Friday, April 27, 2007

From the streets and door steps

Man in a Shed has been pounding the pavement and knocking on doors as part of the local election campaign, and so far the results are encouraging.

As ever, people only slowly change their minds. Here in Woking we are fighting the Lib Dems and hence can't take advantage of the anti_Labour feeling that is likely to wash much of England blue next Thursday.

At the last election we gain 45% of the vote ( Lib Dems 40% ), but due to the distribution of votes in seats and a Conservative councillor being mayor for this year (and hence not political) the administration has been Lib Dem.

Last year things were tough - the fortnightly refuse collection had just been started ( large numbers of bins rolling out almost the day before the election - the Lib Dem view point / predictably enough was there hadn't been proper or the right sort of consultation/pilot [ the usual trying to have things both ways approach so beloved of the "Act wickedly, stir shamelessly!" brigade] ). Also there was a proposal to compost rubbish and use a pyrolysis process to convert some of it. The down side - it has to have a location and we lost both council seats in that ward. At the same time the Lib Dems had helped to prevent Surrey Councils HQ moving to Woking - again with the loss of a car park that they managed to play up ( as ever ). (Hurting the long term future of Woking - but letting the Lib Dems gather a few votes ).

But now that's not possible. They have been making the decisions - like increasing council tax to the highest in Surrey, though it doesn't stop them trying to have things both ways ( for a tremendous bit of Lib Dem double think see this link here ).

The feeling on the doorstep has been more positive for us. People like David Cameron and have time to talk to us. Indeed this year the only bad reaction I had was from a man shouting as he walked away from me "I'm not bloody voting Liberal Democrat" - I had to tactfully explain I wasn't asking him to.

Predictions for Thurs - a better night than last year. Perhaps we will win the council back.

Update: Man in a Shed hasn't even seen a Focus drop through his door this year - those Lib Dems must be saving up for that £2.4 Million they need to repay after not checking its legal status correctly and the electoral commission fine they may receive.

Just noted that UKIP (and some odd party called UKCIP) are running council candidates in Woking. That's hardly going to help.

Further update: ContraTory has a further in depth analysis here. He points out the Lib Dem targeting of the remaining Labour seats on Woking Borough Council. Thats an angle I hadn't thought of - and could be a real problem for us.

(By the way welcome back ContraTory - your back on my blog role..)

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