Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lib Dems to lose control in Liverpool?

I got a leaflet from the Liberal Democrats today. Apparently they work hard all year round, which makes it odd that this is the first time that they've been in touch since last year's elections.

But what was really interesting about it was that it read very clearly like they'd run out of steam. It was all looking back to what they've done in the past, and how this compares to what Labour did in the 1980's, with a half-hearted piece buried on the backpage about how Labour want to put up the council tax, as part of a long feature about how good the council is at the moment.

Even last year, they ran a relentlessly negative campaign against Labour's plans to introduce fortnightly collections of rubbish (featuring a rat wearing a red rosette amongst others), and if the desire for power is still there, I imagine that they'll return to this approach. Running negative campaigns has, after all, served the Lib Dems well over the past ten years.

In contrast, running a campaign about their past achievements and how good the council is would be quite a dubious strategy even if their own high opinions of their achievements were widely believed, let alone at a time when the local papers have been giving daily updates of the string of disasters, from financial crisis to cancelling events to closing care homes to being judged the worst council in the country for financial management.

At the moment, the Lib Dems have 50 councillors, Labour 35 and there are five others (3 Liberals, 1 Green and 1 Independent). It'll be interesting to see what happens come May 1st.


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