I am pretty sure
I was the only non-member to take up UKIP’s invitation to their Parliamentary
candidate selection for the Erith and Thamesmead constituency, a refreshing
change from ‘the big two’. The Tories are still
squabbling among themselves.
It’s always interesting when at meeting like this to have Bexley is Bonkers recommended to me as required reading. I am happy to hear that “it’s really very good” but not so sure about being told “it’s very funny”.
But down to business. There were five candidates who were allowed to speak for five minutes each with unlimited question time. Two candidates were local men and the others were an accountant from Chesham, a former Labour activist from Gravesham and a prominent Kent County Council councillor from Tunbridge Wells. All three were extremely good candidates and from my position as an outsider, and based solely on their short addresses, I thought they were more polished than the local contenders who did not seem to be MP material to me.
On the other hand I felt that none of them in their immaculate suits and shiny shoes would find it easy to connect with the more deprived areas of the constituency. Maybe the UKIP members felt the same because it was local man Ronie Johnson (pictured) who topped the poll and was selected as their candidate for May 2015.
At the last General Election Teresa Pearce won for Labour with a majority of 5,703 on a turnout of 42,476 (60·8%), by far the smallest majority of the three Bexley constituencies.
Teresa seems to be well known and liked in her constituency (or maybe I have come to know too many politically aware people since launching BiB) and will have an established political machine behind her.