My father has already done his stint as part of the slick electoral machine of the Shipston branch of the party that wishes to block the deportation of Abu Qatada and now we sit back and watch the results come in tonight. To add interest we have six bets running. And it is at 5 Albanian Lekke a pop.
My banker is who will get a greater percentage of the popular vote: UKIP or the Lib Dems. The last national survey suggested the Lib Dems would get 14% and UKIP 22% just behind labour on 24%. I think it is pretty brave of anyone to admit voting Lib Dem but I suspect that even more folks are reluctant to admit to voting UKIP lest the local council snatch their kids or Ken Clarke accuses them of racism. So I sense the 22% might just underestimate the UKIP vote and so barring a miracle this is my banker bet.
I win 5 Albanian Lekke from my father.
I wish we had a bet on the South Shields by-election where the word is that both the Tories and Lib Dems will lose their deposits. Indeed there is a suggestion that the unofficial Monster raving Loony party (the one led by Nick Clegg) will in fact be beaten by the Official Monster Raving Loony party. UKIP will come second but I suspect a lot closer to Labour (in its safest seat in England) than it did in Rotherham.
How well UKIP actually does is down, I suspect to whether folks feel apathetic (Local elections do not count, all politicians are greedy sleazy tossers who ignore our wishes on everything, but I am off down the pub, staying at home waiting for the next Coronation Street star to be exposed as an alleged sex offender) or angry (all politicians are greedy sleazy tossers who ignore our wishes on everything) and so since local elections do not count I will kick them in the gonads by voting UKIP.
The signs are that in some places apathy reigns. But in others (like along the High Speed rail line) turnout is half decent.’ And that means UKIP will do well.
It is just conceivable that UKIP will win more of the popular vote than Labour. It will gain dozens of seats. The Tories and Lib Dems will suffer a bloodbath but Labour’s low share of the vote (it is largely rural seats up for grabs) will be used to bash them. Of the party leaders only Farage will really be smiling tonight.
And so to our other bet which is on the Warwickshire County Council contest in Shipston on Stour. This ward has elected in the last three contests a Tory, a Liberal and a man from the People’s Party. That was a flash-in-the-pan win for Labour as the plebs showed their support for the proposed supermarket. This time there are five candidates:
Incumbent councillor Mr Saint (regarded as Mr Sinner by my father as he is the Conservative candidate)
Wacko Environmentalist (the Green Party Candidate)
Beardy Weirdie (Lib Dem)
Nice Lady from the Post Office (The People’s Party)
A bloke no-one has ever heard of (UKIP)
Last time Mr Sinner won by a landslide. Beardy Weirdie is a sitting District Councillor. Wacko Environmentalist was very anti supermarket as were Beardy Weirdie and Sinner. The bloke no-one has ever heard of (UKIP) has not declared his hand on Supermarkets.
And so the bets are on each of the five places. My father goes with
2. Beardy Weirdie
3. Nice Lady from Post Office, New Labour
4. Wacko Environmentalist (Friend of deluded lefty step mum)
5. Bloke no-one has ever heard of, UKIP.
I predict a mammoth UKIP surge with the Sinner suffering the most and so go with:
1. Beardy Weirdie (perhaps the only Lib Dem gain in the UK tonight)
2. Bloke no-one has ever heard of (UKIP)
4. Nice Lady from the Post Office
5. Wacko Environmentalist.
As a footnote it appears that little step sister Flea forgot to put herself on the electoral roll and so cannot vote at all. As such her opportunity to show her true colours (blue or purple) has been denied her.
I sense that on positions 5 and 4 I am bang on the money. But I am starting to worry that in fact I might have got three and one the wrong way round and that Mr Sinner will triumph while it is Beardy Weirdie who faces coming behind the bloke that no-one has ever heard of. All to be revealed tomorrow.