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Another way of looking at the picture that Eric Pickles paints is that NuLab are protecting their power base and not wasting money on the seats that they cannot win or retain. He needs to bear in mind that some sort of Faustian pact may have been cooked together with the Lib-Dems. It will still take an inordinate swing, for the Tories to take Labour heartland seats, following the gerrymandering that has gone on with constituencies.

Any indication that there is collusion between NuLab and LDs to stop Cons winning seats ?

I enjoy colluding with Lib Dems to make sure that Labour don't get any seats.

It's all very well for you city slickers, PT. What we desperately need out here in the sticks is a few (any would do!) Labour people to collude with against the Yellow Peril.

"Another way of looking at the picture that Eric Pickles paints is that NuLab are protecting their power base and not wasting money on the seats that they cannot win or retain."

It is generally a sign of decline, if you can't even run candidates in your opponents' stronghold, but have to concentrate on holding your own.

Very good that somebody has counted and found ukip are lying again! I thought it very unlikely they would field 1000 after Iain Dale's post earlier in the week.

I don't buy the argument that Labour are protecting their powerbase. It costs nothing to run a council candidate after all. I think it's a sign that they can't even rely on their members to admit to being Labour now.

As for LB-Lab cullusuion, I think that would be on a seat by seat basis. Certainly the seat I'm working in, It's the LDs going after Labour with the negative campaigning. It just depends what sort of Lib Dems you have.

"Another way of looking at the picture that Eric Pickles paints is that NuLab are protecting their power base and not wasting money on the seats that they cannot win or retain."

Sorry this is rubbish. Labour, as a party, works in the same way that we do, with relatively autonomous constituencies - all of which will try to stand candidates. Remember, candidates at council elections cost nothing - there is no deposit. Whilst there might be a strategic benefit in not putting resources, such as money or workers, into a ward, there is no benefit in not standing a candidate at all. In fact having no candidate is a strategic weakness - allowing your opposition to remove resources and giving the opposition a potential PR boost.

Its clear, at least in my neck of the woods, that Labour is really struggling to find council candidates. For example, in the Forest of Dean, which was a Labour constituency until 2005, Labour has only managed to find candidates for less than half of the seats being contested - leaving us with 6 uncontested victories. Many of those candidates which Labour have found are rather elderly, with some having been retired from active politics for some time. This would have been absolutely unheard of a few years ago.

We we gain a seat in Cambridge, Liverpool Manchester, Newcastle or Oxford?


Tory T, UKIP are running 1,000 candidates, but that includes a couple of hundred town and parish council candidates.

One curious feature of these elections, is that in some rural wards, UKIP are the only party running against the (mostly Conservative) incumbents. UKIP may pick up a few wins here and there (particularly in multi-member wards) as a result.


Cambridge and Manchester are possbilities, Justin, but I don't think the other three are.

Not even being able to field paper candidates is an astonishing sign of organisational weakness and grassroots discontent. In the other side's stronghold all it involves is a name on the ballot paper - I'm very surprised that they can't get their young activists even to do that. Prentiz, the picture you paint of Forest of Dean is amazing in a seat Labour only lost last time round.

I'm not surprised to find that UKIP's hype has been shown to be a load of hot air.

Can I just ask what's happened to Caroline Spelman? I thought she did well in last year's campaign but she seems invisible this time round (no slight for Eric Pickles who is doing very well).

"Any indication that there is collusion between NuLab and LDs to stop Cons winning seats ?"

The Lib Dems won in Waverley last time because Labour didn't stand. Not sure if the same plot is being hatched again, will find out on polling day.

Cambridge and Manchester are possbilities, Justin, but I don't think the other three are.
If anything last time around the Conservatives seemed to fallen back in places they had hopes in in Manchester and Labour was gaining support from the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives haven't had a council seat on the City Council since 1996.

Sean, but I am afraid that is simply "economical with the actualite". When Farage claimed to be fielding 1000 plus candidates in the local elections he clearly implied, and wanted the press to draw the inference, as they have, that it was at District/Borough etc level, not parish council level.

Interestingly this false claim of 1000 was in itself a comedown, if you read the ukipforum threads their original aim was for 1600.

In the end just 800 have made it to nomination.

I would be interested to know how many new ukip councillors you anticipate? Farage claims he has 15 at present, but is that another exaggeration? I have read on an anti-ukip blog that 5 ukip councillors in Devon quit, I don't know if that is true, though.

http://e-ukip-home.blogspot.com/2007/04/nigel-farage-waves-his-magic-wand-in.html

Do they weigh these candidates ? All I hear is Quantity, not Quality. Pickles might vote for a Party Label, that's his business; a lot of people will not

This was the comment the anti-ukip blogger left on Iain Dale that got me wondering, Sean -

"UKIP have lost 6 of their Councillors already as Nigel has waved his magic wand and made them vanish as they are either not restanding or standing as Independents. UKIP have less than 10 proper Councillors (mostly defections from other parties)and probably 20 or less Parish Councillors."

by [email protected]


It's very hard to tell Tory T. There are, I think, some councillors who are UKIP members who are Independent or Ratepayers. That's not deceitful, as there are undoubtedly, rural Conservatives and Lib Dems who sit as Independents (although they're decreasing in number).

To be honest, I'm surprised they got as many as 800 standing under the UKIP banner.

I think they could well win a couple of dozen rural seats in their own right. The reason is that in quite a number of rural wards, no one except UKIP or Indpendents is running against sitting Conservatives. In an area like that, anyone who wants to get rid of the Conservative will vote for the challenger, and in multi-members wards, they only need to give them one out of three votes, to do so.

Sean thanks for the analysis

I hope you will do an article on political betting on councils which may change hands?


I've sent a platform piece to Tim Montgomerie, Tory T, which deals with our prospects.

Even better, look forward to reading that.

Interesting that the bloggers on ukiphome also agree that the 'parish councillors' plump-up to 1000 was a lie


"If it`s true UKIP are only running 800 candiates at this election, then I`m giving in anyway.

Posted by:Matt Davies | 13 April 2007 at 12:12:39 PM

I just saw that on ConHome. That would be crap if we can`t even tell the truth about the number of candidates we are fielding.

Posted by:Chad | 13 April 2007 at 12:14:16 PM

..time for a full candidate list to prove our claim as falling 20% short of your claimed turn-out is not a slip, it is spin.

Posted by:Chad | 13 April 2007 at 12:14:59 PM"

http://www.ukiphome.com/comments.asp?sid=2005

Oh good, Sean, will look forward to reading that myself. Was it you who found that slightly surprising set of predictions from Indigo public affairs?

There are definitely a couple of western and souhwestern councils where a good performance by the Lib dems could see them take control, or deprive us of control.

Forgetting the stuff about District versus Town versus Parish and what is counted and by whom... What's all this about "only 800" UKIP Candidates? That is a huge increase on the 300 fielded last time, and shows that UKIP are on the increase whichever way you look at it... Ignore then at your peril and ask why so many are moving to UKIP away from the Cameron Party, as well as from the two other Blairite parties.

It's less than what UKIP spun Tam. That's the point. And how many councillors do you expect to win? UKIP are irrelevant although they can be a spoiler.

One thing that puzzles me (forgive my ignorance on this), but why are UKIP so interested in local government?


They fancy themselves as a potential party of government, Oberon. And to make ground at Parliamentary level, you have to first make ground at local level.

The alternative for UKIP would be just to act as a pressure group that contests EU elections, and admits members of other parties for that purpose, like its Scandinavian counterparts.

I can only assume Oberon, it's part of Farages rebranding which also included wanting to rename the party 'The Independence Party'. Like that I feel the locals will end in failure. It's a directionless party at the end of the day, which will go anywhere to wind up Tories.

That's the impression I get Andrew. They have failed to get full withdrawal on the Tory manifesto, and thus feel so strongly about 'independence' that they have the need to start their own party and use it to hurt the Conservatives in what seems motives of angry frustration. What a shame, because taking this tack may sate the desire for revenge, but it's hardly a positive or fruitful course, especially as it mostly helps the centre-left, a paradoxical outcome surely. I would have thought that the issue of withdrawal would be better dealt with as a single issue rather than via a marginal party, then those with more affiliation to the Tories than any other mainstream party could rejoin us, with the proviso on the issue of Europe they want withdrawl. Now, I'm sure there are those that cannot see this for the red mist of conviction, but to those with a more pragmatical disposition, surely UKIP isn't the way, and the Conservative is an imperfect but good home?

Nigel Farage wins [email protected] HOME's prize for Pork Pies!

Red roisttes yellow roseteees, blue rosetts.

They are all politcians ain'tthey.

so what so what so what


TIM FOR PM!!!!!!!!

c-hOME ROCKS BUT THE TORIES SUCK

"Interestingly this false claim of 1000 was in itself a comedown, if you read the ukipforum threads their original aim was for 1600"
Yeah, right - the font of all knowledge and bnp/tory trolls masquerading as Ukippers.

The reality is that UKIP have over 1000 people standing as candidates - the only spin is here, as to what type of candidates they were.

As for Mr Oberon's comment "One thing that puzzles me (forgive my ignorance on this), but why are UKIP so interested in local government?" - This reveals the ignorance about the 'European Union of the regions' that most Tories either don't know about or just keep mum on.

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