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Do councillors matter more than Michael Ashcroft?

February 20th, 2010


Commons Library Research – 2009 local elections

Is it their resource that’s making the difference in the marginals?

This is to highlight the excellent piece put up on PB2 a few hours ago by Bunnco – in his series of what might be causing the bigger swings in the marginals.

For in his second look at the issue he suggests that the massive decline in Labour councillors in the key seats together with the corresponding increase in Tory ones might be providing Cameron’s party with an extra edge.

For having a councillor does two main things – it means that the wards to you hold are worked at much harder and it also can result in extra cash coming into local party coffers.

For one of the big changes in local government in recent times has been the allowances that are paid to councillors and there’s a strong tradition for parts of this to be ploughed back into the election machine that won the ward in the first place.

And all the experience is that when you lose council seats, as Labour has been doing on a big scale in recent times, then it undermines your on-the-ground campaigning capabilities.

A lot is made of the resource that Michael Ashcroft has pumped in to key seats. My guess is that this has been dwarfed by what councillors are doing.

Bunnco’s analysis is well worth reading,

Mike Smithson