I say General Election day, as next month we’ll be going back to the polls for a re-run of the Tower Hamlets mayoral election. But, today on the 7th May 2015, I’ve just been to vote in Bethnal Green and Bow and it’s been a remarkable sight.
Three people, and a slightly borer police officer, was all there was. How different from elections past, where my local primary school would have twenty or thirty canvassers outside and an atmosphere that some would describe as ‘lively’, but an Election Court may call ‘unlawfully intimidating’.
The reason is that for the first time in ten years there’s no Respect/Tower Hamlet’s First type candidate. Bethnal Green & Bow has returned to a normal(ish) constituency and will shortly return Rushanara Ali as the Labour MP with a five figure majority. Normalcy resumed.
I’m not sure if Lutfur Rahman will be putting up a candidate for mayor. Even if he does, I’d imagine that John Biggs will win comfortably, and he will be a great mayor. But if there’s no THF candidate, then it will be in all likelihood a simple coronation with a minimum of fuss. Two quiet elections in a row, without any allegations of shenanigans? Whatever next …