A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

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Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Telegraph, Financial Times & VoteSmart say Vote Lib Dem in Harborough

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

1430418162More good news this week for Lib Dem Zuffar Haq‘s election campaign in Harborough, Oadby and Wigston. The Liberal Democrats are already ahead in winning local elections since 2010, with 33 councillors to the Tories’ 17. They have been further boosted by the  news that on 7th May, the Lib Dems will have more local election candidates than any other party in the constituency.

Zuffar’s campaign now has the backing of both The Telegraph and The Financial Times no less.  The Telegraph’s tactical voter guide says voters who want David Cameron “to lose the election” should back the Liberal Democrats in Harborough, Oadby and Wigston.

Harborough 2010b

The result last time in our area (Harborough)

Yesterday’s Financial Times said that in areas like ours where the Lib Dems are the main challenger, “we would vote tactically for them.

The paper also states,”The country would benefit from … Lib Dem moderation at Westminster,” and “Only Nick Clegg … has occupied the centre ground. He has argued persuasively that the Lib Dems contributed to sensible fiscal consolidation and tempered the wilder Tory impulses, particularly on Europe.
Finally, VoteSmart, an independent campaign with the aim, “to increase the success of left-of-centre parties” at the election also encourages people here to vote for Lib Dem Zuffar Haq as the best way to beat the Tories.

telegraph tactical voter

The Daily Telegraph backs the Lib Dems for voters in Harborough who don’t want a Tory majority

votesmart recommendation

The Independent VoteSmart campaign backs the local Lib Dem candidate

The Tories – Surprisingly Irresponsible

Friday, May 1st, 2015

money notesThe Conservatives. Supposedly careful with tax-payers’ money. To the point of driving through policies to remove benefits from the genuinely disabled, cut the armed forces and put up VAT to reduce the deficit.

However, during this election campaign they have made a whole series of uncosted spending promises. These are based on ideology rather pragmatic control of spending. Had other parties done the same, the right-wing press would have torn into them.

It really does call into question their priorities and ability to think in the longer term. The “costly” policies that stand out are:

  • Inheritance tax cut –  this would cost £1 billion;
  • Selling Lloyds shares cheap to small investors – The Financial times says the cost to the taxpayer of, “..the giveaway … would depend on the size of the discount and the Lloyds share price at the point of the privatisation.”;
  • Discounted Right to Buy for Housing Association tenants. Offering these houses at a knock-down price is estimated to cost £5.8 billion.

Given there is still a large deficit in government spending and the Tories want £billions of spending cuts, the above policies are irresponsible to say the least.

 

Labour out of the race in Harborough, Oadby & Wigston

Saturday, April 18th, 2015
Harborough, Oadby & Wigston Local Election Candidates 7th May 2015
Harborough, Oadby & Wigston Local Election Candidates 7th May 2015

If the numbers of local election candidates are anything to go by then my local Harborough constituency looks like being a race again between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories.

Labour missing from over half local elections

Labour start from a position of zero councillors in Harborough (which includes Oadby and Wigston). They only have candidates for under half of the 45 local council seats. Labour have finished 3rd here behind the Tories and Lib Dems at every general election since 1979. In 2010 they got just 12% of the vote in Harborough. Under first past the post, voting Labour here will simply hand another win to the Tories.

Record low number of Conservative candidates

The Conservatives  are also in poor shape locally. The Tories have sunk to a record low of just 15 candidates in Oadby and Wigston. At the last Borough elections in 2011 they were reduced to just 4 councillors. Since then in-fighting and splits have seen that number fall to just 2.
horses

A Two-Horse Race

Local Councillors in Harborough, Oadby & Wigston April 2015

Local Councillors in Harborough, Oadby & Wigston April 2015

So in Harborough the Liberal Democrats will once again be the best chance to unseat the Conservative MP. The Lib Dems have a strong local government base, holding 33 of the 53 council seats in the constituency.

In the local elections the Lib Dems have 38 candidates to the Tories 30. This is more than any other party and includes a full slate in Oadby and Wigston Borough and Market Harborough.

Few UKIP and Green candidates

Given their national media coverage, both UKIP and the Greens have surprisingly weak numbers of candidates locally.

Over the whole constituency there are just 4 UKIP and 7 Greens standing. With this showing, it is probable that neither can provide a realistic challenge in Harborough, Oadby and Wigston on the 7th of May.