There were six principal council elections held on the 5th March. The Tories held three seats and lost one to the Liberal Democrats. Labour gained a seat from the Tories. The Lib Dems held one seat. There were two Town and Parish Council results reported to ALDC . One Lib Dem hold and one Lib Dem gain from Independents.
In the Buxton Ward of Broadland Council in Norfolk we took a seat from the Tories with 71% of the vote. This election demonstrated that high literature volumes in rural wards do work! Our campaigners found that they were hitting a glass ceiling for voter ID despite good turnouts at Saturday mass canvass sessions. It’s important to vary the times of day, and days that you canvass. Some people will always be out on Saturdays. Once this was taken on board “outs” were sought at different days and times until they were canvassed.
The successful candidate Barabara Rix made a bee-line to the ALDC stall at Harrogate conference to sign up as a member of ALDC. Remember members of ALDC are three and half times more likely to get elected in local elections than non –members. ALDC is for those campaigning to become councillors as much as those who are already elected.
The BNP targeted Castle Ward of Carlisle Council for another gain following last weeks result in Sevenoaks and some encouraging results in Cumbria. Castle ward has been Lib Dem held for years, but the by-election was due to the resignation of our newest councillor. The BNP hopes to get Nick Griffin elected as MEP in the North West and put out 12 pieces of literature, flooded the ward on the day with a full polling day operation, and had Nick Griffin out on the streets. The North West is lucky; it woke up to the BNP threat some years ago. The region and its MEP organised help and interventions to improve the Castle campaign and ensure the BNP’s defeat.
This proactive approach combined with a specific campaign fund are initiatives that some but far from all regions have emulated, it’s time they did.