A West Leigh musing
December 11, 2013 2 Comments
It appears that the choice facing West Leigh voters in January is one of Bailey, Callaghan, Norman or Phillips; Liberal Democrat, UKIP, Labour or Conservative. As I write I know of no other candidates.
Council by-elections are not normally known for high voter engagement, one in mid-winter will surely test the resolve of even the most civic-minded of West Leigh residents. West Leigh Conservatives must be pretty confident that their normally robust support in this ward will do their bit for the blue cause, because they did nothing to alter the timing of this by-election.
The turnout figure will be interesting. West Leigh (with Thorpe) usually sees the highest turnout of the seventeen borough wards in all types of election. I expect the turnout on January 23rd will be some way short of what is usually seen in this neck of the wood, and this prospect offers up all sorts of possibilities. The winner candidate will be the one with the best on-the-ground operation, with activists prepared for a foreshortened festive period. This seat may have blue written all over it at the moment, but there is a lot at stake here – enough to encourage the chasing pack to work that bit harder.
I am a bit puzzled at the seeming absence of an Independent Group candidate. A standalone election means that there should be no problem finding someone to stand, which leads one with the thought that this must be a tactical decision.