Sunday, January 27, 2008

May poll strategy U-turn for LibDems

The vast majority of political hacks in and around the City expect the LibDems to get a damn good kicking at the May elections. However, I am reliably informed that the yellow peril have come up with a cunning plan to avoid such a fate ... targeting.

The LibDems were once the Kings of Targeting ... knowing where to put their resources, being able to move on from seats they would win to the marginals and knowing when the pull out. But in recent years they have missed this point and have slogged around Nelson furiously (getting destroyed by the Greens) whilst at the same time losing out in Lakenham but a couple of dozen votes.

So, I'm told, they have decided that some wards are beyond their reach and others are worth the fight. Amazingly they seem to have given up against the Greens whilst believing that the fight is still on with Labour. So, Thorpe Hamlet with a 1 vote LibDem majority is set to be all-but abandoned whilst University Ward, with a 600-odd Labour majority, is to be targetted. Similarly, Town Close and Mancroft are to be thrown to the wall. Then in Lakenham and Mile Cross are to be the scenes of the LibDem final lines of trenches. Interesting stuff; a realisation that the Greens haven't yet hit their peak of popularity or a realisation that Labour can still be beaten in Norwich and that Brown isn't "top cat"?

I also know that this decision - probably driven by the new professional LibDem team who have taken over - hasn't gone down well with the Councillors, and their activist friends, who aren't going to get support.

This strategy could also frustrate Labour; they had planned on the LibDems slinking away in those wards freeing them up to defend other seats and also chase the new Labour fascination - Wensum Ward.

If the LibDems sort their game out, it could yet be a fascinating May election.


Anonymous said...

Shame it is going to waste as one of their councillors is not going to stand as he is think of leaving Norwich.

Anonymous said...

Which ones? Antony says Hereward is off, Diana Lowe is rumoured to be standing down, but that Felicity, Carl, Diana, Jill and the vile Mrs Lubbock are all re-standing.

Anonymous said...

May seems so close already.

Labour going for Wensum isn't as far reaching as it sounds - they hold the county seat and have generally always held their own in North Earlham. Harriet P has always been one for sheer bloody minded optimism

Nothing new here but much depends on candidates - I cannot believe that the Libs would abandon Felicity if she was standing again. As a councillor she is well regarded - I recall a Labour organiser once trying to persuade me to stand in Town Close - part of his sales pitch was that the Lib Dem candidate (Felicity) is so good even he was tempted to vote for her.

The Lib Dems long abandoned Thorpe Hamlet - it seems that the voters have finally noticed. Jill S isn't the most political of councillors and I can see the her getting washed away in a sea of Green.

University - interestingly in the all out election in 2004 - while Labour candidates Bremner and Blower performed well - the third candidate Carol Morrey was about 500 votes behind them. DIane Hume has been around in university for a long time - it might be she thinks she can actually win.

Mile X - Lib Dems should go for it - Mayhew still looks fairly fresh - he might get back in.

Lakenham - if it's not Hereward - the Lib Dems ain't gonna win it.

Mancroft - the Lib Dems never established themselves - will come third again this year.

Eaton .. well there could be an interestng story. The other question is how hard Labour will have to defend in Catton and Bowthorpe.

As a former resident of Sewell - I still hold that any party that really goes for it in that ward can win it - the population is so mixed and many of the Labour votes are literally dying out. At this stage the only seats I would "call" are Crome for Labour and the Green strongholds.

Anonymous said...

"Mile X - Lib Dems should go for it - Mayhew still looks fairly fresh - he might get back in."

Keep up he is planning to leave Norwich, fed up with the Lib Dems me thinks.

Anonymous said...

Oh well thats them b*ggered in Mile X then.

Are the Lib Dems really so dodgy that you have to leave the city if you fall out with them????