This years I have been involved in the local elections in two different council areas.Â Probably not to the extent I should have been but that is another story.Â The mood is good in both Horsham and Crawley Labour parties, with a really good team spirit in both areas.Â Whatever the results, the party will be in better shape.
While out canvassing in Crawley some of my colleagues commented on how the atmosphere was more like that for a general election than for locals, certainly the activity is impressive.Â Â Only one casualty that I know of, when one of our councillors got her finger bitten by a dog on Saturday.Â Â Morale was boosted a bit by seeing the Tory literature which still contains the web address of a German porn site on it.
The Register had the story back in January, and it subsequently appeared as a prominent story in the County Times, but the local Tories appear oblivious to all that and continue putting that URL on their leaflets,Â Or maybe they just like German porn?
Over in Horsham it is the Lib Dems producing the leaflets worthy of comment.Â In Park ward they have one of their famous bar charts (surely the biggest argument for AV is that in killing off tactical voting the dreaded Lib Dem bar charts will be collateral damage) which show the Lib Dems just a few percentage points behind the Tories.Â The thing is… Park ward has three Lib Dem councillors as far as I know. How they managed to get councillors with a lower share of the vote under any system is a mystery…
Unlike Crawley, which elects by thirds and therefore has an election of some sort every year, Horsham council has all-out elections so this is the only chance for four years to make any change to the council make-up and they are going for it over there, which is good to see.Â Â Labour is putting up candidates in most wards and even has a full slate of three in one ward.
With a large area to cover, low membership, low funds and not much chance of success there has not always been a lot of effort in Horsham but they are really doing as much as they can with their resources.Â The funds raised by the quiz night have been put to good use.Â The election addresses in the wards they are putting more effort into are a lot better than the one I had for the general election last year, which was the best we could afford at the time, and they are actually knocking on doors and doing proper canvassing, which is good to see.
Obviously they are making use of all the new members gained since this time last year, and in a way that should keep them involved and maybe attract even more people to the party.Â If Labour win even one seat in Horsham, or even come a respectable second anywhere it will be an historic result and good luck to them.
Over here I’m hoping we will hold on to what we have and pick up a few extra seats.Â We have some candidates who will greatly enhance the Labour group and the council itself if they get elected.Â Â I’m not singling anybody out, but they know who they are.
The referendum looks like being a bit of a non-event though.Â Only one person I spoke to in all canvassing sessions mentioned it.