Monday, April 28, 2008

Some people just don't get it!

alright my son?
Over the weekend I bumped into one of the handful of Independent candidates who is standing in the Southampton City council elections. Unlike some areas - such as parts of Winchester being about closest locally, Southampton has had no tradition of electing independents in recent times. That didn't stop the candidate being convinced and I mean convinced that they were going to win. I didn't have the heart to tell them I thought they would probably come fourth- or worse!
I will spare their modesty in not naming them, after all there is much truth in the adage that you should always be nice to people on the way up, you may need them on the way down!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brown Wednesday

"Do you have any idea what a pathetic figure you cut today?"
David Cameron to Gordon Brown

Rarely these days do I blog about national politics- there are many more eloquent, better informed bloggers than I offering commentary on British politics. However, Brown's latest u turn is extraordinary and must surely have implications for next weeks local elections. When canvassing over the weekend, electors on the doorstep rarely talked to me about the abolition of the 10p tax rate. However today all that changed with Brown's u-turn today- this evening almost everyone with almost any political views at all seemed to mention it.
His climbdown today and his assertion that he hadn't been pushed around by his MPs when he clearly had will do nothing to reduce his reputation for dithering and drift. Over the weekend, fresh from the relative success of his US visit, Brown experinced something of a bounce. Can't imagine that is going to continue...
We are also now amazingly close to the local elections next Thursday. Postal votes have now been issued in the city. The question is, is time running out for Labour in Southampton?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Election Talk

The above image is reproduced from Conservative Home who themselves were commenting on a poll for The Sunday Times.
It seems things are getting worse for Labour and the Lib-Dems are just treading water. However I would not write off Labour's chances in Southampton. They have outperformed their party nationally in Southampton consistently over the last 10 years and despite the 2004 elections being good for the Tories nationally,which was when these seats were last contested, as the results show, Labour piled up its majorities in parts of the city.
The Conservatives need to hold every seat they have got and win 6 more to be in office for a year (as they will hold the Mayor's casting vote) and 7 seats for the coming two years (when they will not). That is a big ask- personally I don't think we will do it.
That said, times are a changing. The Lib-Lab pact is far from universally popular, the Tories have some good, vote winning policies such as the pensioner discount and recruitment of more Special Constables while pegging council tax at inflation. Labour and the Lib-Dems seem determined to go out of their way to upset people with schemes like the weekly alternate bin collection and plans to introduce parking charges for residents.
It is all to play for and of course now with the Lib-lab pact, the only alternative if you want a change of administration is to vote Conservative!