Between now and May 3rd, I won't be making any rash predictions about the outcome of the local elections.
This will probably come as a relief to colleagues, as every time local polls approach I become increasingly gloomy about our chances, whatever the circumstances. Come polling day, I can make Cassandra look like a fun-lovin' party girl..
This is by way of an introduction by a bombastic post on the Darlington Future website by the curiously-named "Election Atcher" (I guess he's a bit of a Tory Anker). Anyway Mr Atcher regards Harrowgate Hill, Pierremont and Cockerton East as wards where Labour really should be waving the white flag, apparently. We'll see, we'll see.
The funniest part of the post (albeit unintentionally) is his observation that in Haughton East, the Lib Dems are "way ahead in polling returns". It is a truism of modern British politics that the FibDems are always in a strong position, at least as far as the alternate universe that is the Focus leaflet is concerned. I think voters in Haughton East have already been treated to the LibDem "it's a two-horse race" story (with the ancient graphics above). No doubt Tory voters will soon be assailed with the news that "only the LibDems can win here".
When they then finish miles behind, LibDems hope that voters will forget this bit of naked political chicanery. Unfortunately for them, you can't fool all of the people all of the time.