Friday, April 28, 2006

Politics: Croydon elections

So it's less than a week to go until Croydon's crucial local elections. Not sure if there's much buzz or excitement, perhaps people think they know the result already, which will make election night all the better.

It's completely unpredictable in my opinion, the wide range of predictions over at www.vote-2006.co.uk indicate that at least. I wouldn't be surprised if Labour, with its famously disciplined and targeted machine, keeps its votes up in Norbury, Waddon and New Addington, where most predict the battleground to be, and leak votes elsewhere. Whether that's enough to win the Council for a fourth term, I don't know, but the Tories haven't created any buzz or momentum and there's no discussion on the streets about them. Certainly I don't believe in a Labour meltdown, whatever the polls say.

In fact, where the Conservatives are challenged strongly by a third party, I think we'll see them hemorrhage votes. Coulsdon East of course; apparently Pat Knight is seen everywhere. But also the Greens may do well from all parties.

The person that interests me most is Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya, standing as an independent in Shirley. She is the energetic secretary of a local residents association, Spring Park RA, and has revolutionised the magazine and profile, even setting up a blog. She is campaigning on a platform of the councillors (Tories) never being around, and that she'd give a strong voice to the area. I think that Janet Marshall and probably Richard Chatterjee will be ok, but I'd say that Mike Fisher is at risk. As Leader of the Conservative Group and with a distant-sounding address, he doesn't come across as being high-profile in his own backyard. Neighbours and friends have said they are voting for her but her profile may not be so high in Shrublands, Shirley Oaks and the Lawdon Estate which are not in the Spring Park RA area. So again a surprise may be in store. I haven't noticed much of a Tory campaign in the area though, so they obviously don't agree.

Croydon Labour
Croydon Conservatives
Croydon Co-operative Party
Croydon Lib Dems
Croydon Greens
Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya

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