Julia Batt

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Heath Ward Learn more

Maidstone Elections

by Julia on 2 May, 2008

Well…. my predictions, it turns out, were hopelessly optimistic….

The Conservatives won Bridge, Fant and Coxheath, although they did lose Barming. Maidstone, for the first time since 1983 is no longer a hung council. The sad thing is, I just can’t put my finger on why….

I feel that Fant ward was won by the Tories purely because the vote was split between Labour, Lib Dem & Green. The Tories only got elected ‘through the middle’.

However, Bridge and Coxheath…. WHY?

  • National swing?
  • Inaccurate and misleading Tory literature?
  • Not enough work by the Lib Dems?

I don’t know is the honest answer – I can’t believe for one moment though that it was due to lack of work by the Lib Dem team (although granted I’m biased). Whilst there can be no doubt that there were dubious claims made in local Tory literature, I still don’t believe that this was the reason, but at the same time I don’t believe that people voted Conservative to make a point about national politics.

I wish I had more experience in these things! I’m going to bed just a few hours before the school run, feeling desperately depressed by the evening.
David Pickett (who has worked so hard for Bridge ward in this past year) and Fran Smith (who has campaigned all her adult life for a better environment in Fant) – I’m sorry. I suspect the majority of your wards will be too.


2 Responses

  1. Re: why you lost in Fant. It could be that the public had lost confidence in the Lib Dems, it could be that the national swing to the Tories was reflected locally, it could be that the Tories did a massive amount of telephone canvassing at the last minute, it could be a variety of reasons, however it is wrong to blame Green and Labour voters for the Lib Dem defeat, If you want to blame someone I suggest you blame the Tory voters…

  2. Liz Simpson says:

    Hi Julia

    Sorry to hear about the losses in Maidstone – what is the matter with people!! We lost seats here in Tonbridge and Malling at the last election and I think we agreed that there were a number of factors – the Tories are much better at campaiging than they used to be – the do all that we do and more (they are really good at identifying their vote well in advance) and of course have lots of money to slosh about. Here they have a full time agent – what a luxury. Looking in at Maidstone (I live in East Malling and work in Maidstone) I think the negative publicity about (was it 2) Lib Dem Councillors did not help. But I think a lot of it is the national picture – people are so fed up with Labour and have been impressed (I know not why) by Cameron.

    It is devastating to loose good, hard working councillors and I know we were depressed for months here after the last election – I know how you feel. Good luck in the future – I am sure you will climb back.

    Liz Simpson
    Borough Councillor Tonbridge and Malling
    Lib Dem PPC for Tonbridge and Malling

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