A week after the only two Liberal Democrats on Wyre Forest District Council quit the party, the local party chairman has described their position as “uncomfortable”.
Roger Shade, Chairman of Wyre Forest Liberal Democrat, has try to save face after husband and wife councillors Peter and Helen Dyke resigned from the party in protest. Mr Shade said that the local party would now have a “fresh start” and will being contesting nine seats in this May’s local elections. One of these is Aggborough and Spennells, where a new Liberal Democrat candidate will take on Peter Dyke, who will stand as an independent. It will be interesting to see whether voters stick with party or person and if Mr Dyke is able to hang on to his council seat.
The loss of their councillors will have been a blow for the party locally but from Roger Shade’s comments it seems they are determined to fight on. However, with their party unpopular in national Government and with even their own representatives abandoning them, the Lib Dems may well have a hard time come Election Day.
On top of this and unrelated to the substantive politics, the jailing of their former parliamentary candidate will not have been a welcome headline for Wyre Forest’s Lib Dems.
Although all might not be lost for the Liberal Democrats. The unique phenomena that is Independent Health Concern creates, as ever, a different dynamic to elections and it will be interesting to see how they fare without leader, Dr Richard Taylor, in Westminster.
Despite Wyre Forest’s distinctive and unpredictable electoral landscape, it is unlikely that the Liberal Democrats will counter their desperate poll ratings (rarely in double figures nowadays) and the negative local press to pull off a miraculous victory on May 5th.