Thursday, 23 April 2009

Erewash by-election update

GREAT photo of four of our five European election candidates for the East Midlands out campaigning in the Derby Road West ward for Erewash District Council. Kevan Stafford, Cathy Duffy, Lewis Allsebrook and Peter Jarvis. The lead candidate, the Reverend Robert West, was speaking at a local meeting just 20 miles up the road in Long Eaton.

East Midlands Elections Officer Wayne McDermott, has been in touch with his thoughts on the contest and other election matters in his region.

He told me:

"We polled 8.3% in Erewash at the European Elections in 2004 but I think the bulk of that vote came from the Ilkeston end of the district. At the General Election, a year later, we polled a rather disappointing 2.6%.

Derby Road West Ward ward is a split Conservative and Labour ward and whilst out campaigning there on Saturday it was easy to see why, with two totally different parts making up the ward. At the last election, the Lib-Dems came 3rd with over 22% and that was a very fair performance.

"We have no local group (yet) in the area and have not pulled people in from other areas apart from working at weekends. It's so close to the county council elections and all nearby groups are busy warming up their own areas. The campaign has rested on the efforts of a handful of hard-working local activists who have made three leaflet drops."

Quite rightly Wayne doesn't want to go on record with any predictions, but I know from our frequent conversations that he always has that 13% vote share, needed for the Euro-Elections in the East Midlands, on his mind. In Erewash, I think he also would like to see us close to the Lib-Dem vote if at all possible.

The campaign today will receive the boost of a visit from the British National Party's Truth Truck.

For the County Council elections on June 4th, there will be a record number of BNP candidates in the East Midlands. We will also be contesting the NW Leicestershire District Council by-election in Measham, where Wayne himself will be our candidate. It's an area we have never contested before but one that could be quite promising after a recent leaflet drop brought in a stack of new enquiries.

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