Walk around Bridgend town centre and one could be forgiven for not knowing local elections are just a few hours away. That alone is not news. Voter apathy has been a feature of UK politics for a while, and in this part of the country it’s no different. “Things never change no matter who’s in charge,” says one local.
Except these are not your normal times. In recent decades Labour has ruled supreme in this sleepy town in South Wales. But in 2015, the Labour MP Madeleine Moon won the parliamentary constituency with a majority of less than 2,000. Her party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is popular with members but unpopular with voters at large. As Bob Dylan would say: “The Times They Are A Changin’” , and the Tories know it.
That means little to Hailey Townsend. The 33-year-old Labour councillor is running for re-election in the Brackla ward. The Tories are interested in this ward too – on 25 April the Tory Prime Minister Theresa May made a surprise appearance in the hopes of galvanising a disenchanted electorate.