Before moving on to the local candidates individually I'm just going to spend a few moments pondering the desirability of various outcomes at the national level. This might help some of you decide whether to pack your bags on May 8th.
Obviously the worst result would be a majority Labour government. Majority Labour governments have always been ruinous for the British economy, authoritarian in their approach and always lead to high unemployment; they keep saying they've changed, learned lessons, but they never do - they are to be avoided at all costs.
Second worst would be a majority Conservative government. Fortunately, this is unlikely under the leadership of David Cameron: couldn't win outright against the worst Prime Minister in living memory, hasn't done better than neck and neck with the most hopeless opposition leader in living memory. The current Conservative party has an insultingly hopeless justice minister, a weak Prime Minister and no real idea what it stands for any more. Plain packaging on cigarettes anyone?
This time though we have several minor players each capable of influencing the makeup of a minority government. Probably the best outcome would be more of the same: Conservatives + LibDem coalition. That would likely lead to a change in the Labour leadership so they might have a crack next time; the reverse is also true.
The Conservatives complain that they weren't able to do more over the last five years because they were held back by the wretched LibDems; the LibDems make similar complaints but I can't help thinking that they probably only achieved what has been achieved because they've had to compromise. A bit like out here in reality.