A strong day for Labour will leave bitter tastes in the mouths of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool, following the results of the city council election.
The Lib Dems, who once controlled but surrendered the council to Labour at the 2010 general election, lost nine of the 19 seats they held before this week’s local elections, all to Labour, the only party to make a gain on the day. Labour now hold 72 of the 90 seats on the council, compared to the Lib Dems’ 10.
Richard Kemp, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, told JMU Journalism: “We’ve won one ward but we’ve lost two by 0.5% and I’m very disappointed we won’t have two very good people around to help us.”
Paula Keaveney, the local Lib Dem party leader who lost her Cressington seat to Labour’s Mary Aspinall, told JMU Journalism: “It’s not great, it would be better to be leaving with a better set of results. But if you look at some of the wards there is a percentage increase in vote share for us and I think that shows what happens when you do a lot of local campaigning on the ground.”
Deposed ex-Lib Dem leader Warren Bradley, now standing as an independent in Wavertree, failed to hold onto his seat, in another Labour gain. Bradley challenged the result after 149 ballot papers were unaccounted for, but he was defeated by a much greater margin as the votes later turned up in the wrong box.
Labour took seats from the Liberal Democrats in: Allerton and Hunts Cross; Childwall; County; Cressington; Greenbank; Knotty Ash; Picton; West Derby; Woolton and Wavertree.
With Joe Anderson also winning the mayoral vote, Walton MP Steve Rotheram told JMU Journalism: “Overall it’s been a fantastic day for Labour.”
Labour’s gain in Woolton bears a lot of significance for the party as Mark Norris takes a seat from the previously entirely Lib Dem-controlled ward.
The Green Party’s Sarah Jennings held the only ward they had to contest on the day, in St Michael’s. She told JMU Journalism: “Obviously we’re really happy with that vote, we’ve actually increased our percentage of the vote to roughly
54%, which is a good sign that our support is still active.”
The Liberal Party also held their only seat that was being contested, in the Tuebrook and Stoneycroft ward. Victorious Councillor Steve Radford told JMU Journalism: “Not only did we increase our percentage of the vote, we did so with an increased turnout from last time. I’m really pleased.”