In 2012, the Green Party finished 4th in the Mayoral Election contest. It was a respectable result. We held our deposit (something we haven’t managed in London for example) and John Coyne ran a strong campaign for us.
In both 2014 and 2015, the Green Party finished as the 2nd largest party in the local elections across our city. All other things being equal, if Mayoral contests were just going to be about party politics, then we would be favourites to be the main challenger to Labour. However, we are yet to see if Liam Fogerty will run again, or another high profile independent candidate steps up. It would be no surprise to me to see former Conservative and now Deputy Leader for UKIP, Paul Nuttall, stand for them.
Our own nomination process has opened:
“We are also looking for a candidate to stand for the Green Party in the Liverpool Mayoral election, which is on the same day as the local elections: 5th May 2016. A key aspect of being a good Mayoral candidate will is being able to produce good media performances and have good debating skills, as a key part of the campaign will be participating in hustings events throughout the city. The Mayoral candidate would also be expected to play a full part in producing a high profile election campaign...”
It is therefore important for our party to select the best possible candidate for this contest, who can put across Green values of social justice and the environment. Who might that be?
Let me take this opportunity to rule myself out. Our daughter is just 6 months old and I started a fantastic new job as a university lecturer in February. I’m looking forward to embarking on my doctorate in a year’s time and I’m continuing to enjoy fatherhood. I’m not in a position to run for high profile elections for the rest of this decade.
Our councillors, John Coyne (if he could be persuaded on a political comeback) and one or two of our current activists all have the ability to do the job of Mayor, and to run the exceptional campaign that will be needed to be elected. We’ll be open and transparent about who our candidate(s) are once the nomination process has closed.
In parallel, I’m sure Labour in Liverpool will also have a contested internal selection for their Mayoral candidate, with a free and fair exchange of views... We shall see.