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Posted by: John Brace | 20th May 2011

Wirral Council new administration – minority Labour (from Monday 23rd May)

Well the new Leader of the Lib Dems Cllr Tom Harney has issued a press release.

As the recent election results, the councillors in each party have changed due to Cllr Niblock switching from Lib Dem to Labour. Therefore each party’s result is as follows:

Labour 29
Conservative 27
Liberal Democrat 9

I leave out Labour councillor Mayor Moira McLaughlin from Labour’s tally as she is Mayor this year and by convention the Mayor doesn’t vote.

So there were four in total five possible permutations:-

1) Lib Dem/Conservative administration 9+27=36 councillors against Labour’s 29
2) Lib Dem/Labour administration 9+20=38 councillors against Conservative’s 27
3) Labour administration (minority) 29 councillors against Lib Dem/Tory opposition of 9+27=36
4) Conservative administration (minority) 27 councillors against Lib Dem/Labour opposition of 9+29=38
5) Lib Dem administration (minority) 9 councillors against Lab/Tory opposition of 29+27=56

Obviously four and five wouldn’t work and four was rejected previously by the Tories (in the year they had the largest Group of councillors). They decided on opposition then and will have it from Monday as the second-largest Group.

One and two were rejected.

Currently (at least till Monday) it is a Conservative/Lib Dem administration. From Monday Cllr Tom Harney Lib Dem group leader has stated they will support a Labour-led minority administration, which ends a fortnight of uncertainty following the result.

Reading Cllr Harney’s statement it sets out the terms under which Lib Dem councillors will vote, Lib Dems “will consider each decision the [Labour] administration makes on its own merits and act accordingly.”

It remains to be seen what the Wirral public and councillors will make of it. Certainly it is going to make Monday evening’s meeting very interesting.

The Conservative Party councillors will not be happy.
The Labour Party councillors will be happy.

However, as Labour got only 44.7% of the votes on Wirral this year, compared to the 49.5% of votes for the current Conservative/Lib Dem parties of the current administration the majority of people didn’t vote for a Labour administration.

Clearly our first past the post voting system does favour Labour.

However, it’s no big secret that the majority of the Lib Dem Party lean towards the left of politics. When 49.5% of Wirral public who vote, vote Lib Dem and Tory compared to Labour getting 44.7% of the votes it leads to Labour being in charge, it shows how our voting system needs to change at the local government level if the outcome is to reflect the votes cast.


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