As Comrade points out in a comment on a previous thread, if the Council doesn't get Unitary (and thus will elect all-out in 2008) then the Norwich LibDems could well face wipe-out next year because of the electoral cycle they face.
This year cushioned the LibDem collapse because so few of their councillors were facing re-election. However next year is different.
I am unsure if Diane Hume, Felicity Hartley or Diana Lowe will stay on to face their assured electoral crushing in University, Town Close and Mancroft respectivly. They may all stand down and leave new candidates to take the black eye.
There is nobody left who thinks that Thorpe Hamlet can be won next year by the LibDems - the Greens will be working hard on this one by now and the narrow defeat will bring out their support in 2008.
Hereward Cooke is, again, a canny politican and will stand down if he knows the writing is on the wall in Lakenham. This seat is still very, very close and if there is one man who can win it for the yellows then it is Hereward. If he stands down it is lost - if he stays then the quality of the Labour candidate and campaign is vital. However at this moment you have to bet on the LibDems losing this one.
Mile Cross was the biggest LibDem disappointment this year - they lobbed the kitchen sink and nearly all household appliances and still lost by over 300 votes! Carl Mayhew is a much better candidate and campaigner and will stand his ground next year. But again, if Labour get it right then this seat is bound to be lost.
And that leaves Eaton ... a seat where the LibDem majority has been savaged by the Tories. It is their best bet next year but relying on Eaton isn't sensible!
So how can the LibDems change all this? What can they do? I have my own ideas and will write about them in the future. Until then, answers on a postcard (or in the comments section) please!
Worst Case LibDem scenario:
Labour 16 (+1, gains University, Mile Cross, Lakenham)
Green 13 (+3, gains Town Close, Thorpe Hamlet, Mancroft)
LibDem 5 (-6, loses Town Close, Thorpe Hamlet, Mancroft, Uni, Lakenham, Mile Cross)
Cons 5 (+2, Bowthorpe & Catton)
... and that's without Eaton and/or Crome!