So the big day dawns. It's been a strange campaign. There were 5 candidates, the sitting independent defending his seat, a former Lib-Dem Councillor also now an Independent, a hard-working Labour supporter (well that what he said on his leaflet) now standing as a conservative but (again according to his leaflet) he's more of an independent really, a Labour Candidate and me.
The campaign has been a bit strange to say the least. The Independent defending his seat put out one leaflet and then sat back probably expecting the pub vote would get him back in. If he was relying on his record to speak for him then I don't think he'd have much to shout about. The second independent put out one leaflet then disappeared from view. The Labour candidate also kept his head fairly well down as I think he's hoping to win by default so the less he says the fewer people he upsets. The Tory candidate came roaring out of the starting gate and went onto the attack, against me! Not sure why I had to be his target, surely the sitting Councillor is the one to beat? Possibly Tory Central Office (the one he claims not to listen to!) were telling him it didn't matter who won as long as UKIP didn't?
Anyway, I wish good luck to all the candidates, in all the elections, all round the country. I'm sure there are some Labour, Conservative or Lib-Dem candidate who are honest, decent, hard working people, who want to make a positive difference, unfortunately I'd be very hard pushed to name any of them! Of course the Labour, Conservative and Lib-Dem loyalist (are there any Lib-Dem loyalists any more? Didn't they all join the Tories!) would say the same about UKIP.
UKIP have some high hopes in the Welsh Assembly Elections where PR gives us a real chance of getting seats. In the council elections around England we will get a reasonable number of votes but realistically very few seats. UKIP's support is growing and is very widespread but this of course means it is very thinly spread in most areas and that makes winning seats very difficult. Nearly 1,000,000 people voted UKIP in the last General Election in 2009 but we didn't get a single MP. That's one reason why voting reform is so badly needed, unfortunately the reform on offer, AV, won't actually make all that much difference, which of course is exactly why it has been offered.
Anyway, that's it for me. If I win then I'll spend 12 months bashing my head against a brick wall in the Civic Centre trying to make a difference. If I don't win then I'll be forced to get on with my life without the giddy pleasures of the Hartlepool Council Chamber and thereby associating with people whom I wouldn't like to have as guests in my own home!