Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Candidates 2007 - Part I

Following last year's report, which caused some ripples in political circles, I have asked a friend to pen a few thoughts on the candidates standing this year. This is not my work, not my views and not written by a Conservative supporter. If you are easily offended, turn away now - and I promise this is totally unedited (apart from spelling, tut tut)! All comments welcome.

Blair Campbell (Green) is the surprise nomination this year, hailing from the trendy new part of Three Score. His nomination is likely to annoy the Tories who are now treating Three Score like some kind of heartland. The Greens are likely to move well in front of the LibDems this year. Backbench Labour Councillor Chrissie Rumsby is seeking re-election but is a fairly mute and useless political operator. Not particularly well liked in the area and not very active either - she'll be relying on votes in Earlham and not standing against Antony Little. Tory candidate John Wyatt is Little's right-hand man and has certainly earnt his spurs in the ward but lacks his colleagues popular appeal. However the Tory "Leader" has been active enough locally to pass his support on. LibDem Francis McIvor won't make much of an impact. I predict a Conservative Gain, but with a smaller majority than last year.

An interesting fight this year with the 4 main parties and UKIP standing for election. Popular Labour Councillor Keith Driver is standing for re-election, but with the Labour majority cut to 15 votes last year this is a seat on a knife-edge. Will Driver's work be enough to balance out his party's disasterous standing in the opinion polls. The reason to be worried is that last year's LibDem candidate has been re-deployed elsewhere and now Gordon Dean is the man on the frontline - Dean was a City Councillor for many years and a frontbench Transport spokesman. He is considered to be one of the LibDems best campaigners and shows they are serious about winning the seat. There are new candidates for the Greens, Jacqui McCarney, and for the Tories, Carrie Chandler. But they will be as out of the race as UKIP man Steve Emmins. This is a LibDem-Labour blood fight to the finish. Prediction: Too close to call, but if forced to say I'd go for a narrow Labour hold.

This ward is becoming predictably boring at the moment with the Green majority stretching further out at each new poll. The only change here - LibDem Fairbairn, Labour Bartram and Green Ramsay are standing again - is with the Tory candidate Malcolm Chamberlin, who claims that have coined the phrase "golden triangle" whilst working as an archant media man. All three opposition parties here are putting in the footwork but you would be insane to bet against Ramsay getting a four figure majority. LibDems to hold onto second place - just - but all three loser parties getting bunched up this time.

I had to comment on this is the first round of reviews because of the lack of a Norwich-over-the-Water candidate. What does this mean for the big vote they got in 2006? If the Greens had done more work here earlier they could have benefited from the voter fall-out, but I fear Penny Killingbeck may have to settle for second. The LibDems are standing former University councillor and media hate figure Ian Williams. Mr Williams is used to having dust-ups with other parties in the letters page of the Evening News but that combative spirit often makes him a good candidate. The Tories are standing Tony Landamore and it is surprising they don't do better here. Prediction: Labour hold, increased majority due to no NOTWP candidate.


Anonymous said...

It should be very close in Bowthorpe. Chrissie is a know friendly face but has never knocked on many doors. Blair Campbell (Green)is interesting and hopefully will be less cantankerous than last years Mr Bishop. John seems a genuine guy. I hope he can communicate the issues. He will have to knock on every door, raise the basic issues like graffiti and litter etc and leaflet to get in. Colour might be a thought rather than black n white, or Focusesque still? I think Bowthorpe is looking for another major player with teeth in council, who can push for resources and investment into Bowthorpe, get things done, rather than a timid follower and clone!

Resident EGL

Anonymous said...

For me John is great one on one, and needs to put a twinkle in his eye, and a cheeky smile to appeal. He is not the presence of Cllr. Little and will have to appeal as a genuine listener and hard working and ethical guy and ashepherd who his willing to look after his Bowthorpe flock.

Anonymous said...


Bowthorpe..who knows?

Anonymous said...

an example of a classic Lib Dem bodge up. Over in Sprowston at Parish COuncil level they got their nominations rather mixed up. For the seven cllr East Ward they nominate just three candidates (leading to uncontested election of them and the 4 Labour in a ward where the Libs would have won 5 or 6) - what is really funny is that in the 1 member North East Ward they nominate THREE candidates! More amusing one has been disqualified because two candidates were nominated by the samer resident. However we now have an election with 2 Lib Dems and 1 Labour for 1 seat.

A word on the very poor show by the Conservatives who used to be very strong in Sprowston. Just one candidate nominated for one ward. What on earth is going on.

Labour are celebrating - they expected zero or one/two at most. They have four already and counting........

UnthankRoad said...

where's part 2? I'm really itching for your thoughts on the other wards. Surprised at the choice of candidate for Bowthorpe though - good guy by all accounts but I thought he might have a real go at Town Close Ward this year

Anonymous said...

Pt 2 should interesting. I'm interested in Green candidate, Richard Bearman (Cllr Janets husband), who I think has a strong, if even chance in Norwich.

Antony said...

Thanks for these - I will chase up part II.

FWIW I think that Ramsay, BC, Wyatt and Driver will win.

Chrissie is lovely and really has the community at heart but hasn't done the leg work. I think her national party may do for her! John is a brilliant candidate who deserves to win, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

I feel three thinks about the forth coming local elections

1) Norwich is an exciting place currently with growth, green issues and getting on top of social issues.

2) There are some talented people standing, who are putting their all and public self on the line. I wish local councillors would have a few battle vans touring the local area like the Blues Bothers, Battle Bicycles in the case of the Green Party, sorry!

3) The council should really try to encourage as many % to vote on the day as possible. Hopefully with pro green, anti iraq, more confidence tories, and hopefully a gorgeously sunny day people should turn out. If begs a question should not election date be a holiday to get the voters out?

Anonymous said...

Bowthorpe is a 3 horse race, with the Libdems struggling. Tories doing good work and leaflets, Greens have plenty of street posters out, and labour possibly another know show on both again, but will get some numbers from the traditional labour core.

Anonymous said...

Well from his pic, Blair Campbell gets the womans' vote! John might be pushed by this young guy on appeal.

Anonymous said...

Greens are looking strong with their use of the TV media use and clear website manifesto and information.

Anonymous said...

Do Norwich Conservatives have an incentive policy on promoting renewable energy on local homes and businesses such as solar panels and roof insulation, such as bit off % off Council Tax?

Anonymous said...

Not so sure about four figures for Ramsay. Okay he will win, but the complacency has already set in. I have not heard from the Greens at all yet - no leaflet or anything.

Then yesterday I watched a canvasser for the greens walk straight passed my door - clearly didn't want (and so wont get) my vote.