A YOUGOV poll this week indicates massive losses at the forthcoming elections for both Coalition parties. With literally hours remaining for potential candidates to get their nomination papers in for the Local Government Elections scheduled for May 5th, it looks like the next month will be a battleground for the Government parties and their programme of cutbacks.
The Poll shows the Conservatives on 36% (down 4% on their 2007 result) Labour on 42% (up 16% on 2007) and the LibDems on 10% (down 11% ).
This suggests a loss of 1,000 Tory seats and 700 Lib Dem seats, indicating massive public discontent with the Coalition Government.
Sedgemoor District Labour Party Chairman, Cllr Brian Smedley says "This is a major boost to Labours campaign in Sedgemoor where we expect the Tories to lose about 15 seats and the Lib Dems to be wiped out completely. We are standing strong candidates in 34 seats right across the District and with the kind of swing to Labour that have won us some surprising seats in Cornwall, Devon and Gloucestershire recently we can capitalise on the considerable dissilusion with the Sedgemoor Tories and the Collapse of the LibDems to take at least 25 seats and gain control of the Council."
To take Sedgemoor Labour will need to sweep the board in their Bridgwater stronghold where they curently have 10 seats to the Tory 6 and then regain their former seats in Highbridge and Woolavington. Cllr Smedley says "In Highbridge the Libdems are on the ropes with rival factions standing against each other. This is no surprise as no sooner were they elected in Highbridge last time round their leader defected to the Tories and now with them in Coalition Nationally with the Conservatives people are deserting them in droves. "
The crucial battle for control of Sedgemoor will be fought in the Rural Tory heartlands where Conservative candidates don't even usually expect any opposition at all. "This time round it's different" said Cllr Smedley "Local communities are being hit by the tory cuts and young people are joining us because they're angry at Nick Clegg and the lies of the LibDems. No Tory seat is safe this May!"
Katherine Putnam (25) , from Fiddington, is standing for Labour in the Quantock Hills ward and says "I have major concerns about the potential impact of Tory policies on rural communities and especially the effect of Hinkley Point and EDF's plans. Also it's about time we injected a bit of youth and vitality into the council chamber!"
Alex Desmond (24), from Stockmoor Village , is standing for North Petherton and says "We've got a situation where youth unemployment is currently running at nearly 20%. Young people are having to make some serious choices about their Education. For me the student fight is undoubtedly part of the wider fight against the cuts. Whats crucial for me is fairness. For me the Labour Party is the only party with fair policies on Education and taxation."
Bertrand Vessier is a French National who has lived in the Bridgwater area for 13 years and has decided to stand for his home village of Woolavington - now joined to Puriton for election purposes. Bert says "Now is a worrying time. the Tories have just brought in a raft of cuts which are unfair and target the most vulnerable in our community. Our bus services, our policing and social care are all under threat and I will fight these cuts wherever possible, so I have decided to stand for Labour and help build a brighter and fairer Sedgemoor".
The final deadline for nominations is Noon on Monday 4th April.