Vote local in Elections 2019 to help democracy win – The Yorkshire Post says

THERESA May and the Tories do have good reason to downplay expectations ahead of today’s local elections where 538 council seats across Yorkshire will be contested.

Local elections take place across Yorkshire today.

After all, these same wards were last contested four years ago in May 2015 on the day when David Cameron secured an unexpected victory as the Conservatives won a Commons majority for the only time since 1992.

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An outcome which paved the way for Mr Cameron’s referendum on EU membership, the fallout from the electorate’s decision to narrowly back Brexit has dominated this year’s campaign. Not only will these results have a bearing on Mrs May’s short-term future as Tory activists press for her to step aside, but Jeremy Corbyn still has to convince many in his party about in his Brexit stance in the wake of his continuing hesitancy over a second referendum.

Yet the regret is the unsatisfactory conduct of the campaign and how candidates have been fearful to knock on doors due to the electorate’s simmering anger over Parliament’s inability to agree a way forward on Britain’s exit from the EU.

In some areas, campaigns have been suspended on safety grounds – a quite damning indictment on the strained relationship between politicians and 
the people that they purport to serve, and which does not bode well for persuading talented candidates to put their names forward in the future.

It should not be like this. For, while people’s strongly-held views are legitimate and, in one way, counter electoral apathy, it does not excuse the lack of basic courtesy that has been afforded to council candidates of all stripes who are trying to engage with households.

These are individuals committed to making a difference at a local level and the merit of their candidatures should be seen in this light rather than the narrow prism of Brexit.

After all, it is this grass roots engagement which holds the key to reinvigorating democracy. And, for this reason, The Yorkshire Post urges its readers to vote for the person best placed to make a positive difference locally.

For, in many respects, local elections should not be solely about national politics – never mind Brexit – or a referendum on Mrs May’s future.