Negativity wins: local elections – the finishing post

After a good night’s sleep (and a not so good day at work), time to reflect on the outcome of the election. In Central Ward the result was a win for Derique Montaut (47%) with Karen Leakey in second (29%), Steve Pipe third (13%) and the other two less than 10% each.

So a negative campaign won? Actually, I don’t think so. This ward is traditional red nest territory, but not so strong that a good local candidate could not come close, very close, as happened for one blue egg in 2004. But no matter how strong a candidate is, if incumbent councillors from the same nest seem to have no interest in their ward, it will be a struggle to break through. (The two incumbent blue nest councillors were both defectees from other nests.)

There is a monthly free news sheet, Central Outlook, distributed throughout inner Swindon. In it, all the councillors of Central, Gorse Hill & Pinehurst, Eastcott and Western Ward have column space, as do the two Swindon MPs. All use the space… except for the blue nest councillors for Central. Unlike their red nest counterpart, their piece has been noticeably lacking since one of them chose to seek re-election elsewhere. Visibility for councillors’ activities is generally low, so opportunities like this to address one’s electors should be used. For the last six months the answer to the question ‘What are the blue nest councillors in this ward doing for us?’ has been an echoing silence.