Thursday, 12 April 2012

Conservative voters dump Brian Colemans parking policies in East Finchley

At the last Council elections in 2010, the highest polling Conservative candidate, Kit Friend got six votes short of 2,000 votes. Given that this seat was a three way marginal, all of the local parties presumably campaigned hard and put up their best candidate. Their candidate Anshal Gupta yesterday polled 543 votes. In short, nearly three quarters of the Conservative vote disappeared. Given that all of the parties are in election mode, with the GLA elections coming up and the Mayoral election, one might reasonably have expected that the Conservatives would have pulled all the stops out in an effort to get a respectable turnout.

This morning I saw a local Conservative and asked his opinion. He asked me not to name him, but he stated "It's this parking business, if we don't do something soon I think we'll be finished". He declined to name and blame Brian Coleman, but he added "we can't ignore the plight of local business any longer. We've taken our eye off the ball". With that he bode me good day and trudged off.

I've just spoken to a local Labour activist and the message there is interesting. They now believe that Brian Colemans GLA seat is there for the taking. They are taking nothing for granted, because they realise that locally many Conservatives will turn up for Boris. What is clear though, is that normally loyal Tories who turn out come rain or shine didn't.

Local Tory commentators have tried to put a good spin on the result. They claim that Labour vote was also down from the 2010 elections. What they don't say is that Labour actually polled more votes at the by-election than the 2006 council elections. 2010 had a huge turnout, due to the Council elections being fought on the same day as a general election. This obscured local issues and distorted the polling figures. Perhaps a truer picture of the ward is the 2006 Council elections. Then Labour polled 1852 votes. As there was a full council election, with far more press coverage, locally and nationally, to poll 2,110 votes yesterday was certainly an indication that the people want to send the local Conservatives a message.

Of course they will try and use all manner of excuses to dismiss the result, but the truth is that their support has collapsed and this is fairly and squarely down to one man. That man is Councillor Brian Coleman and his parking policies. He is up for reelection for his part time job at the GLA where he gets £53,000. What has he done for that money in the last four years? Well he hasn't had a single meeting with Barnet Police,despite claiming in an election leaflet to have reduced crime. The sole achievement I could see on his leaflet was to wring some cash out of Boris to plant 88 trees. Do you think that has justified paying him over £200,000 in four years? May the 3rd is the day to tell Brian Coleman what you think of his parking polices.

I have been asked by a local Conservative voter who has had enough to suggest that Loyal Tories who have had enough write ABC on their ballot paper in the box for Conservative. This stands for Anyone But Coleman.

The message for Councillor Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council is simple. Ignore your core voters at your peril. It's not the job of this blog to make the local Conservatives more electable, but I doubt anyone in Barnet doubts what the first step should be. Anyone but Coleman that is.


Morris Hickey said...

Oh, but here in Havering & Redbridge I've been saying for weeks now "AbE - Anybody but Evans"!

Morris Hickey said...

According to Robot Trams on his own blog it's UKIP that lets in Labour. As UKIP had no candidate in East Finchley I wonder what his excuse is for this landslide result?

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