Saturday, May 07, 2011

Battered Lib Dems hold on

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Bristol's Lib Dems are not exactly spoilt for choice of leadership candidates are they, yet this person will be leading the City Council it seems! The Post lists contenders as Jon Rogers, whose seat in Ashley now looks very vulnerable given the huge Green win there, controversial green spaces flogger Gary Hopkins, who easily raises the hackles of many voters, and the less well known and less experienced Mark Wright. Maybe they'll stay with Barbara Janke (?) but her leadership of the city has not exactly been endorsed by the local election drubbing.

THE Liberal Democrats are expected to continue running Bristol City Council despite a bruising in the local elections. But holding on to power will come at a price – by being forced to make a U-turn on its green spaces strategy.

The Lib Dems lost overall control of the council after losing five seats but still remain the largest party.
They now have 33 seats while Labour have 21, the Tories remain at 14 and the Greens, two.

Talks will be held in private during the next week between party leaders to try to thrash out who will now run the council.

But any kind of coalition is extremely unlikely, not least because of the bitterness between the parties in Bristol.

Besides, Labour, the second biggest party see themselves in the ascendancy and will be looking to pick up many more seats at the next elections in two years' time.

The Greens, cock-a-hoop at winning Ashley, have ruled out any coalition deals, promising to vote on each issue on their individual merits...

Meanwhile, Lib Dem councillors will decide today whether Barbara Janke will continue as their leader.

She has fended off challenges to her leadership in the past but the group might decide after such a heavy defeat that it is time for a change at the top.

The frontrunners for the post include Jon Rogers who made a challenge last year and Gary Hopkins who has also made a stab for the top job in the past. Another contender is Mark Wright, who is relatively inexperienced but highly regarded...