I am unlikely to vote in the May County Council elections, I probably won't have the opportunity. My current councillor is about 90% likely to be returned unopposed (again). Even if he is opposed he will probably win hands down with a huge majority.
The councillor stands as a Liberal Democrat candidate, but his ward isn't a Liberal Democrat Heartland. He could stand for any part of the political spectrum from hard left to hard right or anywhere in between and still be elected as an individual who is trusted to represent the village.
The reason why the other parties (who probably enjoy grater support in a general election than the Lib Dems do) wont stand against him is because of the potential embarrassment of being thrashed by the Lib Dems. Lib Dems 1000 votes / other party 100 votes wouldn't make a good election night score card and would feature on those graphs, that the Lib Dems love, ad-nauseam come the next Westminster or Assembly election. Better to let him have a shoo in than a major victory!
When I was a devoted party member I use to hate independent council candidates with a vengeance. They were either party supporters who let the side down by not flying the flag for the party, or members of parties who didn't have a hope in hell of winning if they showed their true colours - dishonest, duplicitous buggers the lot of them.
Now that I have given up party membership I'm beginning to have second thoughts. If Mrs Local Councillor is being elected as an individual because she is a popular member of the community rather than because of her party colour, wouldn't she be more honest and true to her constituents if she stood as an independent rather than the representative of a party that the majority of her voters don't subscribe to?