Friday, March 21, 2008

LibDem Leader (plus 5 of his Councillors) quit

The worst kept secret in City Hall is that a volley of LibDem Councillors are to quit before the election on 1st May. Along with departing Leader Cllr Cooke (Lakenham), out go Cllrs Mayhew (Mile Cross), Hume (University), Hartley (Town Close), Surridge (Thorpe Hamlet) and Lowe (Mancroft).

Of course all have served the council well - as Lord Mayors, Executive Members and in council and on committees.

Of course, there are some cynics wandering around the place commenting that EVERY LibDem in a marginal seat is quitting, perhaps before they are soundly beaten.

I say this is, of course, not true.

After all, Judith Lubbock is staying on to be beaten!

UPDATE; Hereward tells the EDP he still expects his party to do well. I wonder if he'll make a prediction on how many seats they'll win!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think Lib Dems have suffered terminally since overspending £2m 2-3 yrs ago. Also they do favour meltdown in many marginals.

I suspect Labour might make 1 or so gains, but Greens and Conservatives stand to make the most gains. IMO

Comrade said...

The plight of the Lib Dems in Norwich is like some kind of Shakespearian tragedy. Who would have thought it in May 2002 as I stood near Aalders Dunthorne has he jubiliantly bellowed into his mobile to Cowley Street - "we have won control, the Labour leader has just lost his seat" - off they all went to the Forum to celebrate into the night. But the seeds of their demise were already there - a combination of naivity and arrogance.

The Lib Dems failed in their two years. They didn't fail miserably and really didn't do any worse than the Labour regime that preceded them. What was evident though was that after much noise before the elections the executive members almost to a man never got hold of their portfolio's - the biggest offender being Cooke at Housing.

Seeds of demise included the inexperience of many of the leading Lib Dems - very new councillors got senior posts too quickly and didn't seem to understand the working of local government - particularly finance.

However, it was not just at city hall where the seeds of failure were sown. The party was almost a victim of it's own success in winning a number of wards without ever establishing themselves there. The party spread itself too thinly, election strategy was all over the place and they were unable to defend so called safe seats.

In 2002 Labour had one big success - it was in the review of the electoral boundaries. Labour did a lot of work on how different models would translate into their electoral chances. On the committee and then in full council the Lib Dems never got it, they wantd to fiddle about with ward names and minor details without ever looking at how the votes would stack up. The proof in it all is how Labour has polled so badly across the city since 2004but still ended up winning seats.

With all this they didn't need the intenral splits when they selected Wright over AD for Norwich South.

The Lib Dems won power mainly because Norwich Labour were living on a different planet. Under Morphew they have come back to earth and been solid if unspectacular.

Roll on May

Antony said...

Thanks for that insight Comrade and I agree woth much of your analysis. I would like to add one more; many LDs are "non political" and serve as excellent ward cllrs but without a real political instinct. Some, like Pond Dean Williams Cooke Couzens Lubbock Watkins, are political animals through and through. Others less so.

Anonymous said...

A politican is like a doorstep salesperson; he or she has to be confident of the product and track record.

These 5 Lib Dem councillors, despite some good ward work, know largely their track record is terminally tainted and their doorstep product no longer distinct.

Comrade said...

What is the Lib Dem product?

Anonymous said...

comrade exactly - other than bad mannered campaigning - I can't recognise too many distinct Lib Dem policy products that don't overlap with other parties. I agree with unitary, but so do Labour and Greens. Recycling? - well everyone wants that.