A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Tories boasting about getting ready to quadruple their numbers and take over Nottingham City Council. At the time, I thought this was a tall order. Now I think it’s even less likely
A few days ago, I was at a planning meeting which had a strange feeling in the room, which the Tory rep there ascribed in an aside as Labour councillors in a marginal ward seeing the writing on the wall – Development Control will meet next without them, if the Tories manage to defeat them.
I have to say, if my experience of living in Tory/Lab marginal ward is anything to go by, the Tories aren’t going to be making many gains in Nottingham at all. I haven’t been watching my letterbox all that carefully, due to being a little busy, but I haven’t seen a single leaflet from either main party during April. As far as I know, no-one has knocked on my door. And no-one has sent me any target mail recently, either. None of my neighbours in my street or any nearby street have posters up for anyone.
In Chesterfield, the Conservatives have managed to field more candidates than they did in 2003. They have 9 candidates for 73 seats there.
It is a little dangerous to be writing this now, and not waiting til Friday when I will know for sure. But any sign of a mass Tory revival seems to be unlikely from my experience.
The last time the Tories were on a wave of success, I am reliably informed, was before I was born in 1977, a few years ahead of general election success in 1979. That was the last time they took power from Labour, nearly 30 years ago. In the major council elections of 77, the Tories held 48% of all council seats. For them to get to 48% again this year, they need to win a further 2,000 seats at this election. That seems a pretty tall order.
In order for the Tories to win Nottingham City, they need to get from 7 councillors to 28 in one big jump. That seems a pretty tall order too. They were confident they would do it, just a few weeks ago. I can’t see it myself. We’ll be watching at the end of the week.