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Who will lose the council elections least? April 23, 2006

Posted by thechronicle in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Talk of who will win the May 4th council elections seems too possitive for any party, for the real question should be who will lose the council elections least?

For Labour mid-term blues are compounded with long standing unpopularity, particularly among traditional working class voters which make up a bulk of seats being contested. Speculation about Blair's departure date is also weakening the party. The attacks on "Dave the Chamelion" Cameron seem to have backfired, hardly surprising really, and Margaret Hodge helped fuel the BNP's rise by giving them publicity and credibility.

For the Conservatives it is the first big test for their new leader, David Cameron. The party fairly convincingly won these same seats last time four years ago, under Iain Duncan Smith, and we all know what happened to him! A more centrist Cameron has alienated many traditional conservatives, who are famous for turning out in droves, and the party has lost support in recent polls to its now traditional 33%.

For the Liberal Democrats the problem seems to be that they have disappeared and have a leader from Fife who looks aged. Keeping the young adult and student vote may be a problem.

The heavily hyped BNP may look the likely success story, but remember they are only contesting a few seats. They are likely to do well, helped by plenty of publicity and new found credibility, and I expect will be kicking themselves that they didn't contest more seats come May 5th! Not having done so may make a failure be perceieved out of the poll and thus destroy the momentum they now have and require to keep going.

The BNP's problem has always been that people felt extreme by thinking of supporting them, and thus uncomfortable voting for them. The Conservatives also have this to a lesser extent. Margaret Hodge's comments on "80% of Barking", the Rowntree Trusts "25%" poll and tomorrow's Daily Mirror poll all give them credibility and soften their image. With this momentum, people are happy to be sucked in, and this high level of support makes it a comfortable option.

In truth it seems the question is who'll lose least, not who will win. My guess is BNP winning 40-50 new seats, and spinning it as a success. The press will love the shock side and give plenty of coverage. Labour and Conservatives will lose ground in vote share but basically just swap a few seats around amongst themselves, Conservatives coming out best. The Lib Dems will be static in polls but gain seats in the marginals from both parties but only due to decreased support of the others, not increased LD support. UKIP may win a few seats, depending on the candidates. Greens may lose seats to Conservatives.