Froch vs Groves? Pah. Bring on Lord Biro V David Watts: a Newark by-election special.

Over in Newark, the only town in Britain to be a rather vulgar anagram*, there’s an election brewing. I’ve not had much of an eye on the political scene of late: those who thought my marriage was just a clever ruse to gain access to the Council House and break into Jon Collins’ inner sanctum, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Stronger lock than I expected….

So over in Newark there is a rather limp millionaire Tory, Robert Jenrick standing, a bloke so dull cabinet ministers have been bussed up from London to campaign while he’s been put in a back room with crisps and lemonade. Labour have Gedling Councillor Michael Payne, who looks unlikely to pull off a surprise victory even if UKIP cleave the Tory vote. Payne will be hoping to finish second, showing a presence in the constituency and rebuffing UKIP’s claims to have wooed chunks of the Labour vote. The Greens have David Kirwan, who will also be standing in 2015 in Broxtowe. Unless he wins, which he won’t. I don’t think I’ve met him before, but have briefly chatted via email and he comes across as a nice bloke, and hoping to capitalise on the Greens very much unreported resurgence in the Euro elections. Keeping his deposit will also be a plus.

There are a bunch of usual suspects: the Monster Raving Loony Party still think what was maybe a bit funny in the seventies is hil-ar-i-ous in 2014, and a middle aged guy with no previous excitement in his life gets to gurn on telly when they read his name out. There’s a couple of Independents standing on the hope of a protest vote, a guy called Dick Rogers (stop sniggering at the back) who is standing for a moderate Christian Party, Common Good, and one of those ubiquitous die-hard socialists who poll in the double figures while punching the air in an earnest fashion. Then of course there is the Mr Bronson tache’d Roger Helmer, a man who compares homophobia as akin to ‘not liking, or liking tea’, (I assume he applies the same logic to racism: you either like coffee with milk, or without); has ripe views on rape, and, as exclusively reported here many moons back, refers to his ‘tache as ‘the thigh tickler’. I chatted to someone who formally worked with him a while back and I believe their description of him was a ‘gropey grade A bell-end’. Perfect UKIP candidate, then.

More interestingly for me is two characters who will battling at the other end of the polling. Dave Bishop, aka the indefatigable Lord Biro is riding the crest of the ‘beating the Lib Dems in a council election wave’ and hoping his Bus-Pass Elvis party pull the same trick over the Lib Dem candidate, Dave Watts. You may recognise Watts as a long-standing regular of this page: he was PPC in 2010, and is the councillor for Bramcote on the Borough. He did say last time I interviewed him that he wouldn’t want to be a PPC again, not while his daughters were still young. It’s forgivable to assume he’s gone back on his word though -hardly a Lib Dem thing to do – as David has been bought in as damage control. As a enthusiastic campaigner on the door steps, and a pugilistic debater in  hustings, Watts will be trying to keep the Lib Dems in fourth place, and hold on to their deposit if possible. Watts memorably described the 2010 Broxtowe election as ‘a two horse race’. Applying that idea to Newark, Watts would be riding a tin of dog food. Will he push back Lord Biro? That to me is the real excitement. 


*apart from Scunthorpe. DO NOT even think about putting that into an online anagram solver...