One of the issues which really stood out for me amongst the "Statement of Persons Nominated" in how few of the candidates live in the areas they seek to represent. Back in the days, the LibDem campaigning rule-book clearly stated that you stood a much, much better chance of winning with a local candidate and that you should always select a local above anybody else. In fact, when you have done that and the other parties have not simply hammer them the whole way through the parachuting in an unpopular outsider!!
Antony's note: True, and in the Tories we used to say that you were only as local as your LibDem candidate. If the LibDem didn't live in the ward, it didn't matter - but if the Tory didn't then it was a high crime!
So going down the list it is interesting to see who lives where.
In Catton Grove the LibDem lives in Mile Cross. in Crome they live in Nelson. In Bowthorpe the LibDem is from Eaton, but in Eaton he's from Nelson. The Lakenham LibDem is from Mancroft. The Nelson candidate is from Unviersity whilst the Thorpe Hamlet guy is from Sewell. Town Close LibDems have a candidate from Wensum and in Wensum he's from Mancroft
But Bingo - we have genuine locals in Mile Cross (I rate Carl Mayhew and whilst I don't think he'll win this time, I think it will be a good match for May 2011). Mancroft LibDems also have a local - Simon Nobbs.
University have a local candidate (just - he lives on the borderline with Nelson!) as too do Sewell LibDems.
2 locals out of 13? 4 at a push? Come on, what are the Norwich LibDems playing at? Especially given that their target seats - Eaton, Town Close, Thorpe Hamlet and Lakenham are all missing out on locals. Are the LibDems really stuck for candidates like this?
Is it better to live in a set geographical area or to work hard at campaigning? I wonder if people care where the candidates come from anymore? Have the LibDems missed a trick with this?
Antony's Update: I know this guest post focuses on the LibDems so out of fairness I have evaluated the Tory local candidate count. We have 6 candidates who live in their wards and 2 more with existing elected links.