So what’s happening in the Liverpool Elections?



Today the Echo published its Liverpool elections review and Radio Merseyside did its review on the Snelly programme. So I thought I would add in my two pennorth!

Personal news first. My pedometer tells me that as of last night I have already walked more than 200 miles delivering and door knocking since Easter Monday. This has had two effects. Firstly, and obviously, to keep looking sleek, svelte and handsome! Secondly it has brought me into close contact with hundreds and hundreds of people, so I have a fair view of what is happening in the city.

I believe that people are concentrating on the fact that this is a council and not a government election more than they have in the past two ‘local’ elections’. Of course there are some people who will not vote for us in council elections because of the coalition but in the wards we are concentrating on there are four key issues which all wards hold in common:

1.People do not like the fact that there is an elected mayoralty. They did not vote for this position; would not have voted for this position; and would like to see it removed.

  1. People do not like the Elected Mayor. I am sorry to be personal but this is an inevitability of a Mayoral system which I warned about before the Council decided to commit to the Mayoral system. They do not believe that the current Mayor presents the City well – a feeling that has been massively reinforced by the tantrums over the chair of the City Region.
  2. People do not think that the council’s finances are being properly handled. They all know that there are serious problems and that there have been big cuts from Government but they believe the council is just chopping and not looking at the better integration of services or what shape services should be in to meet modern realities and not past demands.
  3. People are massively opposed to the sale of green space in the city. Labour’s claim to have created more green space is a hollow joke – just interim treatment of assembled housing demolition sites. But sell offs of the Manweb Ground in Wavertree, overdevelopment of New Heyes, and the sale of the Meadowlands of Sefton Park rankle with people. They say that the long-term assets of the City should not be squandered to deal with short term financial problems.

Focussing on local issues is always good for the Lib Dems and we are reassured that this change of thinking is happening. We need only small swings to us to hold Woolton and Cressington and a slightly larger one to gain Wavertree. Our teams have been working hard in Childwall and Mossley Hill with strong campaigns on local issues.

But one issue has hardly raised its head in these elections. The European elections which also take place on that day. I have had nothing through my door from the Greens or UKIP or any of the other Parties. The Tories have sent us two leaflets through the freepost but do not seem to have hand delivered anything, anywhere in the city. Labour have raised no European issues but have on one city wide leaflet mentioned the details of their two lead candidates on the NW list.

By contrast almost every leaflet delivered by the Lib Dems has had articles about European issues and details of how to vote for our NW team. Lib Dems are the Party of IN and are the only voice for the people of Liverpool who believe that Europe has been and is of massive importance to us.

That brings us to UKIP. They will do well in the Euro elections but their start seems to be waning somewhat from the position two or three weeks ago. They won’t come top in Liverpool but will do well. For the council, elections they will not probably not win a seat but could affect the results in a number of wards. In places like Warbreck, Fazakerley and West Derby their intervention could affect the results. In places like Clubmoor, where their appeal is to the white working class voter that traditionally turn out for Labour they might just sneak a seat.

The Greens are working very hard but only in two wards. They must be well placed to take St Michaels and an anti-Labour surge in Greenbank based on the crass treatment of people over a range of issues in Sefton Park might just squeak them a second seat.

The Tories, of course, are none-existent. It is now 21 years since the last Tory was elected in Liverpool. Even in good years for them nationally they have come more than a distant second in their best seat and they are not even going to do that this time.

And what then of Labour? What a disorganised campaign it has been. Two years ago the leaflets were clearly coordinated across the City and some of them were even worth reading. Almost all the limited amount of stuff which they are putting out has been turgid beyond belief. Even I can write better leaflets than the expensive junk they have put through the door in Wavertree.

Probably the most amusing leaflet that anyone has put out in the campaign must be the Labour leaflet in Woolton. They are so desperate to get 4 people to say nice things about them that they have included with his address someone who lives at least half a mile outside the city boundaries in Knowsley. They have kindly included a picture of him next to his street sign which is clearly a Knowsley green one rather than a Liverpool white one. And everyone in Woolton knows the difference!

So what the results be like on May 23rd? Well I just don’t know. What I do know is that there are at least 15-17 wards in Liverpool seriously in contention. This is not the situation that Labour or the pundits thought possible a couple of months ago but they just have not factored in Joe Anderson’s unpopularity and UKIP’s popularity.

The counts will be interesting in Liverpool and for both City and Euro seats the Lib Dems in the City have everything to fight for.

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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8 Responses to So what’s happening in the Liverpool Elections?

  1. Noticed you never mentioned TUSC – “So can I take this opportunity to wish all candidates standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) best wishes for polling day on 22 May.

  2. Andrew says:

    I would not normally reply too your post but I just feel the need. You say you don’t agree with a mayor, so if this is the case why did you put your name forward for the post. Just look at the city, its booming. Every car park space in town was full Saturday, look at all the investment and building work. Not once have I heard you comment on this on any leaflets you have posted through our doors. I have no problem with the medowlands and The menweb site, we need more housing and there is plenty of green space left. Talking about leaflets as posted the other day, at least one of the local residents you interviewed was not really independent as he was a lib dem councillor and mayor in 2004. I am sorry but our family have always voted lib dem but not this year, postal votes went in the post today for Labour.

  3. Peter Smith says:


    You also seem to be ignoring The Liberal Party, who appear to be standing in all 30 wards, not just 18. Are you just airbrushing them out? Woould you recommend or advise a vote for them where there is no LibDem candidate?

    How is a smaller party like the Liberal Party able to field 30 candidates when the LibsDems aren’t? Is this a result of the Coalition?

    • richardkemp says:

      There’s a difference between putting candidates up and fighting the election. We are campaigning in all 18 wards. The Liberals with 30 candidates appear to be fighting in 3 and the Tories with 30 candidates appear to be campaigning in none!

  4. M Keefe says:

    “If you hold on to Woolton?”
    I have been trying to find out what Cllr kelly’s position on St Julies move to Beaconsfield Road is?No answer to my emails.
    I have asked the local LIb/Dems are the 2 Lib/Dem councillors of Woolton Governors of SFX or St Julies, no answer.
    I live in the Woolton ward and have never been impressed by the Lib/Dem councillors.

    • richardkemp says:

      You should read the leaflets that we put through your door. We have made clear in the last two leaflets in Woolton, Church and Allerton Wards that we oppose this idea.

  5. Pingback: Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #376

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