Just two months ago the East Devon Alliance announced that it would form an umbrella group to support candidates wishing to stand at the District Council election on May 7th 2015. Yesterday, nominations closed.
Of the 29 wards to be contested, 24 will be fought by Independent candidates. A total of 37 Independent candidates have come forward to stand across the district, of whom 22 will be “Independent East Devon Alliance” on the ballot papers, and 15 will be Independent.
57 Conservatives will be standing, 19 Liberal Democrats, 6 Labour and 5 Greens. Despite free national news coverage every day for the last year, Ukip can only raise 9 candidates. For the first time ever the number of Conservative candidates – 57 – is overshadowed by the number of non-Conservatives – 76. In an historic first, the people of East Devon now have a genuine free choice at the election to entirely change the guard at their district council.
In the lead up to nominations a Conservative councillor, Phil Twiss repeatedly scaremongered the local electorate by absurdly suggesting the Independent movement was an alliance of left of centre groups. Yesterday this was shown for the false assertion it always was.
Between them, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Greens are fielding no fewer than 30 candidates of their own, who will rightly feel insulted by him.
Of more significance to him and his party comrades is that two of the most outstanding Independent candidates are well-respected members of the EDDC Audit and Governance Committee, who have honourably resigned from the Conservative party in order to stand as Independents in their areas, with the real expectation that they will be re-elected on May 7th.
East Devon Alliance Chairman Paul Arnott said, “Taken together with the unstoppable rise of Independent Parliamentary Candidate for East Devon, Claire Wright, this phenomenal offer by 37 Independents to the people of the district proves that East Devon better represents the desire for change in democracy than anywhere else in the United Kingdom.”