Tuesday, June 07, 2005

By Election bystander...

There are four candidates for the Morley Topcliffe Ward By-Election Town Councillor vacancy.

The first candidate is chris Beverley of the BNP. I could tell he was a candidate as he turned up to observe the last Town Council meeting or two. I'm well aware that he is keen to win, although I think it is probably more for the glory of the Party rather than as the concerned Morley citizen.

The second candidate is David Hayward who is standing as an Independent. I don't know who he is.

The third candidate is Joseph Medley for the Labour Party. I had already predicted he would be standing as he seems to be writing letters to the press at the moment.

The fourth candidate is Kath Stephenson for the Morley Borough Independents. I don't think I know kath but I may well have met her as she is active in Morley in Bloom it seems.

So, a Labour, a BNP and two flavours of independent standing. Topcliffe Ward has a strong Labour tradition with the largest Council Estate stock in the area, although there are also large private developments as well. The five current seats are all Labour held (or at least four of them are, as a resignation led to the By-Election).

Some people have speculated that the BNP stand a good chance of winning: Chris will take votes from Labour and the non-Labour vote will be split between the independents.

With the election only nine days away, I've had my first bit of material through the door, the traditional lime green MBI leaflet. This lays into Labour considerably, pointing out that four Labour Councillors have resigned and a fifth was disqualified. It concentrates mostly on the Denshaws and Newlands estates rather than the other bits of the ward in Glen road, Birdland and Peel street areas, although pragmatically they are probably the right target.

There is also an interesting revelation in the leaflet that the other Independent (David Hayward) actually signed Chris Beverley's nomination papers and is standing purely to split the vote. He isn't listed as a Proposer and Seconder but I seem to remember five signatories are required so it may be true. If it is, it is a bit of an own goal for the BNP to have been rumbled, especially with allegations of a local Police Community Support Officer having been suspended for being in the BNP and misusing computers.

It isn't illegal to stand as an independent for political purposes as far as I'm aware, it is actually quite a clever tactical move, but signing your opponent's papers isn't, unless done in irony...

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