All sorts of Darlington-related polling news to tell you.
Firstly, as you may have seen from my colleague Mike Barker's site, three councillors have been 'evicted' from the "I'm a Councillor get me out of here" event.
It was good to see that lots of Darlington councillors applied to take part (including me) but only 6 could be successful. I understand that the remaining candidates have been inundated with questions and points from schoolchildren from around the Borough, so the initiative has certainly captured the imagination of children and young people. Unfortunately, access to the site as a guest is pretty temperamental.
Interestingly, young people have chosen to send for an early bath the two Tory councillors, fellow blogger Gill Cartwright and Kate Davies from Pierremont. Gill and Kate are two of the most aggressive younger councillors amongst the Tories' 2007 intake, so their rejection may not be good news for the Conservatives' long-term prospects in the town.
It leaves my Labour Cabinet colleagues Jenny Chapman and Chris McEwan up against LibDem Mike Barker. I wouldn't like to call it, but I note that with characteristic political skill, Mike is already lowering expectations over on his blog.
And if that weren't enough, the three main parties are hurriedly gearing up for a by-election in North Road ward, following the disqualification of independent councillor Steve Jones for non-attendance. Like my colleague Mark Burton, I liked Steve, and always found him to be a good ward activist, although (ahem) I did play my part in breaking the news that he had signed the BNP candidates' papers in the ward contest back in 2007.
The two frontrunners, the LibDems and Labour, are both standing candidates who were unsuccessful in Harrowgate Hill last time - Anne-Marie Curry for the LibDems, and seasoned former councillor John Vasey for Labour. I see from the comments on a previous thread that the LibDems are pretty cocky about victory in the seat.
With Labour picking up in the polls, and the LibDems crashing, I wouldn't be so sure. There's also going to be a surprise candidate to mix things up - I can honestly say the very last person I would have thought of as an entrant in the poll, but one who may cause Mike B et al just a few headaches....