Saturday, 6 October 2007

Ready and Waiting in Workington

Five miles on the exercise bike listening to Brian Matthew's Sounds of the Sixties, always starts a Saturday morning. Crossroads theme tune brought back a flood of memories today.

The exercise bike will hopefully get me in shape for the huge leafleting task we have here in the Workington Parliamentary Constituency if or when a General Election is announced.

We are certainly ready for the off with an introductory leaflet all prepared, costed and ready for the printers. 20,000 of these will go out in the towns of Workington, Cockermouth, Maryport, Aspatria and Silloth. There are teams in place in each town to get them out.

Workington has real potential for the British National Party. In the May elections this year, one-third of those who voted within the boundaries of the parliamentary consituency didn't support any of the three main parties. The BNP fought three wards polling 30% in two wards in Maryport and 10% in rural Broughton.

In Maryport there hadn't been an election for 12 years such was Labour's dominance. One Labour campaigner told me the BNP wouldn't get 50 votes in the two seats and were wasting our time and money. On polling day we received over 600 votes and provided a mini earthquake under the local Labour Party.

In the third Maryport seat, Labour were returned unopposed and Steve Harris, the local BNP representative, received a lot of stick from voters there for not fielding a BNP candidate . From feedback it seems the BNP would have received around 30% in this ward as well.

I think the same thing could happen in Workington, which means the BNP could be a real wild card in this election in West Cumbria.

On the money side we are struggling. There is a strong groundswell amongst local activists to contest FOUR Cumbrian seats - we couldn't fight any in 2005. Fighting Carlisle, Workington, Copeland and Barrow would mean 160,000 homes down the West Cumbrian coast receiving a BNP leaflet and getting the chance to vote for one of our candidates.

It does seem to make sense as we averaged 18% in six wards fought in Carlisle in May and scored 23% in a Whitehaven (Copeland) by-election the other week. Even in Barrow we managed 10% in one ward. But it will mean the funds will be spread thinly and just an A5 election address looks on the cards when an A4 one would put us on a par with the three main parties.

If anyone can help with vital funds please contact me. It's not vast sums that are needed -around £400 per constituency to upgrade the Royal Mail delivered leaflet from A5 to A4 size.

No comments: