|Blue and Red will get dented by UKIP|
For once in my life there is an iota of reason in something I think...
The Medway Tories have held the Medway towns in their iron grasp for too long. They have an arrogant outlook that means they are right at all times and surely anyone who is against them is against the whole towns!?! (see my posts on Medway Knockers)
Indeed when the Liberal Democrats dared to stand against the wasteful and unwanted City of Medway proposal we were denounced as traitors. When the people of Strood stood up against the moving of their library, or the people rejected the privatisation of the specialist Dementia unit at Nelson Lodge what did the ruling council do?
The Council carried on with what it wanted to do regardless as in Councillor Chitty's words: A consultation is merely the Council informing the public of its' intentions.
Their massive majority means that they can bulldoze through anything they want - be it dodgy investment in Rochester airport or perhaps voting to become a part of Austria (something I could get on board!) They are even able to keep the inept like Cllr Wickes at the helm of education two years after he should have bowed out despite a consummate amount of public pressure!
As the race for 2015 and the local elections begin the various parties begin their march. The Tories are looking to fortify their position, maybe gain some more in Watling ward and play on their (our) record in Coalition.
Cllr Maple is preparing his Labour troops for a sweeping victory in swing seats, parliamentary seats and indeed wipe the Medway Libdems from the face of the Medway political map.
We are planning on holding our seats as well as modest gains in Watling, Rainham North and Gillingham North at the cost of Cllr Cooper or Stamp following their defection from Independent group to Labour. The latter one is of particular interest as I'm in the mix for that.
So why are UKIP welcome?
Firstly - it could cost the Conservatives quite a few seats as their vote divides in places leaving the way open to another opposition party, maybe Labour, maybe us depending on the area. The Tory's massive machine could lose up to a third in the enfilading fire from the right and protest votes - big hitters like Jarrett and Chambers could find the Tory heart lands dissolving in two.
Secondly - street campaigns and statistic collecting have shown the majority of people switching to vote UKIP have come from the Conservatives but also from Labour rather than from us. This is good as where as the big two need to go out and rally their voters and try and win back hearts and minds we just need to cling to our loyal voters and sway a few soft liberals - even soft Tories who are tired of this council's arrogance or are pro-Europe and fear the knee jerk drift right that may come from Cameron's leadership post '15.
This UKIP phase may just be flash in the pan, as we were once (if you listen to our critics) and if one of my friends stated once that those who say they'll vote UKIP are less likely to vote anyway then ultimately I'm wrong and another blue tide will sweep this Tory autocracy back into Gunwharf in 2015 having learnt nothing and the peoples of Medway can look forward to another four years of darkness with only Labour and the Libdems trading a few seats here or there.
Of course if I'm right... and let's face Gentlemen and Ladies of the Medway Conservative party... you've got to be looking at the Purple peril and thinking it is a possibility.... how prepared are UKIP? What are their strengths? Can they divide you?
Of course we'll have to wait and see in 2015 and I can only hope they do grow in the Conservative heartlands like the tumorous growth they are.