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.


I can't wait to vote out the Lib Dems said...

The Lib Dems are going to take a severe drubbing on Thursday and it's all entirely their own fault.

It's no good blaming the Tories or the Government for sticking your grubby hands in the till within weeks of taking over last time.

Torbay citizens remember, and remember for a long time.

Anonymous said...

You are braver than most in committing yourself in print to a Tory win.

Given Torbays extraordinary history of odd voting I wouldn't have been so rash (even though I think victory is yours to lose).

But whatever you would have to go some way to be any worse than this lot so without much enthusiasm I wish you good luck.

Barrie Wood said...

Another misjudgment Marcus ?

Another touch of Tory arrogance ?

I've been involved in many campaigns, both as campaigner and candidate,but rarely have I predicted the right outcome !

Good responses on the doorsteps and positive polling has at times yielded disappointing results and vice-versa.

The impact of BNP / UKIP / Indies in wards like Tormohun and Ellacombe might influence results greatly, as might mayor Bye's 'popularity'.

An interesting election for sure, but this Lib Dem is predicting NOTHING, but working hard and letting the voters pass judgement.

Marcus Wood said...

Barry, I can't win with you.

If I don't stick my neck out and predict something it would be 'spin' or 'admitting defeat' and when I do put an honest view down you say I'm being 'arrogant'!

Of course you are right, in a low-turnout local election with nearly 100 candidates standing it could go any way and there will, I am sure, be many surprises on Friday morning.

I know that all the parties are working Cockington & Chelston like mad, I expect that result there will be eagerly/anxiously waited for.

We had BNP and UKIP standing in seats last time and I have factored in their impact in my estimate; although I am unconvinced that any of the independent campaigns have got much steam going yet.

If I am wrong and we don't win half the seats then you can have a proper go at me, Barry.

There is not long to wait.

Barrie Wood said...

Actually, I was a bit harsh on you Marcus ! Definitely no offence intended. I just wouldn't have been as bold as you as I'm finding these elections difficult to read.

Certainly if I get the chance at the count I will say 'hello' !

Us LD's also think we've had a good response in nearly all wards where a real contest is likely. Certainly the Bye factor - and the casino issue - seems to be impacting upon bay voters. A few months ago you would have recorded a resounding victory, but you well know we are now giving you a good run for your money. And, that's all I say !!

In Ellacombe, as with Tormohun, the independent vote could definitely influence the outcome, although in the latter UKIP and the Indie campaigns (especially Ms. Colley) have been poor to date.

Anyway, got to get back out on the streets of Ellacombe there's still votes to be got !!!