It’s polling day, and candidates are going crazy!

The hearts of party activists must have fallen as the heavens opened this morning. Walking the streets were bedraggled candidates, moving between polling stations, putting on brave faces.

But the bad weather has given way to glorious sunshine and the prospects for the Greens and Labour candidates are increasing as each hour passes.

Having been around a few polling stations and seeing some candidates, the contrast between their mood is great. On the one hand you have candidates who are enjoying the day – they are largely the ones who either don’t expect to win or those who are ultra-confident of success. On the other hand you have those who know they are in a fight and are displaying a form of cabin fever – perhaps to be called candidate fever. They are the ones who are being over-sensitive, enchanting doom at every turn, seeing a small indicator of opposition as a groundswell for the other side.

And the polls don’t close for another 8 hours. At least one candidate I have seen is on the verge of spontaneous ignition. This is where a good agent or organiser comes in. “Calm down, dear” might not be the best choice of words, but candidates should be given an instruction to put on a human face, smile a lot, thank workers, and be seen by the public as being supremely confident.

The last thing candidates should do is to hang around Committee rooms. If a candidate is getting in the way, lock them in a dark cupboard under the stairs, or send them to Rottingdean Coastal where, even as I write, a shock result is in the offing (not – but don’t tell the candidates).

The GMB, a theme from comments last night) are apparently out in force at the Universities, Labour is struggling in Preston Park, making a fist of it in St Peters and North Laine, have ‘closed down’ in Regency and are moving to Queens Park.

The Greens grow in confidence in Hollingdean and Stanmer, and in Brunswick and Adelaide. The Lib Dems look demoralised in B&A but more up-beat in Central Hove, but then, so do the Tories, Labour and the Greens.

The Tories are out in force in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean and their organisation is running smoothly in Woodingdean (where I spotted Doris Day), Rottingdean Coastal, Patcham and Withdean. In the latter two wards, the Greens have been seen out and about.

And in Hangleton and Knoll, the great forces of Fitch and Barnett are doing battle, and I wouldn’t like to predict who will come out on top.

6 Responses

  1. Bumped into Tom French and Ivor Caplin in Queens Park. Tom just seems really tired, poor thing, this last week has been all go. I think the work may be rewarded, Labour have organised well and worked really hard in Queens Park.

  2. Even though it rained earlier, at least the voters are sunny and smiling here in East Brighton and all our Labour promises are coming out to vote Labour.No sign of the Tories so presumably the rumours are true that they’ve all been sent to M and B as they are panicking. If Maria Caulfield loses then will this be the Tories own local “Portillo” moment?

  3. Ivor Caplin??? That’s taking desperation to a whole new level.

  4. Word appears to be that turnout is quite high.

    • What 20% +/-? That’s what our tellers have brought back in Hove Park. Maybe better in other wards.

  5. Well I’m affraid your sources are wrong about the GMB at the Universities. The three Labour Hollingdean and Stanmer councillors turned up at Sussex for just half an hour today and looked pretty out of place.

    Greens have knocked on every single door on Sussex campus today (with Caroline Lucas and Jenny Jones doing quite a bit of them!) and its looking like a very good turnout and very strong Green vote there.

    I’m also pretty sure they weren’t at Brighton Uni over the road in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean as the turnout there was tiny but pretty Green when i sampled it at the count last night.

    I suppose I should get out of bed and go find out who’s won really.

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