Local elections. Do the candidates even care?

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  • Local elections. Do the candidates even care?
  • Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    Our incumbent councillor has been pushing the boat out with a 3 month PR campaign starting with questionnaires and status reports and lots of sincere photos (with no mention of party affiliation) then with one week to go, lots of LibDem diamond placards in front lawns. Methinks he wants to take on the sitting Conservative MP next time round. Good luck with that one, fella!

    Havent heard a peep from his competition though.

    wrightyson
    Member

    Not a single leaflet, flyer, or knock on the door. I have no idea who or what their “life changing” policies are. Is there any wonder people don’t turn out to vote?

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    Leafleting and canvassing is a dreary, tedious, and thankless task, which is carried out by loyal party members.

    Under Tony Blair’s leadership Labour Party membership collapsed to the lowest level since the party was founded over a 100 years ago. Nick Clegg’s historical betrayal of Liberal Democrat values has likewise had a devastating impact on party membership.

    The people who are leaving these parties tend to be the activists who get off their arses, those who stay behind tend to be the armchair activists who do little or more likely nothing at all.

    And no one seems to be rushing to join the Tory Party either, in fact Tory membership has slumped under Cameron’s leadership.

    It seems that the triumph of neoliberal politics in all three major parties has translated into complete apathy and a lack of inspirational motivation, which unsurprisingly doesn’t lead to canvassers knocking on your door or delivering leaflets.

    Perhaps you could join a party and offer to help next election wrightyson ? 💡

    grum
    Member

    Had a Labour guy come round yesterday. I explained that I was a traditional Labour supporter, but that since New Labour they were just ‘conservative lite’ and I would be voting Green.

    He then made what was to my mind a fairly desperate appeal to vote Labour anyway to ‘get the Tories out of County Hall’.

    pjm84
    Member

    No polling card for us so unable to vote…..

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Had more leaflets this time than ever before, mainly from our incumbent Libdem candidate seeking re-election.

    Premier Icon Esme
    Subscriber

    I’m a candidate, and I care.

    Campaigning is now quite a sophisticated process, using information on a resident’s voting history (whether they actually vote) and on voting preferences (if supplied by the resident).

    Whilst I have previously contacted all residents, at this stage I am only interested in identified supporters who will vote in person. Postal votes are already in, so there’s no point in contacting them today.

    It would be good to do more, but resources are limited. Anyway, must get back to campaigning. Wish me luck!

    Premier Icon Esme
    Subscriber

    pjm84, is there an election in your area? If so, you don’t need a polling card to vote. Just tell them your address. Might be safer to take some ID with you, but it’s not essential.

    pjm84
    Member

    Just spent 10 minutes trying to find out and have come to the conclusion that there is not an election in Southampton. Hence no card……Doh.

    Trimix
    Member

    Dont forget that if you live in an area thats got a massive majority for one party its pointless wasting time if you have no chance.

    Esme – how do you know who to be interested in ? Do you just try to ensure those who have made their support known to you come out to vote for you. If so, does that mean all candidates are just chasing those who are currently interested.

    That sounds a bit like the local vicar preaching to an ever diminishing church going audience while the vast majority are out shopping or in the pub.

    Oh, any promises for cycling in your area ?

    Ive often thought a candidate has a thankless task – good luck.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I told the local labour candidate I’d be voting Libdem, so they’d be wasting money to put any leaflets through my door….

    PTR
    Member

    We had a UKIP leaflet the other day, promising an influx of 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians. Seeing as the population of Bulgaria is just over 7 million, and Romania about 21.5 million, you have to question UKIPs ability to add, not good for the economy, and I’m waiting to see the complete emptying of two counties, it must be the biggest event since Moses led every last Isrealite out of Egypt.

    stumpy01
    Member

    We’ve had two leaflets thrust through the door.

    One pretty much says “VOTE ME”

    The other says “VOTE ME, BECAUSE THE OTHER’S TOLD PORKIES”

    Neither have any real info on them for me to make an informed decision. Not really sure how I will vote.

    Trimix
    Member

    In the past Ive had some leaflets – none of them gave me any confidence that the candidates would be capable of running a bath, let alone a budget or council or country.

    None of them touched on real problems or provided real answers, just sound bite snippets that could have been from the Daily Mail.

    None of them provided sound argument for their poorly thought out ideas.

    If any of them had been presenting a business plan to investors they would have been laughed out in seconds. Its a same they dont see voters the same way.

    soobalias
    Member

    three pieces of literature
    1 UKIP – single claim that they are the only party opposed to HS2
    2 Tory – various statements, firstly being local campaign against HS2
    3 Independent, also opposes HS2, with a variety of other statements.

    There are candidates for Labour and Lib Dem but to be fair they would be wasting time and money campaigning round here
    The UKIP guy lives 20miles away, I will consider it a win if i have persuaded my wife and stepson not to vote for him.

    *can you tell i live near HS2

    grum
    Member

    I see the Sun are not backing any of the ‘big four’ and suggesting people vote on the merits of their local candidates.

    They seem to be including UKIP on their ‘big four’ though. Not sure how they’ve worked that one out – they don’t even have a single MP.

    We seem to have had a skip full of stuff through the doors over the past few weeks. The vast majority of it from the LibDems and Conservatives. 1 leaflet from the Labour guy (probably wise as historically they have not done very well in this area – 4th last time round). Both sets of leaflets generally seem to say “what great people we are” and “This is what we have done” followed by “this is what the others wanted to do and we disagreed”. Very little about what the real plans are for the future nor any reasoning behind some of the decisions made over the past few years. And this is really the first bomb drop of information since the last elections. Underwhelmed and undecided at the moment.

    soobalias
    Member

    edited, now out of context

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    I got one bit from the Consv. incumbent and that was it. He looks particularly well fed and appear to spend his time standing in front of things, alone, in inclement weather. Sometimes things he approves of, Libraries, Buses, sometimes things he does not, Windmills. His facial expression seem to correlate more with his feeling of having to stand outside in weather, than his apparent passionate approval or disapproval of whatever he’s stood in front of, Recycling Centre (or more accurately its signage), Local People, Babies etc. If I had the time or enthusiasm I could have had endless fun photoshopping in front of other things he could approve/disapprove of.

    Barrack Obama
    The North Korean Military
    A Giant Mutant Lizard trashing downtown Manhattan.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    no elections near us but a couple of weeks ago the local labour councillor and her posse were out coming door to door asking what we wanted doing in our area, in the end we agreed it best that i just email everything, to be fair it was answered pretty well and i even saw the police coming round checking tax discs the other day- one of my gripes!

    Trimix
    Member

    The current way elections work and the state of the media means we will continue to get poor candidates chasing headline grabbing sound bites.

    The system is never going to work so we get competent people doing well planned thought out things in an efficent way voted for by educated and motivate people.

    All you get are desperate nutters chasing noisy nutters encouraged by the media desperate to sell papers.

    I wish all the effort and energy was spent in a better way. The system is broken and will just continue to produce the same mess.

    The simplest way to start to fix it would be to require a majority turnout and allow you to vote for none of the above. Then if the majority didnt vote in a majority for one person the election is void and run again next year.

    ebygomm
    Member

    I was surprised to learn that unlike in district council elections, county councillors don’t have to live within a certain distance of the area they are looking to represent. The Conservatives have had to draft in candidates from some distance away. I was hoping one might come to the door so I could challenge them on this…

    julianwilson
    Member

    We get plenty of entertaining leaflets through the door for coucil elections, however our parliamentary seat is so safe that even a gibbon with the correct colour rosette would get in with a majority in the tens of thousands, so no leaflets at all from the incumbent MP/party for the last 2 general elections. 😕

    instant hit
    Member

    I had some dross from UKIP shoved through the door, same leaflet as described by others. But in the 10 years i have lived in current address we have only had one MP knock on our door and he was the Labour MP who is quite sound and does something for the community.
    Although my next door neighbour is standing for UKIP for the second time in 4 years, he gave up last time as he said they were all corrupt once they got into power. However his oh so very “slight” leanings to the right are quite scary when you start having a more in depth conversation and although we havent discussed it fully (as ive been clear on my position) i think he’s quite homophobic and rascist.
    I have to vote so people like him dont get in, not because i actually want or agree with another party.
    Agree the system is broken.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    I didn’t know there were any elections until the postal forms turned up. I just picked the one who lived closest on the assumption that would get most done that impacted me. No other information to base a decission on at all.

    Trimix
    Member

    Its quite sad, we all know the system is broken. The campaigners also know it, but wont change it because its their job.

    My mate is working for the council at one of the village halls where your supposed to vote. So far no one has turned up. She is currently sunbathing on the village green.

    I did hear on the radio this morning the turnout is expected to be 3 out of 10. I struggle to see how that counts a democratic.

    stumpy01
    Member

    ebygomm – Member
    I was surprised to learn that unlike in district council elections, county councillors don’t have to live within a certain distance of the area they are looking to represent.

    I think one of the leaflets we had did make mention of the fact he was the only local councillor so will stand up for local issues. I would prefer to vote for someone who at least has an inkling of what is going on in the locality, I suppose!

    willard
    Member

    No visits that I can remember. There might have been some promotional guff from one of the candidates (maybe) , but I tend to put that sort of thing in the same pile as the ‘flier delivery people wanted’ and local takeout menus, so probably have not read it.

    But, as my area is a pretty staunch conservative one, it’s pretty pointless. I try and vote for people that are local to me so that I can either meet them, or at least stand a chance of seeing them, in the village that they are planning to represent. Round here, most of the policies are the same for the big three, although UKIP is getting what appears to be a following.

    There are times I consider standing as an independent on a common sense ticket, but I suspect that I would lose the deposit.

    Premier Icon Esme
    Subscriber

    Some interesting comments, and I’ll read more thoroughly tomorrow.

    CharlieMungus, you have called me a “waste of space” and a “lazy shit” for not bothering with postal voters today. Please explain what you think would be achieved by me knocking on their doors today (ie election day)? 😕

    There’s another 364 days in the year to speak to other residents, even those who don’t vote, or vote for other parties.

    Anyway, off out again . . .

    grum
    Member

    FWIW I reported CharlieMungus’ post (think that might be the first time I’ve ever done that) for being abusive. Completely uncalled for.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Completely uncalled for.

    +1 Very childish.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Our incumbent councillor has been pushing the boat out with a 3 month PR campaign starting with questionnaires and status reports and lots of sincere photos (with no mention of party affiliation) then with one week to go, lots of LibDem diamond placards in front lawns. Methinks he wants to take on the sitting Conservative MP next time round. Good luck with that one, fella!

    If I’m not mistaken you’re in the same division as me, in which case I’m on first name terms with Tom! To be fair he is also my district councillor and a lot more local to me – his county council division appears to be huge looking at where the polling stations are. I’m assuming nothing other than Lib Dem placards down there either (I’d have been surprised to see anything else here).

    Am I allowed to do political canvassing on here? If so he is a very good constituency councillor in my experience, getting stuff done and listening to the local issues. Unlike the other silent candidates he does actually also live in the division (quite a feat to find 4 other candidates who don’t live in it given the size). Go on, Stoner you know you want to. Doesn’t he have a nice smiley face?

    As for taking on Harriet, he stood for MP in the previous election and apparently no longer has any ambitions in that direction (I’m disappointed he didn’t stand last time when he might have stood a chance, rather than the idiot with the dirty campaign the Lib Dems did put up). So I’m fairly sure your speculation is wrong. The campaign is probably just down to him seeing the way the political wind is blowing and being a bit worried as a Lib Dem – I had an e-mail from him (to a group not me personally) which suggested he was concerned. I have to admit, having seen the size of the constituency I’m not so sure he will get back in, as you lot out there in the sticks clearly don’t know enough about him to appreciate he does do a good job.

    boxfish
    Member

    We only had bumph from the Greens & Independents in Bristol. Seems like the big three couldn’t be bothered.

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Subscriber

    There! Exactly why people are so cynical about politicians.
    I don’t vote because not one of these buggers has bothered their arse to make any effort in their community. If you did, i would vote, because it would look like you gave a shit and didn’t take us for granted.

    And just because the postal votes have gone, you think you don’t need to bother about those constituents?

    **** abysmal. Waste of space, you lazy shit.

    Well said Charlie Mungus. You seem to have mirrored my thoughts perfectly.

    at this stage I am only interested in identified supporters who will vote in person.

    This is the damning quote Esme. I reckon you should be interested all your constituents, at every stage.

    You ask what you will achieve?

    Maybe start by asking what you want to achieve for your constituents.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    And just because the postal votes have gone, you think you don’t need to bother about those constituents?

    Did you not see this bit:

    at this stage I am only interested in identified supporters who will vote in person

    Quite clearly, if the focus of the day is persuding people to vote for you, what’s the point of working on people who’ve already voted? I doubt any councillor or politician at any level is going to be thinking about long-term policies on election day. They can get back to that afterwards.

    I’ve voted.
    It seems the local council round here do care, and do make an effort, so I’m keen to use my vote.

    Also, 1 vote for anyone who isn’t UKIP is a good thing.

    Completely uncalled for.
    +1 Very childish.

    Uncalled for and childish?

    Tell me, is it too much to expect that some standing for election has an interest in people beyond their own supporters who have yet to vote?

    Is it too much to expect that a politician should try to engage people in the political process, regardless of their stripes, especially at key moments in the political calendar.

    What is childish? My frustration with the complancency of politicians? My anger that they appear to be self serving?

    Had several leaflets from LibDems and one from Con.

    In fact the LibDem candidate went round knocking on doors. Knocked on mine and asked if I’d received his leaflet. I said no. Followed up next day with a leaflet through my door.

    Premier Icon Esme
    Subscriber

    You are deliberately misrepresenting what I say, CM. Tomorrow, if I am unlucky lucky enough to be elected, then yes I will be interested in everyone. That includes my own supporters, supporters of other parties, non-voters – and even people who are rude to me.

    But I am talking about TODAY, 2 May, Election Day. What is the point of using my limited time to talk to people who posted their vote LAST WEEK? Or people who have already said they’ll be voting for other candidates, or not voting at all?

    This is my fourth election, and I was merely trying to explain a bit about the dark arts of election campaigning 😐

    phil.w
    Member

    Campaigning is now quite a sophisticated process, using information on a resident’s voting history (whether they actually vote) and on voting preferences (if supplied by the resident).

    It’s a shame campaigning couldn’t be more about policies and what you would do for the community, rather than targeted vote winning.

    EDIT: and I think there may have been a misunderstanding by other posters, when you said “I am only interested in identified supporters” it did seem like you meant throughout the campaign not just on polling day.

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