Last week it was Election Day! All over the UK people voted for the General and Local Elections, with the polling stations opening at 7 AM and closing late at night (10 PM). Definitely a few differences from back home, where the elections are always on a Sunday and there are a few weird historic laws regarding them (such as prohibiting people from hunting…). And, perhaps more interestingly, the local elections are open for participation not just to UK citizens but to anybody who is legally in the country, such as EU citizens.
The mechanics of the local elections are also quite strange, I have to say… you don’t vote for a specific candidate who might head the council for a few years; instead, you elect a few people of your sub-region (in my case it included a few of the villages nearby) who will between themselves (and the other elected councillors from other areas) decide who is heading the council. Due to that, things like the image below are simply not there, and I have to say that my local councillors did not actually campaign that much – I did get quite a few leaflets regarding the general election, though! (I’ll leave the general election for a future post…)
Perhaps not surprisingly, Canterbury maintained the Tory-dominated council from previous years. Actually, practically the whole of Kent is Tory-dominated, council- (and MP-) wise; apart from Thanet which now has a UKIP local council and Maidstone (Labour) , everything else got the Tories. And as for me, I can’t say I could make an informed choice regarding the local elections given that I had scarcely any information regarding the candidates or their manifestos. Very strange indeed!