Sunday, 1 May 2011

Leadership Couple Face Separation As Coalition Heads For Kicking

Reading Council's Coalition Couple are facing a forced separation after just a year.

According to today's Sunday Telegraph "Labour could gain 1,500 council seats in local elections as Coalition braces for kicking". The report suggests that "Both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are braced for heavy losses in this week's local elections – with the Coalition partners on track jointly to lose up to 1,500 seats."

The Telegraph goes on to say "Labour will be the big winner with Ed Miliband's party set to record its biggest share of the vote in council polls for around a decade.

The Liberal Democrats could lose around 600 seats in Thursday's poll – a third of all those currently held by Nick Clegg's party which are being contested.

A loss on this scale – together with a failure to win the referendum on changing to the Alternative Vote (AV) system, could be enough to prompt behind-the-scene discussions about how long Mr Clegg can continue at the party's helm.

He has already faced criticism from some activists over a U-turn on big increases in university tuition fees and support for Government spending cuts.

Chris Huhne, the Climate Change Secretary, is suspected by fellow ministers of being "on manoeuvres" as a possible alternative leader."

All this points to bad news for the coalition in Reading, where Lib Dem leader Kirsten Bayes is facing defeat in Redlands to Labour's Jan Gavin.

(image: Reading Chronicle)

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