Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Battle of the Bush: Where is the LibDem?

The answer is Richmond. Merlene Emerson, LibDem candidate for the Bush at the General Election, is now also running as a local candidate for the council in Richmond. Announced on the Twickenham LibDems website Merlene makes no mention of Shepherd's Bush or even Hammersmith, instead she chooses to advise residents of Richmond who she hopes to serve in the Council chamber that she has "served on the Richmond Housing Partnership since 2007".

You often hear non-LibDem politicians bashing them by saying they have no hope of winning and that a vote for them is wasted. Never more so than in these days of Nick Clegg hysteria after the Leader's Debate last week. Quite often that's rubbish, they actually run councils like Richmond after all and until a couple of years ago were part of the governments of Scotland and Wales.

But if these actions of our own LibDem candidate don't tell Bushers how much hope she really thinks she has of winning this seat then nothing will. At least Rollo Miles, the Green candidate, always actually says "I have no chance of winning, but.." before he says anything at public debates.

Doesn't Shepherd's Bush deserve a full time candidate?


  1. This is a common trait of Lib Dem candidates. Part time. The Lib Dem candidates. Eg 1:Tynemouth: http://bit.ly/9Ru3Ge Eg 2: Westminster North: http://bit.ly/96pZ86

  2. Interesting. Commenting on another post here just this morning made me look up the nominal votes for Con, Lab & Lib Dem in the new constituency. And made me wonder whether Merlene was in with a serious chance.

    Before the sudden boost of Nick Clegg's debate performance, Lib Dem in Hammersmith stood at a nominal 19% - pretty far behind Con at 31% and Lab at 45%, so I'm sure she had no expectation of winning as MP (although unlike the Greens, you'll never hear a Lib Dem say that!) - while the Barnes council seat is probably a lot safer...

    But now if you transpose national polls to our local constituency, she's actually a surprise contender, and this is a bit of a sticky situation... Oops!

    I can see why candidates might not want to mention their 100% dedication to an area, but given that it's probably going to come out anyway - especially in the era of Google search - surely it's better to opt for total transparency?

  3. Rupert, I didn't know she was hedging her bets but I am not surprised. If I was her I wouldn't be mentioning it either. Doesn't show either much commitment to the new electorate or confidence in her ability (to win).

    Pretty unimpressive actually.

  4. Hi all,

    There was the era known as BC (before Cleggism) and there is the here and now.

    Let me assure you that Hammersmith now has my full attention - so GAME ON chaps!!


    PS Thanks Rupert, for your analysis. As it has been said a week is long time in Politics and we have slightly more than 2....

  5. Hi Merlene

    Good to hear we have your full attention. Does this mean you're no longer a candidate in Richmond?

  6. A candidate responds personally?! As I've said a few times in the comments, I think, I'd love to see Slaughter & Bailey do this. I don't think they have, ever, have they, despite being interviewed here?
    Just as I'm sure they'd respond to letters or articles in the paper about them - this is a public forum for discussion, with many thousands of readers.
    Heartening to see the council opposition leader on a soapbox, too.

  7. LibDems in Richmond are very good at skewing the truth. I should know. I live there :(