Hyndburn is a Conservative council. A third of the seats are up for election on Thursday. This year the Council achieved a Council tax freeze – a move opposed by Labour.
The Hyndburn constituency is our 132nd target seat. Of the 18 relevant wards – which include a couple that come under Rossendale – when last contested there were 12 won by the Conservatives, five won by Labour and one went to an Independent. This is a good example of why I am optimistic about the outcome of the election. We need to gain 116 seats for an overall majority. That list includes 13 from the Lib Dems. I'm hoping we will win at least some of them. But even if you suppose we don't gain any of those ones and we need to get an extra 13 compensatory gains, gaining Hyndburn would still be beyond that requirement. Yet it looks pretty winnable from the Council results, doesn't it? Good luck to our candidate Karen Buckley.
A couple of caveats. Firstly, our candidate was chosen late in the day after some wrangling. Very annoying. Secondly, the sitting Labour MP Greg Pope is not all bad. He says on his blog:
"We should cut the top rate of tax. Raising the top rate to 50% was done for political reasons not economic ones, the main problem being that the political reasons were bad ones. The problem with soak-the-rich tax policies is that they don’t work. Personally, I couldn’t care less if Tracey Emin leaves Britain but we ought to be worried about the hedge fund advisers who are taking the same route to our lower taxed neighbours. And if you are a football fan ask yourself why the world’s best players either won’t come to England (Kàka) or have left England (Ronaldo) and you’ll discover that part of the reason is that our tax rates are so much higher than Spain’s."