Elections: Crawley candidates cautiously optimistic

The leaders of the three main parties battling for votes in today’s borough elections are all cautiously optimistic about their chances.

Polling stations around the town will be open until 10pm and the count will be held at K2 tomorrow (May 23).

jpco-28-5-14 Pound Hill South Polling Station (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140522-113150001

jpco-28-5-14 Pound Hill South Polling Station (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140522-113150001

A total of 46 candidates are standing in 12 wards and, with three councillors not standing for re-election and one opting to stand in a different ward, four neighbourhoods will see a new face representing them at the town hall.

Conservative leader Howard Bloom said the turnout in Pound Hill South & Worth was “slightly above what was expected”.

He added: “Our support seems pretty good. It’s the unknown really and you don’t know what the European effect will have on the local borough.”

When asked how confident he was the Conservatives would keep control of the council, he said: “I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess.”

Labour leader Peter Lamb described his team as “rushed off their feet”.

He added: “We’re getting a very positive response as we go through the day.”

As for Labour’s chances of taking control of the council, he said: “You have a plan, you stick to the plan and the plan should take us there.

“But, for now, we’re going to keep on talking to people.”

Lee Gilroy, chairman of UKIP, said the turnout seemed to be rather poor.

He said: “I’ve seen better turnouts at other elections. We’ve only had about 200 people at Southgate but a lot of postal votes have come in.”

As for UKIP’s chances, he said: “You never know for sure until you count up the votes but the way we see it, at the moment there are four or five area where we have a strong chance.”