So, one day after I blog about how the Liberal Democrats don’t have a hope — or even a candidate — in Blenheim Park ward, the only local Lib Dem activist who has mastered the use of internet has blogged a witheringly sarcastic response.
You might think I’ve struck a nerve.
Once upon a time, you see, the Lib Dems were the repository of anti-Tory vote in Southend West. Then they found themselves in government, and those flexible principles which had allowed them to be all things to all people in opposition became a major turnoff to the electorate, who had voted for them thinking that they might actually stand by what they had said they believed in.
Now, there are only five Lib Dem councillors left in Southend, and rather than looking to grow that number they are desperately worried that the sole seat they have up for re-election this year might slip through their fingers.
And if I wasn’t sure of that before, then Neil Monnery’s jittery blog today has confirmed it to me.
With Labour candidates now in place for the 2015 election campaign in both Southend seats (Ian Gilbert well-established in Rochford & Southend East, and the newly-selected Julian Ware-Lane in Southend West), one would well expect politicians on the other side to have had their say.
The Tory blogs are, thusfar, silent. Nigel Holdcroft, to be fair, has put himself on hiatus until September; hard to begdrudge, for the holiday season (Though this parish managed to give the appearance of life, despite its writer being in a field in Devon the past week – Ed). Tony Cox, sorry “Shoebury Blogger”, has been equally silent. And Mark Flewitt clearly prefers the sound of his own incoherent ramblings to anything meaningful or relevant.
So then to the “others”, which really means the Lib Dems’ sole voice online, Neil Monnery. Neil thinks that Southend Labour have made a grave mistake, because both candidates are, er, good.
News broke on Friday that the leader of the Southend Independent definitely-not-a-party Group, Martin Terry, intends to resign his present council seat representing Westborough ward in order to fight for election to Thorpe ward in the May local elections.
This is not a surprise to anyone in the know. Martin Terry has been looking for a Thorpe-wards relocation for a while, and it seems like the final piece has fallen into place (permission, perhaps, from Thorpe councillor and one-man self-promotion engine Ron Woodley?).
One side effect, though, is that that it has at last broken any pretence that Southend’s independents are anything but a political party.
On Thursday, the voters of a safe Conservative ward in Southend-on-Sea went to the polls in a by-election. When the ballots were counted, the Conservative candidate was returned as the new councillor representing the ward.
By the numbers, you might say.
Except, that bare bones overview doesn’t quite show the full picture of what happened in West Leigh ward this week.