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This from Cllr Geoff Brodie, Isle of Wight Independent Labour councillor for Newport East. Ed
With less than nine months until the next IW Council elections, we have recently had the announcement by local Labour that they will stand in every ward, no matter how unwinnable.
Thus, making more likely another Tory majority composed of councillors with election mandates of 45% or less unless things change.
Another Tory Council that will ride roughshod over the common sense objections of Islanders to things like the ineffectiveness of the Floating Bridge, the St Mary’s junction ‘improvements’, cuts to essential social services, houses on Seaclose, etc. etc.
The current Tory administration, where you need 21 to rule, has 15 of its 25 councillors (60%) with less than 50% of the vote, has 12 with 45% or less, and indeed seven with 40% or less. That is hardly the ringing endorsement they seem to think they have.
Interestingly of the 15 Opposition councillors, ten have majorities over 50% (67%), with three having the largest vote shares of all.
Of course, as has always been the way of things, at the May 2017 elections each of those 12 Tories with 45% or less faced multiple progressive candidates whose combined vote outweighed theirs.
Progressive electoral agreements needed
So irrespective of the Island Labour announcement, it is hopefully now time for the IW Greens, the LibDems and progressive independents to make an electoral agreement not to stand against each other next May.
And post-election, if the numbers add-up, to agree to manage the IW Council in the interests of the island and not their personal interests.
I hope they will all be up for that.
If something can be agreed then I am confident that when it comes to a Tory/Labour/progressive alliance choice in a polling station next May, Island voters who do not want to support the Conservative candidate are most unlikely to vote Labour for their councillor, particularly if given a credible alternative.
Let’s face it IW Labour are unlikely to get any more than a couple of councillors given the mess they are currently in both nationally and locally.
Without such an agreement and without proportional representation at elections we are otherwise doomed to continuing Tory misrule from County Hall based on a minority of the vote.
An agreement is one way to perhaps avoid that fate.