Wednesday, 17 November 2010

LibDem Tory Election Pact - And Epps To Leave

I've heard from a number of different sources that the local LibDems and Tories are already so spooked about losing seats at next May's Reading Council elections they have begun to have talks about each party not standing candidates against each other in every seat.

Top of the list are Church ward, where the LibDems may step aside to help the Tories hang on, and Redlands where either no Tory candidate would stand or at least no active campaigning by them, in an effort to help shore up under-fire Deputy Leader Bayes who is already facing a strong challenge from Labour's Jan Gavin. A similar arrangement may also be agreed in Katesgrove.

While there's no suggestion that this self-serving arrangement is to be put in place all across the town, it would be remarkably arrogant of the coalition parties to deny voters in any ward the chance to vote for the party of their choice.

What will weaken the LibDems position in Katesgrove would be if sitting LibDem councillor Gareth Epps chose not to restand. Having previously been a councillor in West Oxfordshire, and now viewed as being increasingly out of step with the coalition in the council and in parliament, whispers persist that he may leave town soon.

UPDATE: I love Rachel Eden's analysis of the LibDems - but I don't want them to tell me about their childhoods!

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