Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Whickham South byelection update

The Conservatives have put out a leaflet. This is the first time in 16 years a leaflet from the Tories has been delivered in my ward for a local election. I don't think it heralds a new dawn for them in Whickham South and Sunniside, despite their second place in the local elections two months ago. They were 50% behind us however even though this used to be a Conservative ward. Part of this comes down to the appalling performance of Labour, but part of it was a greater willingness of Conservative voters to turn out to vote. I actually felt sorry for the Labour candidate in May. I spoke to her at the count and found her quite pleasant and committed. But she was there to fly the flag for Labour after the rather ridiculous activities of one of their members in the ward in previous months (all explained elsewhere on this blog). By the way, the Tory candidate for my ward in May is the same person standing in the byelection and he did not bother turning up for the count.

The fact this is a byelection gives the Conservatives the chance to get a leaflet out but they will need more than that if they are ever to make a return to the Council in Gateshead. Still, we are not complacent.

One other issue is the postal votes. In a ward of 7000 voters, 2200 have postal votes. I reckon the majority of votes cast in this by-election will be from postal voters. We have learnt today that the day of delivery has slipped again. They will now arrive tomorrow. Previously they were expected to arrive today (Tuesday) and before that, they were due to arrive on Monday. It's not as bad as 2004 however when the postal voting system came near to collapse. The votes came out a week late - and since it was an all postal vote election, the lateness was a serious concern.

This time I am not overly worried. It means our second letter to postal voters has been delivered before the postal votes arrive. We are still however waiting for an election leaflet from Labour. All we have had so far is a dull letter to postal voters which would be better used as a cure for insomnia. You would almost think from Labour's lack of activity that they want to come a poor third, well behind the Conservatives.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The last time I had a Conservative leaflet through my door in a council election was in 1988, the year Alan Ord was elected.

Lynne and Brian Kelly