Wednesday, 29 May 2013

How can the Conservatives win?

The Conservatives in Cambridgeshire can win again and can beat UKIP. They need to do 2 things to win.

1. Freeze and then cut council tax.
2. Communicate with the electorate with leaflets

Sounds easy. Yet this isn't aren't the easy options. Councils such as Fenland and Huntingdonshire have little room for manoeuvre if at all. For instance, Huntingdonshire has to increase council tax and cut spending to keep afloat. So freezing and cutting council tax is pretty much out of the question for some Councils/Local Authorities. In any case all Conservative run Local Authorities need to sign up to the Conservative policy of a Council Tax freeze.

Since moving to Cambridgeshire I haven't received a Conservative political leaflet outside of the election period and sometimes during an election. This is awful communication. The only way to ensure electors get your message is by delivering a leaflet on a regular monthly basis or quarterly at an absolute minimum.

The Conservatives Associations are in decline. Huntingdon CA lost 20% of its membership in 2012. Other faired better losing less membership. The Conservatives need more members and friends to get their message out and communicate with the electorate.

If the Conservatives don't do anything to reverse the UKIP leap forward, come the General Election in 2015 UKIP will be in a position to take Conservative seats of Huntingdon, North West Cambridgeshire and North East Cambridgeshire.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Why did the Conservative lose in Cambridgeshire?

In two words - Council Tax.

The Conservatives are currently blaming "the national situation" and "national policies" and, of course, the County Conservatives did nothing wrong! But they did. Cambs Conservatives didn't institute the Council Tax freeze after year 1. That is not just the County Council. Conservative run District Councils, The Police and The Fire Authority all ignored the Council Tax freeze and the funding that came with this Conservative pledge.

Ignoring this pledge gave UKIP and the Liberal Democrats a cause to run with. Campaigning on keeping council tax down, UKIP ran riot in areas where they campaigned. The Liberal Democrats held onto their share of the vote to win in some areas.

Whilst UKIP did well, the Independents did well winning in Histon, St Neots and in Cambridge. They took two seats from the LD's and two seats from the Conservatives.

Labour did well in Cambridge by taking seats from the Lib Dems. But the Lib Dems held on to some of their seats.

The maxim seems to be ignore your own parties policies at your peril. The trouble is the Conservatives have yet to come to terms with not Freezing Council Tax. When they do they will realise they were wrong and not the electorate.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Nick Clarke still doesn't get it

I had to laugh when I found out Nick Clarke, now ex-leader of Cambs CC, lost his seat at Fulbourn. The result is below:

CandidatePartyVotes% Share
Nick ClarkeConservative84832.2
June Patricia FordLabour43416.5
David SmithGreen1696.4
John George Williams Liberal Democrat 1,180 44.8

The result in 2009 was:

CandidatePartyVotes% Share
Nick ClarkeConservative106435.6
Josephine Patricia TeagueLabour2357.8
John Neal ScarrIndependent90630.3
John George Williams Liberal Democrat 785         26.3

Without the Independent candidate this left 906 or 26.3% of the voting public looking for a home.

In his blog Nick Clarke said:

No one should be surprised by this as the minority parties smell blood. But it is a shame that a protest vote about immigration, which is a national issue, should derail an energetic and enthusiastic council that was gaining a national reputation for getting things done.

I don't feel this is right. True immigration is an national issue and Council Tax Freeze is a national issue which Nick Clarke and the Cambs Conservatives ignored and raised council tax. If they had frozen council tax and still lost they could have blamed national policies. But you can only blame if you implement policies in the first place.

Nick also reckons he lost because he moved to Papworth Everard. His own vote held up in % terms. A loss of 3.3% is not as massive as other divisions. So why did Nick lose? Notice there is no UKIP candidate standing in Fulborn. Where were those who would have voted UKIP gone. Many sat at home. A large minority went and voted for the Liberal Democrats.

Nick was in a bad position form the start. Not having a UKIP candidate meant the vote went to the Lib Dems. In the end that is why Nick Clarke lost. No UKIP candidate.

Nicks blog also shows how out of touch he is. Nick said:

Response on the door step in my Fulbourn division remains very positive.

IUTVT: Not positive enough to win!!!

This afternoon I took time off from my own division to go and help James Hockney fight the Waterbeach seat. James is very well thought of locally and clearly understands the local issues.

IUTVT: And the Liberal Democrat still won!

It seems that only a Lib Dem perspective can justify such a ridiculous statement.

IUTVT: And the Liberal Democrat still won!

I am playing in a charity cricket match Wednesday evening starting at 6pm, at the Needingworth cricket ground in aid of bowel cancer. The electioneering can wait for an evening.

IUTVT: Obviously electioneering couldn't wait because Nick lost!

I nipped up to join a canvassing team in Histon later in the day. Great response. Lots of indications that people get the financial problems we face and think we are the party to put it right.

IUTVT: The Conservatives didn't win here either.

Nick Clarke has an arrogance about him in all the decisions he took as leader were all correct. What the Conservatives need to get over is some of the decisions are wrong especially over raising Council Tax instead of freezing it. Until they do the Conservatives will keep losing.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

How near was my prediction?

I predicted the Conservatives would lose control. They did!

I also predicted the following result in seats:

Conservatives 30
Lib Dems 18
Labour 10
Independents 5

The result was:

Conservatives 32  (+2)
Lib Dems 14 (-4)
Labour 7 (-3)
UKIP 12 (+6)
Independents 4 (-1)

Not bad for a first try!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

My prediction for the 2nd May 2013 elections for Cambridgeshire County Council.

% of votes:

Conservatives 32%
Liberal Democrats 15%
Labour 15%
UKIP 24%
Independents 10%
Green 4%

In terms of seats out of 69 seats

Conservatives 30
Lib Dems 18
Labour 10
Independents 5

Lets see how wrong I am be tomorrow.

The Conservatives will lose control of Cambridgeshire County Council.