Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Nominations for May 3rd

The nominations for May's elections have now been published.

Firstly, the good news is that Labour is already 2 seats up - in Eastbourne and Park East where in both wards there are only 2 opposition candidates.

Secondly, the list underlines the continuing decline of the Tories in Darlington. In 2003 they stood 47 candidates for the 53 seats - today only 40 candidates were announced. In several previous Tory target urban wards, the Conservatives have been reduced to standing candidates with exotic rural addresses - 2 of the Cockerton East candidates live in Summerhouse and Dalton-on-Tees, for example. In contrast, the LibDems have 26 candidates (14 last time). As I blogged yesterday, Labour is standing a full slate again.

The news the Echo I hope won't centre on are the 8 BNP candidates (in Pierremont, Cockerton West, Cockerton East, Harrowgate Hill, North Road, Lingfield, Bank Top and Northgate) although this is a similar number to the 6 who stood last time. All 3 main parties I'm sure will take a robust line against the filth these characters peddle in their leaflets and on the doorstep.

Otherwise there are 2 Greens and 3 independents - in MSG (Bill Maybrey), Hurworth (Peter Foster) and Eric Thompson (Heighington and Whessoe). All 3 have been councillors before, and should prove stiff opposition for the sitting Tories there. The single UKIP candidate in Mowden (who lives in the ward) may also give the Conservatives a few sleepless nights.

You can read the full list here.


ian holme said...

agree completely with your comments re the BNP.

Unfortunatley i do believe they will get a significant vote in some areas and to be honest, that vote will usually come from wards that would be traditionally thought of as labour strongholds.

Intersting that despite "New Tory" under Cameron, their ability to draw upon active support appears to be in decline.

Whatever, the outcome, think these local elections will followed with much greater interest right across the borough than ever before.

So I Suppose the real campaign starts here....

Now, lets have good clean fight, no punching below the belt (mr dixon).....seconds out...round one

Darlington Councillor said...

I'm sure you're right Ian that potentially there is far greater interest across the Borough in the result of the forthcoming elections, although there seems to be something of a "phoney war" at the moment. That has to change between now and May 3rd.

The decline of the Tories in Darlington is mirrored across the North East - whilst in local elections and by-elections the Conservatives have been doing very well in the South East and East Midlands, for example, there has been no corresponding "Cameron effect" here in the North East. I think the Tories evident problem finding candidates (I've heard reports from two Labour-held wards of senior Tories frantically scurrying round on Sunday trying to scramble together enough signatures for valid nominations).

As for the BNP, no-one can be complacent, although I take comfort from the fact that fascists here in Darlington are poorly-led and organised, and there has been little if any leafletting prior to these elections by the BNP.

As for a good, clean fight - well, yes, but it won't only be the Tories and the LibDems who are on the offensive about Labour's record - we will have something to say too in pointing out the risk of voting LibDem or Tory to those who might mistakenly think it's a risk-free vote. The key thing for me is ensuring that debate is limited to policy and doesn't get dragged into personalities. There's no appetite for that.

ian holme said...

re your last para,
i can see whre you are coming from and why you would say it, but i believe certain individuals within your labour group have behaved very badly on specific issues over the last couple of years.
Be it on matters of trust or behaviour, councillors cannot attmept to avoid their record by taking the "personal attack" line.
Whilst not interested in personal denigration, these actions will have helped many to decide where to put their vote.
When a politician acts in a way not appropriate to his position, this should be in the public domain so that the electorate can make up their own minds.
I do not see this as a "personality" issue, more as one of an individuals fitness to hold an elected position.

Darlington Councillor said...


Of course you're right, and residents may well be swayed about what they think, positively or negatively, about a particular individual or individuals.

It is the case however, that generaly the public don't like personal mud-slinging between politicians. The LibDems turned out a very negative leaflet in Haughton East recently attacking Chris McEwan which went down badly with local residents (as I have blogged before).

I'm also not sure that the aggressively hostile language being deployed by the Tories in Pierremont is helping their cause - using words like "despicable" about the Council's actions seems a massive over-reaction to me, and very likely to prove a turn-off to voters.

Anyway, we'll see soon enough!

Ian White, said...

I can only agree with Ian H that a lot of votes lost will be down to personality and past track records, however all party,s had the chance to de-select these people the Tory's did, as I am sure the Labour Party in Darlington know equally well who is their weakest link and should of dropped, but as you say lets see what the voters think after all its for them to decide.

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken aren't at least two of the Independeds just Conservative cast off's desperate to keep their allowance?
What I am asking myself is if they could not produce the results with a major party backing them so much so that the party de-selected them, why would they be able succeed on their own?
Especially one of them who when published on the front page of the Northern Echo said being a Cllr. was a waste of time!

Darlington Councillor said...

Well, I guess Peter can speak for himself on the matter of his candidacy and the comments he made to the Echo (another section of which riled me for a different reason, but we'll let that pass).

I might be a million miles wrong, but I wonder whether one of the factors that has caused Peter to stand is that his time to be Mayor is fast-approaching - Referendum-willing, of course.

And I think anonymous is well-out regarding Bill Maybrey, who's very well-regarded on our side as an effective performer (and the feud with Doris has kept us entertained for the past year or so).

Anonymous said...

God forbid Foster for Mayor, The petition should of publisised that in Hurworth they would of got the 4000 signatures out here, however a phone call says IF re-elected he will only be deputy Mayor.