I am ready to make a prediction about the outcome of the elections to be held on May 7th. Here it is: there will be a record turnout. In fact, according to what candidates of all parties are saying on twitter, if they are all to be believed (and why shouldn’t they?) turnout will be 137%. Everyone (bar one) keeps going on about what a ‘great reception’ they are having on the doorstep.
What is absolutely amazing are the number of people who are, apparently, switching from Labour to Green, UKIP to Tory, Tory to Labour, Green to Tory, Labour to UKIP, UKIP to UKIP, Green to Labour. And so it goes on. Everyone who Labour speaks to hates the others, while every who the Tories speak to hates the others, and everyone the Greens speak to …. you get the picture.
At this rate we will end up with a hung Council of 32 Tories, 32 Labour, and …. wait for it …. 32 Greens on a Council with just 54 members.
But spare a thought for poor old Graham Cox. On 15th February he tweeted “Why is it I am the only candidate on twitter who does not get a #greatreception every time I go out canvassing?”.
Methinks, perhaps, his experience, is more common that most will admit to. It isn’t particularly helpful for party morale if someone was to tweet: “Had a terrible reception on the doorstep. Everyone hates the lot of us”.
The truth is, there will be some who like one party but not another. Some respect those putting themselves forward for election, others (the more ignorant) who say “they’re all the same” (they certainly are not). There will be others who are indifferent.
As an observer from the side lines, I have the utmost respect for anyone who is willing to stand for election. In the distant past I had experience of being a candidate, and while I never claimed to have had a universal #greatreception, it was never universally awful.
Good luck to all candidates. Enjoy the campaign, and commiserations to all those who go on to win and have to carry the burden of holding public office for the next four or five years. It won’t be easy.