The local election results this week are good news for Labour in the South West and show the party is making up lost ground in the region. With Unitary elections in Cornwall only a year away, the Labour Party believes there could be big changes at Cornwall Council.
Candy Atherton, Chair of Cornwall Labour Party said: “Around 1 in 3 Lib Dems could lose their seats in next year’s unitary elections here, if this year’s election results are repeated. We believe people want real opposition to the Tory led government, not hollow promises from councillors keeping the Conservatives in power, whether that is the Lib Dems at Westminster or the Independents in Cornwall. Here, as in Devon, Plymouth and Exeter, Labour can make a real difference, giving a strong voice to local communities and defending people from unfair coalition cuts.”
Cornwall Councillor Jude Robinson, currently the only Labour member of the authority said: “The election results were a victory for the hard work of Labour Party members across the South West and we want to make sure that people in Cornwall know the Labour Party is on their side here as well.”
Last night the Tories and the Lib Dems came in for a battering with the Conservatives down to 31% share of the vote and the Lib Dems on 16%. Although the Lib Dem share of the vote was higher than predicted, they lost more than a third of the seats they were defending. If this were repeated in Cornwall’s Unitary Council elections next year, only around 24 Lib Dem Councillors would keep their seats.
Being in government tends to make life difficult for councillors wanting to be re-elected. In Cornwall, Labour had a strong presence in local government that declined during Labour years of government to the point in 2009, when the Unitary was formed and the expenses scandal hit resulting in the party failing to win any seats on the new authority. Since then, Labour has gained a seat from the Tories in the Camborne North by election in January 2011.
In recent years, many Lib Dem councillors – and MPs – have appealed to Labour supporters to vote Lib Dem ‘to keep the Tories out’. This has contributed to their success in Cornwall and many voters have pledged never to support the party again after they entered a coalition with the Conservatives to form a government.Other news from Cornwall Labour