Councillor Hereward Cooke: The Sir Ming of the Norwich LibDems. Partisan to the extreme but with a reputation of statesmanlike qualities. He has a strong media profile and is very lucuid in the council chamber. Hereward is an experienced political player who was a major force in the LibDems winning the council first time around. However, his age is against him and so too is his wafer thin majority in Lakenham (where Labour hold the other two seats). Also, Hereward was very close to Ian Couzens and the blame for the financial mess at City Hall may fall as easily at the Deputy Leader's feet as it did at the Leader's. Add to that his public pledge to stand down in 2008, he'll be seen as the caretaker leader.
Councillor Brian Watkins: Seen as the thinking mans choice. Brian won re-election in Eaton last year but saw his majority cut by the Tories. He is intelligent, popular and thoughtful. More of a conservative-minded LibDem too, which may not play well with their left-wing membership. Add to that his current role of Deputy Mayor it may be difficult to stand. However, if he stands he stands a great chance of winning.
Councillor Judith Lubbock: The combative member for Eaton is thought to be the only female challenger. Judith is popular amongst LibDem grassroots and is a long serving councillor. She has been the most effective frontbencher in the chamber since May and has a great grasp of council policy. As she was a committee chair outside of the executive she could avoid the blame for the LibDem mess at City Hall. However, Cllr Lubbock is not well liked around the council and all of the other parties would find it difficult to work with her in the future. She also has few friends within the local media.
Outside chances of standing: Cllr Lowe
Who'll win? I have no idea, but whoever they choose won't be able to shake of their reputation for financial mismanagement.
Antony, it surprises me you reward Lib Dems with three blogs to plot the events in the defunct Lib Dems. I have two ambivalent words "Brian Watkins". Should any more words be wasted on pastoral or the cantankerous?
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