Looking at the last election results for Stoke on Trent City Council, which took place in 2008, I couldn't spot any Labour candidates elected for the wards which will make up the new Stoke Central constituency. Not sure how much significance to attach to this as those elected were a smattering of independents and Lib dems – although worryingly also included a couple of BNP councillors. This is the seat where Labour has chosen historian The Hon Tristram Hunt as their candidate and face their vote being split by an independent Labour candidate

Stoke has a third of the seats up for election this year. The Council has had a series of messy coalitions. Frankly, if you want a warning against a hung Parliament take a long hard look at Stoke on Trent City Council.

For the General Election the Conservative candidate Norsheen Bhatti, a defector from the Lib Dems, has been fighting a strong, positive campaign.

I wish Norsheen well. Although I do think to have some more historians in the House of Commons. Why are we letting Labour steal a march? We have William Hague , who wrote an excellent biography of William Pitt the Younger. But what about getting some more historians on the Tory benches? Andrew Roberts, David Starkey, Paul Johnson, Niall Ferguson, Norman Stone? I don't suggest there should be all historian shortlists imposed. But what about some "positive action" to encourage some more of them to apply?

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