Friday, 14 March 2014

Defection Watch: Ex-Lib Dem Labour Cllr Goes Conservative

Cllr Zahid Shah
Cllr Zahid Shah (Wolverhampton, St. Peter's) has defected from Labour to the Conservatives.  He accused the Labour administration of being unable to manage the council's budget effectively, saying that trying to push them to support 'better financial discipline' was like 'banging my head against a brick wall'.

Shah has however defected before.  He was twice the Liberal Democrat candidate for St. Peter's ward, polling a respectable 37.6% in 2008 and 33.4% in 2010, before becoming the Labour candidate for the ward in 2011 when he was comfortably elected with 78.7% of the vote.  The Lib Dem and Conservative votes in the ward have collapsed since 2010, and the most recent election confirmed that the ward is now very safely Labour.

If Shah chooses to defend his seat as a Conservative in 2015, the odds will certainly be against him holding on.

New council composition -
Labour - 43 (-1)
Conservatives - 13 (+1)
Lib Dems - 3
Vacant - 1

Cllr Bob Riley
There has also been another defection reported today - Cllr Bob Riley (Corby, Rural West) has left the Lib Dems and joined Labour.  Riley accused Nick Clegg of 'letting Corby down' through his support for coalition policies that were 'making life harder for people in Corby'.  Rural West ward was a straight Lib Dem-Conservative fight in 2011, so Labour strength in the area is hard to judge.  However, Corby overall is now strongly Labour.

New council composition -
Labour - 23 (+1)
Conservatives - 4
Lib Dems - 2 (-1)

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