This blog is a political blog from a left-of-centre perspective. This is not specifically a party political blog, but does have a Lib Dem orientation. Constructive enagement with radical liberals, social democrats / democratic socialists and greens is particularly welcomed.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

So what's the vibe on the streets ?

Following on from our defeat in the 2005 referendum over our structure of local government and the subsequent election of a Tory Executive mayor we faced a difficult set of local elections here in Torbay.

As regular readers of 'Liberator' will know relations between our council group and the rest of the party (MP, officers, activists and supporters) could have been better. Unsurprisingly as well as the mayoralty vote, we lost a number of successive by-elections.

Torbay, by anyone's standards, is an oddity at local government level, with wild swings between the the Tories and ourselves typical at council level. 2003 was an emphatic win for us, but we were trounced in 2000. So defending a high watermark of 2003 was always going to be a severe challenge and less than six months ago I envisioned low single figures as being the totality of the incoming LD council group of 2007.

But, due to the ineptitude of the Tory Executive mayor, allied to a much more sure footed leadership of the group [for the most part] under Cllr. Gordon Jennings and we're back in the running again. I'll predict no more than that, even if the Tory PPC is forecasting his party having a majority of councillors. We are getting a good response on the doorsteps, but the presence of a committed Indie, another Indie, UKIP and BNP, as well as Tory and Labour means that I am not so quite as optimistic as my running mate, Cllr Stocks. Mind you, I am a curmudgeonly glass is half empty kind of guy anyway ! My one previous experience of being a candidate I felt exactly the same, only for a comfortable victory to be the result. Here's hoping for a repeat scenario !

Sadly the mayoral election is not until 2011, but such are the mayor's failings that this can only help in our efforts to retain the Westminster seat. For lots of anti Lib Dem sledging go to : . Don't expect to read much in the way of Tory policy ideas though. Attacking Adrian Sanders MP continually seems a poor tactic especially as Adrian's personal popularity arguably outstrips that of both the local Tories and Lib Dem parties !

To be less than partisan, I must publicly pay tribute to the Labour candidate. Arguing the case for a hugely discredited party in national office and in an area with no Labour councillors can be no easy task, but his workrate has been phenomenal and without any obvious party support on the streets. Jermaine I salute your efforts ! A triumph of youthful optimism for his one-man-band campaign. He will truly deserve every vote. I hadn't the heart to tell him our squeeze message was about to hit the front porches of the ward today !

As a candidate in a local ward one thing strikes me greatly. In 1989, as a Labour candidate and subsequent victor in a then marginal ward, I don't remember being worked so hard as I am now ! Now I know what the Lib Dems mean by pavement politics ! It's time to inspect some more of those Ellacombe roads armed with leaflets ! To all those also standing and / or campaigning enjoy it and here's to some good success stories on Friday morning !



Blogger info said...

Sorry, this isn't a comment, so please moderate. Just thought you'd like the email we're sending out. (Oh, and let's hope the Tricky Trees get the automatic promotion spot).


We’ve got a film we thought you might be interested in.

It’s in Devon, and highlights the problems of cyclepaths, particularly the National Cycle Network. We’ve put a story up on The People’s Republic of South Devon, ( and the film is on (

It would be great if they could comment and we get a bit of momentum about this.

Below is the youtube link and code to embed the film on other sites.

Please pass this on to anyone you think would be interested.

All the best

PRSD and D+CFilm

4:51 pm BST


Post a Comment

<< Home