Downing Student To Take On Lib Dems In Local Election


Downing 2nd year Ashley Walsh is to stand for Labour for local election, in a ward that affects almost 10 colleges.

Ashley Walsh, current chair of Cambridge University Labour Club (CULC), is standing as a candidate for Castle Ward in the 2011 local council elections, offering support to voters “betrayed by Julian Huppert and the Liberal Democrats.”

And, he told The Tab that he is determined to make the local Lib Dems, who usually win the seat hands down, “work for their votes…as with every other politician.”

But, the Chair of Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats, Hannah Keal, is doubtful of Walsh’s chances. Speaking to The Tab, she said: “I wish Ashley luck, but I think his chances of getting elected in the Castle are slim… The Liberal Democrats in Cambridge have a very strong record.”

Keal is not alone among students in expressing concern in Walsh standing for election, arguing that it just isn’t possible “to properly represent the residents of Cambridge while balancing your role as a councilor with a degree.”

Walsh in the campaigning spirit

Hope for Walsh in this respect comes from ex-chair of CULC, George Owers, who is now a history researcher at Jesus and won the Coleridge Ward in Cambridge last term.

Walsh firmly maintains his desire, having campaigned in his hometown of Leeds since he was 15. In a press release, Walsh claimed that he has “knocked on hundreds of door and spoken to countless numbers of voters in Cambridge. I really feel that I know what makes the city tick.”

At a time when politics is affecting the student population so heavily, Walsh could make inroads as Castle Ward contains a large number of colleges: from Clare, Trinity, Trinity Hall and Caius to Magdalene, St. John’s and the Castle Hill colleges.

Voting in local elections will take place on 5th May, the same day as the parliamentary referendum on the alternative voting system.

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