Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Party Lines

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Party Lines

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ross Smith

In case you hadn't noticed, it's that time of year again when election fever grips the North-East.

And the parties are making sure they give you a clear choice on who runs the region's civic centres.

If you want the North to be "safer, fairer, greener", that presumably means you will back the Liberal Democrat manifesto, launched on Monday.

However, if you prefer "cleaner, greener, safer", that must make you a Labour supporter, for that is the slogan of their manifesto, launched today.

So if you're wavering between the two parties, there's the big choice in a nutshell. Do you want things to be fair or clean? You decide.

YOU could, of course, choose the Tories instead. Unless you live in one of the seven wards in Newcastle where they're not fielding a candidate, that is.

The party failed to collect the 10 signatures needed on nomination forms in a string of wards. And though these are places where they would never expect to win, it is all very embarrassing, seeing as new leader David Cameron had promised to take Northern cities seriously.

Of course, as past election results show, even in places such as Benwell and Scotswood ( hardly bastions of Conservative support ( the party can still muster considerably more than 10 votes. The blunder over the nominations is rather a sign that the Tories, for some reason, weren't able to get those supporters organised in time.

So one would have expected local Tory members to be fairly upset at the situation. But surprisingly, some figures in the party seemed to show few signs of depression.

Word is that party bosses in the city are not universally popular, and there is a certain amount of schadenfreude in the ranks.

ELECTIONS are always busy times for political parties, so it is usually well worth checking if there are any details they may have forgotten to mention in the hurly-burly of the campaign.

One example came yesterday, when Government minister Ben Bradshaw was in Newcastle to help the Labour campaign in the city. …

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