DUNCAN BARKES: Whichever horse you are backing - use your vote

Duncan Barkes
Duncan Barkes
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WITH racing at Goodwood looming, along with the 2013 West Sussex County Council elections, I thought we’d take a look at the latter with a nod to the former.

Yes, the runners and riders have been announced for the Election Stakes.

The red horse, trained by the Miliband clan, seldom fares well in true-blue West Sussex.

Recent family squabbles have also been an issue for this nag, and many ponder exactly what the Miliband horse actually stands for.

Having lost the successful ‘New Labour’ tag, the horse seems in hock to the unions with no real connection to regular punters.

The animal seems reduced to simply apeing the antics of the blue horse and failing to properly acknowledge the damage it has done on home turf.

Favourite in this race is the blue horse. Its pedigree shows it is a winner with punters on the tracks of West Sussex.

It might suffer slightly due to mid-term difficulties and opposition from the UKIP horse, but much of this will depend on conditions on the day.

Trained by Cameron, the blue horse still needs to overcome quite a few hurdles, including same-sex marriage and a split over Europe.

But it remains the bookies’ favourite.

The UKIP horse has come on in leaps and bounds in recent months. Tipsters are still divided: is the recent surge of support merely a flash in the pan or something more significant?

Either way its recent successes in other council elections cannot be ignored.

Ridden by the inimitable Farage, in his usual silks (mustard slacks and checks), the horse is certainly one to watch and is worth a flutter.

The jury is still out on the Clegg horse. Many pundits have written it off, yet it still triumphed at Eastleigh recently, despite fierce opposition.

The Clegg horse will still be placed in this race, but perhaps not slipping past the post as easily as in recent years.

There are a few other runners, including the Greens, who might get a smidgen of support from non-serious racegoers.

Candidates may be fighting for ground on local issues, but they are still running under national colours.

Back your horse wisely, but most importantly, make sure you place your bet and use your vote.

Love or hate her, learn from Maggie

THERE has been much chuntering about Lady Thatcher and her impact on this country.

Whatever your view, you can’t ignore the fact that she was a conviction politician – a woman with strong beliefs that she wasprepared to stand by and not change or dilute at the first whiff of criticism or obstruction.

Cameron, Clegg and Miliband could do a lot worse than emulate her courage.

Twitter: @DuncanBarkes