In Japan, April 8th is ‘Buddha’s Birthday’ and the ‘Flower Festival’ celebrations in streets and temples across the land add some lovely Spring colour to the occasion. For those of you who would still like to take the opportunity to wish him many happy returns (pun intended), the rest of eastern Asia will be celebrating Buddha’s birthday on May 21st, in line with the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. Hopefully, this week’s by-election results are free of any karmic connotations – of one principal and one Town Council by-election reported to ALDC, we took last place in both.
The single principal by-election took place in the Golf Green ward of Tendring District Council. In 2010, Tendring will fall within the new parliamentary constituency of Clacton. It was formerly located in the ancient constituency of Harwich, whose most notable representative (with all due respect to current Tory MP Douglas Carswell) remains seventeenth century gentleman-diarist Samuel Pepys.
Not one to trouble any budding Liberal Democrat diarists, the Golf Green by-election went down as a Conservative gain from Tory splinter-group Tendring First. The roots of the Tory-Tendring First animus goes back almost a decade, and the well-funded defending T.F. team went heavily after the Conservatives with six glossy leaflets and a highly negative campaign. The Labour party campaign also extended to three glossy leaflets and a local candidate. The Tories stole the trademark Lib Dem ‘barchart’ for their only leaflet of the campaign, whilst the squeeze message isn’t particularly welcome, there may be some consolation in the adage that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The BNP worked the poorer areas of the ward, and had significant manpower out on polling day, coming fourth of a field of six.
In the North ward of Devizes Town Council, the Conservatives lost to local issue group Devizes Guardian. The Liberal Democrats also came last in this particular election, rounding off a day it may be better to forget.
ALDC By-Election Team