30 April 2016

Do Richard Kemp's Claims About the Mayoral Election Withstand Scrutiny? #liverpoolmayor

“My job was to maximise the Liberal Democrat vote, and I think I have done that.”

That was Richard Kemp's assessment of the Lib Dem Mayoral campaign in 2012 when they gained 6%. The Lib Dems were defending 10 council seats (and successfully held just one) and ran campaigns in all of them. This year they are trying to hold onto one.

I’m deeply disappointed with the Liberal Democrat campaign in Liverpool. They have been relegated to 3rd and 4th in terms of the popular vote in the city in the last two local elections. However, their Mayoral candidate, claimed in his Radio City interview yesterday that Liverpool politics is “back to business as usual” and is making the same kind of claim on his blog, that it is him or Joe Anderson. I prefer it when we refer to the evidence:

So a quick reminder:

- The Greens gained nearly 20,000 votes in the last local elections
- That was 3,200+ more than the Lib Dems
- 10% of city wards don’t have Lib Dem council candidates (lack of activists or support from residents?)
- The cuts forced on Liverpool in this year’s council budget were imposed by the Lib Dems as part of the coalition

We are not in the business of saying that no one else can win, rather as Greens we are concentrating on a positive message, articulated by the Leader of the Opposition on the City Council, Tom Crone. We are now in our final push and taking that message far more widely in the city than the Liberal Democrats can hope to manage.

I think the Liberal Democrat tactic is an attempt to try and come second, by convincing people to give enough first preferences to overtake the Greens. I don’t think that will work. I think that if it doesn’t, it will backfire badly on that party as they attempt to rebuild in Liverpool politics post-coalition. One of the issues in politics is trust. Rather than focus on policy or manifesto, the "squeeze" approach will undermine the Lib Dems in future

No comments: