Voters have been heading to the polls for the local elections today, as a long and gruelling campaign for the two main parties is wrapping up. Activists have been touring the doorsteps issuing heartfelt promises to repair potholes and collect bins faster. It’s been a familiar script – the Tories accuse Labour of waste, and Labour accuse the Tories of cutting services.
Something that’s been conspicuously absent though, is any mention of the two main parties’ leaders. Mr S was curious to see how prominent Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were featuring in the campaign literature in this election, but after a search of over 50 randomly selected election leaflets, failed to find a single mention of either of them over the past two months.
The one mention of the leaders’ names Mr S did find was a solitary campaigner who professed his support for Jeremy Corbyn all the way back in February. It hasn’t always been this way. While leaders tend to feature less in local campaigning, it didn’t take long for Mr Steerpike to find a local leaflet from 2015 adorned with David Cameron’s face. It also hasn’t been the case for the smaller parties this year, whose councillors have been blessed with glowing reviews on their leaflets from their respective leaders.
It’s almost as if a memo has gone out to both main party campaigns this time, forbidding any reference to the beleaguered Corbyn and May – perhaps in case voters were reminded of who they were voting for…