We are now reaching the time when the people of Liverpool have to make the second most important decision of the year that is, of course, how they will vote in the local elections for who will be their Mayor, Councillor and Police Commissioner on May 5. Of course overshadowing all that is the EU referendum on June 23rd which is not only more important than local elections but even more important than any specific General Election.
Ever since June last year we have known that the mood has begun to turn back towards the Lib Dems. We have seen this nationally where we have been the big winner in votes and seats in council by-elections across the Country. Tories have flat-lined. Labour, Green and UKIP have lost seats and votes.
But we have known this in other ways too. In Liverpool our membership is up by 50% with many of our new members now out on the streets or even standing as candidates. We have received more than £3,500 in donations from members of the public – more than ever before and people have respected our pledge not to accept more than £250 from any individual or company.
But it is on the doorstep that we have received the biggest reassurance. Since June last year we have knocked at more than 10,000 doors and we know that people are returning to us for three reasons:
- They feel that they can do so now that we are not in the coalition.
- Many have realised what the Lib Dems stopped happening now that the Tories haven’t got a brake on their behaviour.
- They really, really do not like what is happening in Liverpool or the behaviour of those who are causing it to happen.
They don’t like the waste of money; or the use of money for personal legal fees; or the sale of parts of Liverpool’s Parks and green heritage; or the purchase of the Cunard Buildings even after it became apparent that it could not be used as a Liner Terminal.
They don’t like the way that their councillors only seem to pop up just before the election. They don’t like the way that the Mayor behaves or the abuse he showers on those who criticise him on his rare appearances outside the Mayor’s Palace at the Pier Head.
You might expect me to say things like this to increase our share of the vote. You would be right! BUT it’s not only the Lib Dems who know we are advancing – the Labour Party know as well. I had read out to me yesterday from a highly reputable source a panicky e-mail to Labour activists to turn up to stop our advancing in several wards in South Liverpool. Labour knows as we do that there is only one Party that can beat them – the Lib Dems. That’s why Anderson turns his fire on us at every possible occasion. That’s why he leaves the Greens largely unscathed.
Joe Anderson can be beaten particularly because of the voting system that will be used. It’s called the Alternative Vote system and means that if no candidate gets 50% of the vote then a second count is held in which the second votes of the eliminated candidates will be added to the first votes for the top two candidates. It is absolutely clear that Joe Anderson will not get 50%+ of the vote and that I am a clear second. If all the second votes of the Greens, Conservatives etc are given to me then I can win.
Of course the best and easiest thing to do is to vote Lib Dem in all three elections. But if you are tempted to vote for a different Party in the Mayoral and Police Commissioner elections then your second vote can still make a difference if it is used for the Lib Dems. The AV system is not one which we like but it was the Labour Government’s chosen method when they introduced the legislation which established City Mayors. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if Labour were beaten using an election system introduced by Labour!?
If you want to know more about why you should vote for the Lib Dem team on May 5th you can read our manifesto at www.richardkemp.org.uk. We are the only Party that can suggest this to you as we are the only Party which has produced a manifesto for these important elections. You might well ask why no-one has bothered. We do it for two reasons. Firstly, so you can get real information before you decide to vote and secondly so that you can hold us to account when we do get elected.
Only the Lib Dems can defeat Labour in Liverpool. If you want a change I hope that we can count on your support. If you want to do more than just vote then you can volunteer or make a donation at our website.