It is not so long ago that Dartford was considered to be, and promoted as, the English Democrats strongest branch and number-one target for both Parliamentary and local governmental success!
As we now know that did not happen!
Effectively the origin of the EDP in Dartford was the ‘New England Party’ run by Mike Tibby. (A pocket history of this short-lived party will be posted in the near future.)
The EDP emerged onto the electoral scene in Dartford at the Borough elections of 2007, they fielded 20 candidates and averaged around 9%, with a high of 24.5% in Heath ward and a low of 2.8% in Longfield, New Barn & Southfleet ward.
A Prince’s ward bye-election in 2008 showed a 5% increase on the previous year with Mike Tibby getting 16.8%.
In the Kent County Council elections of 2009 the EDP fielded candidates in the 6 Dartford Divisions. Five of them gained over 20% of the vote and averaged 20.9% with a high of 26% and a low of 8.4%.
The 2011 Borough elections were a disaster for the EDP in Dartford with their 24 candidates averaging just 4.8%. Only one of the candidates reaching double figures, 12.5% in Littlebrook with the lowest being Steven Uncles in West Hill on 2.9%.
The fall-off was most marked in Heath ward from 24.5% in 2007 to 4.3% in 2011.
In 2007 18 of the 20 candidates polled over 5%!
In 2011 17 0f the 24 candidates failed to reach the 5% mark!
In mid June 2012 Nathan King-Turner, the new Chairman of Kent EDP was “delighted to announce that Steve Uncles, South East Area Chairman has accepted my invitation to stand as English Democrats’ candidate for Castle Ward, in a by-election in Stone, nr. Dartford.”
English nationalists waited to see what happened, but nothing actually came of this. Then, on 14th July, Dartford council posted the Notice of Vacancy for the Parish and Borough wards on their website.
The Borough election needs just two ward electors to call for it and the Parish needs ten.
There is no time limit on calling the Borough election but the notice for the Parish stated.
“A by-election to fill the vacancy will be held if within 14 days (not counting a Saturday or Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday, or Bank Holiday) from the date below ten electors for the Parish ward (Castle) give notice in writing claiming such an election to the Returning Officer.
If no such notice is given the Parish Council will fill the vacancy by co-option.
Dated: 18th July 2012.”
That deadline expired on Tuesday 7th August and as yet nothing has appeared on the Dartford website.
Maybe the website is very slow to update its information.
Maybe the EDP couldn’t get ten people to call for the election.
Maybe Steve Uncles stood down as a candidate and was not, could not be, replaced.
Maybe the EDP decided not to risk fighting the election and is hoping that its candidate can get co-opted onto the council.
We shall have to wait and see!