The full list of candidates for Southwark council elections on 22nd May has been published and is available online here.
Southwark Labour are running a positive campaign. But many voters use local elections as a referendum on national governments. With Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes now a Minister in the Tory-led government, his hand-picked candidates face their toughest fight ever from the united, active Labour team and growing local Labour Party membership.
The are 27 councillors in the nine wards that make up the Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency in the north of the borough. There are 119 candidates for the 27 positions:
- 27 Labour
- 27 Conservative
- 27 Lib Dems
- 15 Greens (3 in Grange & Cathedrals, 2 in Surrey Docks & Newington, 1 in Chaucer, East Walworth, South Bermondsey, Rotherhithe & Riverside)
- 11 UKIP (3 in Riverside, 2 in Surrey Docks, South Bermondsey & Rotherhithe, 1 in Grange & Cathedrals)
- 8 TUSC (2 in Rotherhithe, 1 in South Bermondsey, Riverside, Newington, Grange, East Walworth & Chaucer)
- 3 Independents (2 in Newington, 1 in East Walworth)
- 1 APP (in East Walworth)
The list of candidates for May confirms that eight of the 21 sitting Lib Dem councillors in the Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency are quitting before voters cast judgement.
Labour candidates' active local campaigning is seeing wins on various issues. From housing and repairs in Grange, to tackling sexist adverts in Chaucer, getting a new, safer crossing on Borough High Street, and securing extra dog bins in South Bermondsey Labour candidates are making a difference in people's lives already. Voters have also had our positive manifesto: http://www.southwarklabour.co.uk/our-promises.aspx
In an extraordinary contrast, the Lib Dems are running a wholly negative campaign - blaming Southwark Labour for selling some council homes when it is the Coalition Government's subsidy which has caused 'right to buy' applications to rocket for example.
Lib Dem letters and leaflets have also appeared in red (rather than their usual yellow) and with the tiniest font revealing the publisher. Some voters have suggested the Lib Dems are embarrassed by their role in Government and know they are a damaged brand. Clegg (who lost MPs in 2010) faces decimation in the European ballot and has lost over a thousand Lib Dem councillors but remains in control of MPs like Hughes, who has voted for the NHS reorganisation, the Bedroom Tax and every other policy the Tories have demanded.
Whatever the rationale for Lib Dem negativity and lack of ideas for the borough, Labour will keep running a positive campaign focused on having kept our promise with the electorate from May 2010 and our pledges for the next term.
To get involved in the campaign please email me at email@example.com or on 07947 165 232, or donate now to help us win on 22nd May - putting Labour back in Bermondsey and on track for the general election win in 2015:www.neilcoyle.org.uk