Despite having twice the number of candidates, I think I may have been a tad optimistic to think that this election would be any more interesting than usual.
2013 unable to adapt, almost all the parties are effectively engaging with voters using a variety of social media tools pushing tons of leaflets through doors. So far I have one letter and one leaflet from UKIP, three leaflets from the Conservatives, five leaflets from the Lib Dems …and nothing from the other candidates. The other candidates shouldn’t be too concerned though since:
- I don’t want a free booklet about how many people will move here from Romania and Bulgaria
- Everyone seems to be fighting to save our green fields
- The Lib Dem leaflets are as infuriating as ever (that rant will have to wait for a future blog post!)
I have actually found a few of the candidates amongst the people talking about the election on twitter. It wouldn’t be a huge loss if they weren’t though- not exactly much substance, more:
- where they’re canvassing (need to do a uksnow style map for this in time for the next general election!)
- what the weather is like
- how great their support is
- how busy their HQ is
- who’s interviewing them
In just two missed opportunities:
- John O’Farrell revealed that he spoke about local issues to Ed Milliband, just not what those issues were
- Maria Hutchings is against building on green fields in Botley/Boorley green but less willing to engage in discussions about where the houses might go instead (I actually thought Maria’s twitter stream was reasonably good before the election- maybe she’s too busy knocking on doors to tweet now)
As for everyone else on twitter, today seems to have been mainly:
- Maybe Mike Thornton shouldn’t have made such a big deal about protecting green fields. (Some brown fields may appear green in certain weather I guess.)
- Maria Hutchings trying to explain what she meant about state schools not being good enough for very gifted children.
- John O’Farrell really didn’t like Margaret Thatcher.
But what about the other candidates? There are plenty of them but finding out about them is not quite so easy. Maybe if I lived in the centre of Eastleigh, I’d know more. Luckily, Eastleigh News has some articles, including one for the Beer, Baccy and & Crumpet Party, and The Independent has a brief introduction to some of the lesser known candidates. Even better, Matthew Myatt has managed to record a few interviews with the candidates, including Howling Laud Hope.
All of which makes for a pretty miserable choice. So far Laud Hope is most likely to get my vote! If I get time, I’m planning to try out the 38degrees email the candidates form to actually try and extract some useful information to base my vote on. In the mean time, if you are a candidate, please feel free to leave a message below!
Update: most people seem to find this post while looking for the Beer, Baccy and Crumpet manifesto so added link to their manifesto! (22 February 2013)