I was out helping campaigning in two wards this weekend. Both are in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea – Earls Court and Cremorne. By-elections in both will be held on the 16th of September instigated by a local scandal involving councillors misusing their e-mail facilities, to say the least.
We’ve got two great candidates standing in both, Mabel Mckeown in Cremorne and Joel Bishop in Earls Court. Unfortunately, both have the job of telling residents about the major forthcoming cuts in their services (particularly housing) in the near future. However, the real surprise is that, in both wards, there appeared to be no evidence or even inkling of a “coalition” campaign effort or at the very least a “coalition” spirit. This was demonstrated quite blatantly by a particularly ferocious Lib Dem campaign in Earls Court. I discovered this whilst canvassing along Longbridge Road, when a particular Tory voter made aware about how the Lib Dems are going about a rather organised and sophisticated character assassination of the outgoing Tory councillor. And literally leafleting ward residents until they had piles of paper stopping them opening their front door. So much for their green credentials! But more importantly, so much for the broke back coalition nationally as there certainly appears to be no signs of this at local level in London.