Calderdale counts down to the council election

Counting votes at North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax
Counting votes at North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax

AT least 140,000 people have the chance to vote in Thursday’s elections to Calderdale Council.

But with a smaller than usual list of candidates and growing disenchantment with politics generally, the turnout could be seriously below par.

If that is the case, then the results in each ward will be close and there could be just about as many losers as winners.

The perception among many voters is that the politicians and the parties they represent are interchangeable.

This year’s election run-up has been more of a canter with parties concentrating almost exclusively on ‘winable’ seats rather than trying to convert the wider populous to their political view.

Some households have received four or five leaflets from one party and few if any from anyone else.

There has been a clear of absence of ‘Vote for Me’ posters - candidates perhaps being too embarrassed about having their name in lights or seeing them defaced.

These will be the last elections to Calderdale Council for two years, as next year it is the turn of the Euro candidates, so what happens on Thursday is crucial.

Seventeen of the 51 seats are up for grabs and as the Labour Party is only defending two of those, it has most to gain.

The Conservatives will be lucky to hold on to all the nine seats they are defending and the Liberal Democrats are seriously under pressure to hold on to their six.

The current make-up of the council is Conservatives 21 seats, Labour 13, Lib-Dems 13 and Independents 4.

Another year with no single political party in overall control appears inevitable.

So a coalition will still be required to pilot through the austerity measures which are needed to cut running costs by £45 million over four years.