General Election 2015: Jeremy Hunt (Conservative)

Post length: 569 words, about 2 and a half minutes.

Details

Full name: Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt
Party: Conservative
Website: http://www.jeremyhunt.org/

Analysis

Jeremy Hunt is the sitting MP in South West Surrey, and was the Secretary of State for Health in the previous government. A quick look at the current polling data and the constituency’s history shows just how safe the seat is for the Conservatives and there is little doubt that Hunt will retain the seat. Perhaps it is for this reason that the Conservative freepost didn’t arrive at our house. It is also not available on electionleaflets.org. I did, however, get a paid-for addressed leaflet at the weekend, and so I’ll take a look at this, with consideration that it doesn’t compare to the leaflets I have reviewed from the other parties.
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Posted on Wednesday 6th May, 2015 at 8:43 am in Obiter dicta.
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General Election 2015: Paul Robinson (Something New)

Post length: 570 words, about 2 and a half minutes.

Details

Full name: Paul James Robinson
Party: Something New
Website: http://www.somethingnew.org.uk/swsurrey

Analysis

Something New describe themselves as “a new political party, offering a vision of a better democracy.” It appears that they are putting up two candidates in the 2015 General Election and two in local elections (although one of those is the same candidate). Paul Robinson is representing South West Surrey.

The leaflet opens by talking about perceived failings in the current political parties, claiming that they represent their own agenda rather than really representing the constituents they are supposed to. It briefly teases a new way of making policy.

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Posted on Sunday 3rd May, 2015 at 11:18 am in Obiter dicta.
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General Election 2015: Susan Ryland (Green)

Post length: 570 words, about 2 and a half minutes.

Details

Full name: Susan Mary Ryland
Party: Green Party

Analysis

Susan Ryland is a locally based artist standing in South West Surrey on behalf of the Green Party. However it seems that this leaflet does little to convey these significantly positive points to the reader. The whole of the inside is national Green Party policy, and even the front cover carries the same design as a large number of Green candidates standing in this election around the country. A quick search on ElectionLeaflets.org shows just how many copypaste Green Party leaflets are out there nationally. This is a real shame for a party which prides itself on it’s membership of creative individuals.

The back page carries the candidate’s only personal input: her personal statement. [read more]

Posted on Thursday 30th April, 2015 at 8:57 am in Obiter dicta.
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General Election 2015: Patrick Haveron (Liberal Democrats)

Post length: 804 words, about 3 and a half minutes.

Details

Full name: Patrick Haveron
Party: Liberal Democrats (suspended)
Website: http://www.patrickhaveron.com/ (currently offline)

Analysis

Before we begin, it’s worth noting that Haveron has been suspended from the Liberal Democrats due to claims he falsified council nomination papers. At this time his Twitter account has been closed and his campaign website is not working (it is still available via Google cache at the moment). However it is my understanding that he will still be on the ballot papers for both the constituency and council elections and therefore I will continue to review the election communication I received last weekend.

Haveron’s leaflet, below, was the second of the main parties’ freepost communication to arrive. [read more]

Posted on Wednesday 29th April, 2015 at 8:57 am in Obiter dicta.
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General Election 2015: Howard Kaye (Labour)

Post length: 719 words, just over 3 minutes.

This post has been updated with some feedback from the candidate via email. I’ve added footnotes where appropriate, or you can jump straight down to them. I’m grateful to Howard for providing the feedback which clears up a few of my questions and assumptions.

Details

Full name: Howard James Kaye
Party: Labour
Website: http://www.howardkaye.org/

Analysis

Howard Kaye’s leaflet dropped through my door early last week and is the first of the three major parties’ communication to arrive. There are no fewer than two statements apparently written by the candidate — on the first inside page and on the back — but neither of them say much about the candidate himself. It tells us that Kaye has worked in both the public and private sectors for 35 years; it is only on further investigation of his campaign website that we learn Kaye has been a train driver for this time and that it is the era of British Rail which accounts for the public sector claim.1 I do wonder if this is intentional — the socioeconomic makeup of the constituency doesn’t suggest, to me, it might be sympathetic to someone in this line of work.

With this knowledge of Kaye’s background a little more light is shed on why his leaflet includes a small section2 on transport. [read more]

Posted on Monday 27th April, 2015 at 9:26 am in Obiter dicta.
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General Election 2015: Louise Irvine (NHA)

Post length: 507 words, about 2 and a half minutes.

Details

Full name: Louise Irvine
Party: National Health Action Party
Website: https://nhaswsurrey.wordpress.com/

Analysis

Louise Irvine is a GP standing in the South West Surrey constituency on behalf of the National Health Action Party. The NHA is a small party fighting on one basic issue: to save the NHS. The NHA are fielding 12 candidates in the 2015 general election and, as South West Surrey is┬áthe current Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s constituency, we have one of them. Presumably the other 11 candidates are contesting other high-profile seats.

I have seen more posters and garden signs for Louise than for any other candidate while out and about (for me that’s Farnham town centre and the roads to the east towards Aldershot). This might be a sign that she’s well supported or could simply indicate that the campaign is very vocal. [read more]

Posted on Friday 24th April, 2015 at 8:51 am in Obiter dicta.
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General Election 2015: Mark Webber (UKIP)

Post length: 576 words, about 2 and a half minutes.

Details

Full name: Mark Adrian Webber
Party: United Kingdom Independence Party
Website: http://markwebber2015.org/

Analysis

We’ve been recieving leaflets and information from UKIP for a long time, well before any of the other parties started campaigning. We’ve also seen them about town — in person and in the form of a poster van — as well as noticing they have been putting flyers under windscreen wipers in nearby car parks. Given that South West Surrey makes up part of Nigel Farage’s South East England European Parliament constituency, it’s not a big surprise to see a lot of UKIP coverage in the area.

Mark Webber himself is not a resident of the constituency, his home address on the nomination notice is Poplar and Limehouse constituency (London). Indeed, at the AGM on 3rd March he was elected chairman of the Tower Hamlets branch of UKIP. [read more]

Posted on Wednesday 22nd April, 2015 at 8:44 am in Obiter dicta.
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General Election 2015: South West Surrey

Post length: 207 words, almost 1 minute.

With the 2015 General Election looming ever closer, nominations closed, polling card received and occasional election communication dropping through the door, I thought I’d spend some time taking a look at each of the candidates standing in my constituency of South West Surrey. Over the course of a number of blog posts I intend to take a look at each of the 7 candidates and their policies as presented to me specifically.

I intend to cover each candidate as their election material drops through my letterbox, although based on previous experience (admittedly not in a general election in this constituency) I suspect I might not get information from all 7 candidates. If this is the case then I will take a look at the remaining candidates in the final couple of weeks of the campaign from my own research. Of course I will update anything I’ve already written with any additional information I receive. [read more]

Posted on Monday 20th April, 2015 at 9:10 am in Obiter dicta.
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