Labour and Tories go head to head as County Elections kick off

SCC candidates 2013The most interesting Somerset County Council election in years will take place on May 2nd. For the first time the two traditional enemies, Tory and Lib Dem, who have batted control of the council backwards and forwards between them, are now in grim coalition at Westminster and both guilty of a massive and painful programme of cuts across the country. With little to choose between them voters are looking to Labour to provide an alternative.

Labour rises to the challenge

labour logoFor the first time ever Labour are standing in all 55 county seats, matching the Tories person for person. Wherever a Conservative stands a Labour candidate is there to offer that genuine difference that people no longer belief the compromised and ineffectual Lib Dems can offer. Nick Cleggs sad and dispirited party can only field a slate of 52 candidates across a county which they once controlled.

Conservatives facing big losses

con logoThe Conservative party currently controls the County Council and has been reflecting the devastating cuts from the Westminster coalition here in it’s provincial heartland and as a consequence poll ratings are dropping and they’re bound to lose seats. Standing in 55 of the 55 seats they could see the demise of some big names. In the Bridgwater area , where Labour is traditionally strong, there are several Tory bigwigs just waiting to be scalped and in traditional Labour areas from Shepton Mallet to Highbridge , Tory candidates are nervously awaiting the decision of the hard pressed voters.

Lib Dems relegated to the sidelines

lib dem logoThe Liberal Democrats can only manage 52 candidates this time round and it’s no surprise as their membership ebbs away alongside their popularity after letting down the voters that turned to them at the last election with their lies on Tuition fees and failures to bring about changes Nationally apart from helping a minority Tory party back into Government to wreak havoc. The Lib Dems will be sorely tested this time round in a county where they have 4 out of 5 MPs and a recent history of influence in Local Government. Who can trust them now though?

UKIP-offering an even more right wing Tory option

ukip logoBoosted by media successes and anti-European scare mongering, the far right conservative UNITED KINGDOM INDEPENDENCE PARTY are fielding a larger than ever slate of candidates. 48 Ukippers are standing for the County Council election and could seriously dent the conservative vote. Currently with no councillors at all and a vaguely improbable history of media starburst and disintegration from chat show host Kilroy to the banker Farage, UKIP will certainly put the cat amongst the Tory pigeons.

Strongest ever Green presence

green party logoWith 33 candidates the Green Party are making a bid for influence across the county which could eat into disillusioned Lib Dem protest votes as they make the case for an alternative environmental agenda. Starting from a zero council base , Somersets Greens are ambitiously taking advantage of what is becoming the most evenly balanced election contest ever in Somerset.

Independents – better the devil you don’t know?

independent logo5 candidates are standing under the category ‘ Independent’ – united by nothing more than they’re ‘none of the above’. Whilst independents can be seen to offer the chance of a simple protest vote , they’re not always everyone’s cup of tea as, by virtue of their lack of agenda, they’re unpredictable when it comes to voting and representing people. Ranging from community activists such as Mike Rigby in Lydeard to disillusioned former Tories like Bob Cudlipp in King Alfred they also play wild cards such as Purple Watkins in Highbridge, who, basically is called Purple and has a variety of purple accoutrements-hair, clothes,car. Hopefully people won’t confuse his sensible purple related issues with the more extremist views of the equally purple UKIP….

English Democrats-putting Somerset in the firing line

eng dem logoJust one heads up from the Far Right this time (if you exclude UKIP) and that’s the lone English Democrat candidate in Ilminster. It’s hard to know where the collapsed BNP vote will go this time round as they’re not standing anywhere, but all the parties on the extreme right are possible repositories and those that don’t go to UKIP after their anti-migrant Nationalistic posturing will presumably go to groups like the English Democrats whose one elected Mayor (in Doncaster) warned of BNP infiltration into the party recently.

On May the 2nd Somerset people will have the final say and this time round it’s closer than ever


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murray shepstone
murray shepstone
11 years ago

Update on Coker division candidates
Audrey Spencer UKIP candidate died after validated nomination was logged on 27th March, my understanding is that if there is more than one candidate after withdraw date (Wednesday 10th) and there will be, the election may have to be rerun within 35 days of 2nd May. I am waiting the County returning Officer for more detail.

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