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'Pact to stop the BNP'

After a year off, Larry Neild gets his swing-o-meter out in time for those exciting council elections again. Who is fighting who, where and why?

Published on April 20th 2010.

'Pact to stop the BNP'

In what is described as a “thoughtful move” to ensure the BNP does not get a foothold on Liverpool City Council, the (just about) ruling Lib Dems have reached a pact with the minority Liberals.

Blue rosette wearers are convinced they stand their strongest chance this century of winning a council seat in Woolton

The result is in a number of wards the two parties will not oppose each other in the local elections, taking place on May 6 – same day as the General Election.

Political cynics may ponder it is more to do with a deal being struck to enhance the chances of the Lib Dems, headed by Warren Bradley, staying in the driving seat at the Town Hall.

The Liberals, headed by Liberal Leader and Parliamentary candidate Steve Radford, are not fielding any candidates in Allerton, County, and Woolton.

In turn the Lib Dems are not standing in Everton, Tuebrook and Kirkdale.

In the last municipal elections in 2008 both parties fielded runners in all six of those wards.

As in 2008, the Lib Dems are not facing Liberal opposition in Belle Vale and St Michael's, while the Liberals are clear of Lib Dem opposition in Norris Green and Clubmoor.

The BNP is standing in eight council wards – Anfield, Clubmoor, County, Everton, Fazakerley, Kirkdale, Norris Green and Old Swan. Interestingly the “deal” between the Lib Dems and the Liberals does not extend to Anfield, Fazakerley and Old Swan: there all three are fielding candidates.

So why has the Liberal Party stood aside in Allerton and Woolton where there’s not a hint of a BNP snipe?

Could it be because the Conservatives are regaining a foothold in the leafy south Liverpool suburbs? Indeed, blue rosette wearers are convinced they stand their strongest chance this century of winning a council seat in Woolton.

Although last time the Liberals only picked up a few dozen votes in Woolton, it could well be a case of every vote counting for Warren’s ruling army.

And while the pact will help keep away the BNP from Liverpool’s mainstream politics, it’s not going to do any harm to Bradley's chances of holding on.

Labour, the Conservatives and the Greens are contesting all 30 council seats, the Lib Dems are going for 25 and Liberals for 24. There will be eight BNP candidates and another four from independents or Socialist parties.

This is the current make-up of the city council: Lib Dems 46, Labour 39, Liberals three, Green Party two.

In the last council elections in 2008 Labour picked up an extra three and the year before an extra four.

This year The Lib Dems are defending 18 seats. If Labour pick up three of the Lib Dem seats it will take them to 42 and the Lib Dems down to 43. The Green Party is hoping to win the third of the three St Michael’s seats and that would make Labour and the Lib Dems neck and neck. The Green Party and the Liberals would have three each which could well explain the accommodation between the Lib Dems and the Liberals.

Of course, if Labour pick up more than three extra seats we’ll see Joe Anderson crowned as new council leader on May 7, ironically, possibly, as Gordon Brown is handing over the keys to No 10.

After the 2008 elections, the official results declared Liverpool as a hung council, but in a stroke of political magic, Bradley arrived as the count ended with his newest councillor, Nadia Stewart. Nadia, granddaughter of former councillor and Labour MEP Ken Stewart had fallen out with Labour to become an independent. By joining Warren on that amazing election night the balance of power swung just enough to restore the Lib Dems as the ruling party.

To add to the mix this year, the new Lord Mayor will be Liberal Hazel Williams. Traditionally the Lord Mayor becomes apolitical for the year of office, essentially reducing the Liberal group to 2. If John Coyne wins that extra seat in St Michael’s, it will make the Green Party the real power brokers in Liverpool.

And we can all celebrate with the biggest tree planting scheme we’ve ever seen.

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

NoMoreInsideJobsApril 19th 2010.

Do you have a reciept for your computer ?

DebsApril 19th 2010.

Labour2win has it about right, esp the Capital of Culture line which is still best whispered.

that'smrbollockstoyouApril 19th 2010.

NoMoreInsideJobs. Forgive me, sir, but should that not read 'NomarkMoronIdiotJackass, mayhap?

NoMoreInsideJobsApril 19th 2010.

I would vote for anyone that promised to deport scousers. Lazy Parasites.

AnonymousApril 19th 2010.

Come on Funny Scouse Hater! There's nothing better than an intellectual for sport...

FloaterApril 19th 2010.

So the Lib Dems are denying me the chance to vote for them in my own ward after years of supporting them. Well stuff them. I'll go back to Labour. Thanks Warren for helping me make up my mind.

Labour2winApril 19th 2010.

Labour will walk the local election and we'll see Joe Anderson as leader. That's the real reason for the 'deal' to try to stop a comeback by Labour. If the Lib Dems are so good why has their majority gone down to a whisker from a massive sixty-odd? Maybe its because the people of Liverpool are sick and fed up of being force fed the spin on how wonderful things are, we were all force-fed i nfo on how we ALL enjoyed Capital of Culture, we're told how much all of this New Liverpool shite is doing for our economy, earning zillions from this and trillions from that, while we know many of our inner city areas and outer council estates are like the developing world. Memo to the Lib Dems - Spin doesn't work - stop taking us for village villages, there's enoughy of them standing in the election (all Lib Dems).

StayHomeApril 19th 2010.

Come on Liverpool. In 2005 we notched up the record for the lowest turnout in the UK, with around 60% of the couldn't-be-arrsed staying at home in Riverside. Surely we can do better this time, how about aiming for a 75% stay-at-home level. Support the Don't Vote Party and help Liverpool make even better history.

that'smrbollockstoyouApril 19th 2010.

Do you have a receipt for a dictionary? I suspect not.

AnonymousApril 19th 2010.

I won't be voting in this one either.

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