Published: 19:18, 12 April 2021
| Updated: 08:38, 19 April 2021
With so many elections taking place on May 6 - some have daubed it Super Thursday - you might have thought that the political parties were stretched to find enough candidates.
That does not appear to be the case for Labour - the party has registered two candidates for the Malling Central Division in the election for Kent County Council, even though it is a one-person seat.
All 81 seats on Kent County Council are to be contested this May, and that includes seven seats across six divisions in the borough of Tonbridge and Malling. (The Tonbridge Division returns two councillors.)
But in Malling Central, the Labour Party has registered two candidates - Sarah Palmer and Rizwana Shelley - to take on the Liberal Democrat incumbent Trudy Dean.
Carl Marten, a spokesman for Tonbridge and Malling Constituency Labour Party. said: "It was a simple miss-communication between local party units.
"The Labour Party organises along parliamentary constituency lines. Malling Central crosses the border between the Tonbridge and Malling and the Chatham and Aylesford constituencies.
"Normally we would hold a meeting of members in the area to decide the candidate, but under Covid restrictions we were unable to do this."
He said: "Both areas put a candidate forward and unfortunately only noticed this after the deadline for withdrawal.
"In normal circumstances this would not have happened. However, both candidates are superb and worthy of support."
There is also a Conservative candidate, David Thompson.
No-one from the Labour Party could be reached this evening to explain the error.
But while the Liberal Democrats will be smiling over the faux pas, they may have some sympathy.
The party itself initially registered two candidates for the Brenchley and Horsmonden Ward in the Tunbridge Wells borough council elections, which are also taking place on May 6, though fortunately the party was able to withdraw one candidate before the final list of nominations was published.
Meanwhile the Malling Rural East Division, which covers Hadlow, East and West Peckham, Mereworth, Wateringbury and Kings Hill, is being contested by the youngest candidate in the county.
Louis Westlake is just 18 and has never been old enough to vote before.
In his first election he will be able to vote for himself, after putting his name forward as an Independent candidate for the Malling Rural East.
Mr Westlake is still in his final year of A-levels at The Judd School in Tonbridge. He has lived in Kings Hill for 12 years.
He said: "I've always been very interested in politics and I think it's my time to actually give back to the community I live in.
"I don't agree with any of the current parties at the moment and think I can make a genuine difference to our area as an Independent.
"At the end of last year the council voted in favour of a 5% council tax hike, and the Conservative party suspended two of its own councillors who voted against it.
"That sort of mindset is toxic, and as an independent I want to slash council tax, and I won't risk retaliation from my party for doing it."
The list of nominated candidates:
Trudy Dean (Lib Dem)
Sarah Palmer (Lab)
Rizwana Shelley (Lab)
David Thompson (Con)
Sarah Hohler (Con)
Wayne Mallard (Lab)
Nick Stapleton (Lib Dem)
Malling North East Division
Timothy Bishop (Lib Dem)
Andrew Kennedy (Con)
Archie Mitchell (Green)
Thomas Shelley (Lab)
Malling Rural East Division
Steve Crisp (Green)
Sarah Hudson (Con)
Robin Potter (Lab)
Andrew Russell (Lib Dem)
Louis Westlake (Ind)
Raja Zahidi (no affiliation given)
Kathleen Garlick (Lab)
Helen Hobhouse (Lib Dem)
Richard Mountford (Green)
Harry Rayner (Con)
Tonbridge (2 seats)
David Allen (Ind)
Mark Hood (Green)
Colin Hussey (Ind)
Richard Long (Con)
Carl Marten (Lab)
Sean O'Malley (Lab)
Michael Payne (Con)
Paul Stepto (Green)