt the Conservative candidate Claire Turner will.

blemster said...

Northampton B.N.P. have 4 councillors up for election check out the website,
by the way!! who are UKIP?

NeilFitzgerald said...

In Southampton, a local UKIP activist who starts up a new blog every six months or so has be promclaiming that UKIP have selected councillors for every ward.

They haven't.

He proclaims himself as the PPC for Southampton Itchen but isn't standing for council himself, despite saying he would

It annoys me when UKIP are given press coverage for these statements which on the face of it sound more impressive than they actually are.

UKIP@HOME said...

I have given UKIP Southampton my Pork Pie prize...

http://e-ukip-home.blogspot.com/search/label/Pork%20Pies

Mike Wood said...

One of our candidates in Dudley told me that the Lib Dems are only contesting 14 of the 25 seats up for election there. They seem to be "ducking" most of the Labour-Conservatives marginals.
Conservatives and Labour are both contesting all 25 seats and even UKIP have more candidates than the Lib Dems.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to be careful about drawing an overall picture from the anecdotes that come your way Iain as I suspect that people in all parties are most likely to come across the good news stories for their party / bad news stories for other parties.

For example, there are several good stories about the Liberal Democrats standing more candidates than before, such as in South Holland (four candidates - the first for eight years) and Fydle (up seven this year to seventeen).

PoliticalHackUK said...

Birmingham can 'boast' a full set of Tory, LD, Labour, BNP and Green candidates across all 40 wards. How hard some of them are contested is a different matter. UKIP can find just nine nutters across the city to contest them.