The Nuardiag has an “alternative” campaign poster for the Conservatives. Something tells me that they won’t be using it.
Over here in Bradford West, we now have four confirmed candidates for the election – the Liberal Democrats have brought forward Cllr Mukhtar Ali, currently sitting on Bradford council in Bowling and Barkerend. In terms of political experience it puts him ahead of the Conservative candidate Haroon Rashid who thus far has been a candidate in Bolton South East since 1992 but has never been elected, however :
In one alleged incident, a Lib Dem party worker is said to have taken ballot papers from a couple and completed them without their permission.
According to the couple, who asked not to be named, the Lib Dem candidate, Mukhtar Ali, later apologised for the incident, telling the couple it had been a mistake and done without his knowledge.
Ali told The Sunday Times that police had investigated a number of allegations of fraud but no prosecutions had resulted.
“I am very disappointed that such allegations are still being made and can give you my assurance that I will be working hard to make sure that the forthcoming general election is carried out in a free and fair manner,” he said.
That said, he’s been involved in groups like Bradford Stop the War and Bradford LibDems were out with the Unite Against Fascism people last year – if it’s who I think it is, then he will be the only candidate that I’ve met in person. Past elections have seen the LibDems do rather poorly – they came 4th last time.
We also have a Green Party candidate in the form of Parvez Darr, who stood in the council elections in Heaton last year but wasn’t elected. Other than that I know very little about him and the combined forces of Google, Yahoo and MSN Search haven’t surfaced anything more. The Greens narrowly beat the LibDems into third place last time around.
Finally there’s the incumbent Labour MP Marsha Singh, a backbencher who voted against the war but toed the party line on other controversial topics like topup fees and ID cards. His majority is only around 4000 so this is quite a key battleground seat.
As yet, the BNP have not confirmed a candidate for this constituency – one stood here in 1997 but not in 2001. In the past we’ve had several socialist parties and UKIP stand here as well, and I’m expecting a Respect candidate.
Back home in York the picture is similar; an incumbent Labour MP and candidates from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the Greens. There’s also a UKIP candidate. Hugh Bayley is the City of York MP and he enjoys quite a big majority. He was a junior minister in the first Blair administation and is a bit of a toady in that he has never really rebelled against the government on, well, anything.
As I’ve said in previous comments, I’m registered to vote in York and Bradford, but can only use one of those votes. It’s likely that I’ll be voting in Bradford, mainly because it’ll be one more vote against the BNP, but also because this is where I spend most of my time at the moment.
I’m still not 100%-decided about who to vote for, but Haroon Rashid can be assured that he won’t be getting my vote, nor will any BNP or UKIP candidates if they choose to stand.