What You Can Get Away With » bedford

No doubt solely because of my visit there last week, the people of Bedford have elected Dave Hodgson as their Mayor. Congratulations to Dave and his team, and thanks to anyone who went to Bedford to help out, especially if you went as a result of my plea last week.

As with all by-elections, I’m sure this will be obsessed over by the media in the coming days, filling pages with speculation about what 2nd place means in terms of Cameron’s failure to connect with the voters, and just how bad is it for Labour to come 5th when the town of Bedford is represented by a Labour MP? After all, more people voted in Bedford than voted in the Norwich North by-election, and Dave will actually have much more power to influence the lives of the people of the Borough of Bedford than Chloe Smith has over the people of Norwich North.

In the real world, of course, it doesn’t even get a mention on the BBC News front page – and isn’t even one of the main stories on the Politics section of the BBC News site. Of course, it’s much more important that the Tories may or may not want to send a TV presenter to the House of Lords, in what I can only think must be a stunt to prove how ridiculous the idea of an appointed Upper House is. If we’re lucky, Dave’s election might just be the lead story on Look East tonight, unless someone in Norwich has stubbed their toe.

Finally, for those who like political trivia, consider this: both elected Liberal Democrat mayors are in the East of England, which also means that now all the elected mayors in the East of England are Liberal Democrats. It still doesn’t mean I want one in Colchester, though!

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If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen that I was in Bedford today helping out Dave Hodgson’s campaign for Mayor. Unlike my last by-election day out in Norwich, it was a sunny day so it was a pleasure to be out delivering on the streets of the town.

(And yes, I don’t agree with the current Mayoral system, but I also can’t argue with the reality that Bedford has one, and it’s better to have a Liberal Democrat in the post)

So, if you’ve got some spare time in the next week, then why not pop along to Bedford and help out the Dave for Mayor campaign? Every little helps, especially if you can get there on polling day next Thursday where they’ll need lots of help to get out the vote from across the borough. I can’t promise that you’ll get good weather too, but they do make a nice cup of tea at campaign HQ.

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Just to give a quick plug to the Lib Dem candidate in the Bedford Mayoral by-election, Dave Hodgson. I believe that this is only the second Mayoral by-election in Britain after North Tyneside in 2003 so it’s about time that the Heath Robinson creation that is the fabled Lib Dem by-election machine got to work on one.

So good luck to Dave, and I might even see you on the streets of Bedford at some time in the next month if I can make it over there.

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