Monday, April 30, 2007
So who is going to win on Thursday?
Because this is a site dedicated to the local political scene I am talking here about Torbay Unitory Authority.
The current situatuation is that out of 36 councillors 9 are Conservative, 24 are Liberal Democrat and then there is Cllr Harris; ex Lib dem leader who resigned from their group and independents Cllrs Turnbull and Ian Oxley who resigned from ours; all of whom vote Lib Dem.
This means that the split is 75% to 25% Lib Dem to Conservative.
Under the new mayoral system Nick Bye can propose legislation which must be approved by a majority of Councillors. If the Mayor does not have a majority and his proposals are rejected he can force them through the council as long as no more than one third of the councillors vote against; if that happens the measure is lost.
So technically as long as there is one third of councillors prepared to support the Mayor then he is in control of the legislation process.
But much of the councils business is in fact managed and controlled by committees and panels such as the police and fire authority, whose members are drawn from the majority group or in ratio to the members from each party.
So a majority on the council chamber leaves the majority party largely in control of the important levers of power.
So to win the election on Thursday Conservatives need at least half the councillors - that's eighteen; double our current total.
Am I expecting us to do that?
I will stick my neck out and say, having seen the poll returns, yes.