Nottingham city council’s invisible candidates struggling to reach voters
The first-year broadcast journalism students here at CBJ have been working hard to compile profiles for every candidate standing in the forthcoming Nottingham City Council elections.
We have been aiming to compile biographical details and photographs for everyone pitching for a seat and, with a total of 55 seats, across 20 wards, and up to a dozen candidates per ward, this has been a considerable undertaking.
But we didn’t realise just how considerable until we started our research and were astonished to find just how few candidates can be found on social media or, indeed, have any digital platform whatsoever.
Despite trawls of party websites and news sites far and wide, many of these candidates are nowhere to be found.
We have tried emailing and calling political party offices and, even, home numbers and we are still struggling to gather the information.
If we are finding this so hard, what about voters wanting to know about the candidates hoping to represent them? How do these people hope to attract votes on polling day when there is so little information about them available?
In today’s digital world there is no reason why this should be the case. Surely the first thing anyone wanting to represent their community should do is to inform that community of who they are and what they about. But this doesn’t seem to be happening here in Nottingham.
The turn-out at local elections is low, traditionally no higher than 35 per cent and here maybe a reason for this. Is it any wonder that voters are struggling to be engaged when candidates are so invisible?