Liverpool, Riverside

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4245 (9.6%)
Labour: 29835 (67.4%)
Lib Dem: 1719 (3.9%)
Green: 5372 (12.1%)
UKIP: 2510 (5.7%)
TUSC: 582 (1.3%)
MAJORITY: 24463 (55.3%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Merseyside. Part of the Liverpool council area.

Main population centres: Liverpool.

Profile: Liverpool is the once great port city of the north west, sunk deep in economic deprivation yet ever proud of its art, music and culture. As the name suggests, the Riverside seat runs along the coast of the Mersey, taking in the docklands, the city centre and the city`s two universities. Despite redevelopment of some parts of the seat the area continues to suffer from poor (and mostly rented) housing, high unemployment, deprivation and crime. There is a high student vote here, with over a fifth of the adult population in full time education..

Politics: Liverpool is dominated by the Labour party, they have easily won all the Parliamentary seats here since the abolition of the Liberal Democrat held Liverpool Mossley Hill in 1997. At a local level the Liberal Democrats have had successes, and they have advanced in many of the Parliamentary seats, but not enough to pose a serious challenge. Since the formation of the coalition Liberal Democrat strength has also evaporated at a local level, leaving Labour`s hegemony here unchallenged. As an interesting footnote, the Scotland Road area in the north of the constituency was once the heart of the Irish immigrant community and the old Liverpool Scotland seat was the only example of an Irish Nationalist MP being returned on the mainland, being represented by T.P.O`Connor for 44 years.

Current MP
LOUISE ELLMAN (Labour) Born 1945, Manchester. Educated at Manchester High School for Girls and Hull University. Former university lecturer. Lancashire county councillor 1970-1997, leader of Lancashire County council 1981-1997. Contested Darwen 1979. First elected as MP for Liverpool Riverside in 1997.
Past Results
Con: 4243 (11%)
Lab: 22998 (59%)
LDem: 8825 (23%)
GRN: 1355 (3%)
Oth: 1380 (4%)
MAJ: 14173 (37%)
Con: 2843 (9%)
Lab: 17951 (58%)
LDem: 7737 (25%)
GRN: 1707 (5%)
Oth: 953 (3%)
MAJ: 10214 (33%)
Con: 2142 (8%)
Lab: 18201 (71%)
LDem: 4251 (17%)
Oth: 909 (4%)
MAJ: 13950 (55%)
Con: 3635 (10%)
Lab: 26858 (70%)
LDem: 5059 (13%)
Oth: 1997 (5%)
MAJ: 21799 (57%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Liverpool, Riverside

2015 Candidates
JACKSON NG (Conservative) Educated at SOAS. Solicitor and political advisor.
LOUISE ELLMAN (Labour) See above.
PAUL CHILDS (Liberal Democrat) Air steward.
TONY MULHEARN (TUSC) Born 1939, Liverpool. Educated at Liverpool John Moores University. Liverpool councillor 1984-1987. Contested Crosby 1979 for Labour, Liverpool mayoral election 2012.
Comments - 387 Responses on “Liverpool Riverside”
  1. The real test of success is if the unions support PR. The unions and members have 50% of the votes each at conference. If the unions don’t support the motion then 3/4 of members need to to ensure it gets discussed. Many of these issues are resolved before they reach the conference floor.

    There was a compromise on mandatory reselection hashed out by soft left members and the unions called Rule 66 which reduced the quota needed to open selection but not going as far as automatic open selection which killed a debate on open selection.

    Similar was the compromise over a 2nd referendum which was a composite motion of 100s of people. Unison in that case supported the rival motion pushing the party into backing remain. Ironically it was the Unison assistant general sec Wendy Nicols who refused a card vote on pushing the party to remain.

    In other instances debates on trident, etc. haven’t even been allowed to reach the conference floor by voting on other issues ahead of trident (only 8 issues can be discussed) to avoid the argument and from a union perspective protect their industry.

  2. The unions are indeed, and have historically been, a major stumbling block to Labour backing PR, along with many of the party’s MPs. Starmer himself is quite favourable though. More so than Corbyn (who I think was secretly opposed). Some new polling on Electoral Calculus shows a plurality of support for PR among the public – not a majority, as there’s a lot of DKs. It’s the kind of policy in which the public are at odds with politicians.

  3. I think I saw that but i can’t remember who did the polling. Not them assume as they don’t do their own polling if i remember correctly.

    Generally unions are opposed constitutional changes like PR because really there isn’t much advantage from their perspective. The old left too has been fairly apathetic toward PR. I remember an interview with Dennis Skinner in 1992 where he said Kinnocks switch to PR had been a Lib Dem bribe and Labour should be focusing on other things. MPs generally don’t like anything that puts them at risk

  4. Working with pollster Find Out Now.

    Yes, much as I respect Dennis, he sadly has the typical Old Left antipathy to electoral reform. I think in the 80s it was the moderate wing of the party who were on board with it, and the left were opposed. I don’t think it’s as split now. I’d say the soft left are more likely to be in favour, but there’s support from all wings of the party (and opposition too, I would imagine).

    MPs are often acting in their own self-interest on this issue, rather than what would be best. On the topic of this thread, PR would probably be a good thing for all these one-party states in local government.

  5. TM – no, I meant Cllr Joe Hanson as I said.

    David Hanson is leading the review into the Lpool Labour Party.

  6. A different David Hanson to the former MP?

  7. There wasn’t really a huge appetite for it from anyone in any significant way until now. I can’t really think of any genuine proponents of electoral reform historically. The old MP for Southampton Itchen was. New Labour had a genuine chance at it with the Jenkins Report but maybe they knew thr rebellion by MPs would be too much to consider

  8. “There wasn’t really a huge appetite for it from anyone in any significant way until now. I can’t really think of any genuine proponents of electoral reform historically.”
    Matt, surely this isn’t true? It depends how you define “huge appetite”. It perhaps doesn’t really exist now – it has big support but it’s not a mass movement of people. I don’t think the support for PR has magically appeared overnight – it’s just more organised now, and unchanging Tory government also mobilises activity. I recommend you read up on the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform – loads of important Labour figures have supported PR in the past. John Denham is small fry compared to Robin Cook or Alan Johnson. The movement perhaps hasn’t had a big national figure championing it, I’ll grant you. If there wasn’t a “huge appetite” for PR, the Jenkins report wouldn’t have happened. Indeed, PR would have put loads of Labour MPs out of jobs at the time of that report, but it’s another example of politicians only looking at the short-term, rather than taking the long view. There was coordinated opposition from the unions too.

    But with all due respect, just because you can’t think of any “genuine proponents of electoral reform historically” it doesn’t mean they haven’t existed. Conservative Action for Electoral Reform existed before the Labour grouping. Of course the Lib Dems have always been keen. Even if you mean just in Labour, many have been sincere and genuine proponents of electoral reform. There was a successful party conference motion calling for an inquiry into voting systems in 1990. The Electoral Reform Society has existed for over a century, and Make Votes Matter lists a lot of well-known advocates on their website.

  9. I did mean just the Labour Party and I didn’t know Alan Johnson and Robin Cook were proponents. I’ll concede I know less about the history of PR than I thought I did. I didn’t know that electoral reform was already put to conference in the 90s. I’ve also found out that Labour actually passed a bill on electoral reform in 1931 but it fell with the government

  10. It’s not a subject which is widely known about, or even talked of much in mainstream media. Consequently, its history can be quite obscure. I myself have learnt a lot about PR in the last few years, and since I became convinced of the need for it. Yes, Labour backed electoral reform quite early on, but it fell by the wayside. I would say that there is more widespread support for PR in the UK nowadays than in much of the post-war period of British politics. It was a bit of a hobby horse for the Liberals and their ilk. The top of the Labour Party wasn’t interested, or were even antithetical to it.

    The recent Archive on 4 (Radio 4) programme about The Forgotten Referendum (ie. on AV) was interesting, albeit depressing to hear how easily the issue was buried and taken off the political agenda.

    One of Sheffield’s MPs, Paul Blomfield, has been a Chair of LCER, I believe.

  11. “A different David Hanson to the former MP?”

    The same one.
    It has been reported Starmer’s office wanted Jacquie Smith to lead the review but the NEC (and especially the NEC Chair Margaret Beckett) opposed the idea and they went for Hanson.

    Hanson will work on it along with Judith Blake (former leader of Leeds council)

  12. Thanks for clarifying that. The shared surname threw me. Thought it probably was the ex-MP.

  13. Glad the NEC got their way on this one. I understand Beckett is looking to make waves. Though the NECs hands aren’t clean in this tbf. The panel to remove the shorlist included the Local Government Representative Alice Perry and chair of disputes Wendy Nicols

  14. I see that ex-City Council leader Cllr Frank Prendergast is seeking re-election as an Ind in Everton ward.

    He appears to be standing highlighting the alleged corruption by 3 City Cllrs re cash in hand taken at match day car parks in his ward.

    Ex-Militant Cllr, Alfie Hincks is the Labour candidate. He stood against Labour – as Liverpool Labour – as recently as 2008.

  15. Ex-MP Louise Ellman has formally rejoined Labour.

    Not the best time to do so locally, but then she’s used to that (the year after she arrived in 1997, Labour lost the City Council for over a decade).

    To those who asked elsewhere, Berger is still a LibDem and Jane Kennedy is still an Ind.

    I don’t think there’s odds from a bookie as of yet, but it seems more likely than not that Ind Stephen Yip may well win the City Mayoralty. IMHO if Labour poll 35 – 40%, he could still beat them with say 28%, after LD, Lib, Con etc 2nd prefs are allocated.

  16. I wondered about Louise recently. I suppose she feels comfortable rejoining under the new leadership. She might still be an MP if Corbyn hadn’t been leader so long. I imagine she’ll retire though now.

  17. Jane Kennedy is an independent? I think i vaguely remember that but must have forgotten.

  18. I suppose the 5 year rule doesn’t apply to Ellman but tbf Starmer has said he’d bend the rules for thise it applied to in 2019 anyway

  19. What 5 year rule? Ellman left, she wasn’t expelled.

  20. Anyone who stands against Labour automatically faces a 5 year ban on party membership. Not applicable to Ellman who didn’t stand against Labour. Starmer has said he’d waive the 5 year rule for people who did stand against Labour in 2019; Luciana Berger, Ian Austin, etc.

  21. Sorry correction Ian Austin didn’t stand I was thinking of the fella from Bury South

  22. Oh I see – yes. Ian Austin being in the lords would also rule him out. Ivan Lewis was the former Labour MP in Bury South, but was also facing allegations about misconduct. It’s one thing to stand against your old party, but quite another to endorse their main rivals. Austin and Lewis both endorsed the Tories. I’m not sure I can see any of those MPs who left Labour and stood against them, or who endorsed the Tories, attempting to rejoin Labour. Isn’t Ellman the only one who did neither?

    Interesting that Gisela Stuart endorsed the Tories but has apparently remained a Labour member.

  23. Did the MP from Barrow endorse the Tories?

    I’ve heard the former MP for Ilford South has said he’s considering. He and the former MP for Nottingham East used Labour Party posters when they stood in 2019. I think they only got away with it because they didn’t say the party name or include the emblem.

    Yes there are a few like that… after Alistair Campbell was suspended a few people came out like Cherie Blair to say they supported the Lib Dems. They’re still all members i believe. The labour party does not do parity in displinary affairs

  24. Yes, I looked earlier and John Woodcock endorsed the Tories. He’s non-aligned in the Lords though.

    Mike Gapes, interesting. Wouldn’t think he was an obvious fit elsewhere. They used Labour posters? How? Using up their old stock maybe?

    I don’t think even the party under Corbyn would have expelled Cherie Blair.

  25. They printed new posters

    and that’s the problem. Politics gets in the way of political parties implementing their own rules

  26. Using the pre-printed Labour background on the posters or something like that?

  27. Yeah i think so

  28. A bit cheeky, but I suppose the red and yellow design and font aren’t copyrighted?

  29. I imagine that’s how they avoided trouble

  30. Matt W – yes, Kennedy is Police & Crime Commissioner until next month.

    Neither her, Berger or Kilfoyle will rejoin Labour.

  31. I think Berger’s own personal experience in Labour make it unlikely she would rejoin. The party still has a lot of Corbyn supporters.

  32. Tbf there have always been Corbyn supporters in the Labour Party. Prior to Corbyn they might have been called Bennites but they were there. People who have since been suspended or expelled like Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker, Ken Livingston, Pete Willsman, etc. have been in the party for a very long time and in fairly high positions. Leaders of various large authorities, members of the NEC, etc.

  33. True, but I don’t think they gave MPs like Luciana a hard time before 2015. Although these things seem to come in cycles, given what happened in the 80s. The difference is that social media has made it much easier to harass MPs now.

  34. Labour have done worse than they expected, but as I expected in the city mayoral contest. First round:

    Labour 38%
    Ind Yip 22%
    LD 17%
    Green 9%
    Lib 8%
    Cons 4%
    TUSC 3%

  35. I’m told (reliable former colleague) that there’s been a terrorist attack in Liverpool.

    Apparently a female suicide bomber attempted to gain entry to the Women’s Hospital. She then detonated her device her device in a taxi parked outside (after being turned away as acting suspiciously).

    This occurred at 11am today and the Remembrance parade had to be re-routed.

    Since then Counter Terror police have raided 2 houses in the city and held a number of individuals. All hospitals in Liverpool remain in lockdown.

  36. Yes I sadly found out about this when George Aylett, a young member of the labour party, retweeted a statement from the East Riding of Yorkshire Conservative Group who have announced that a member has been suspended after photoshoping Jeremy Corbyn at the hospital laying a wreath for the terrorist

  37. LOL

    As I’m sure Lancs knows by now, the suspected terrorist was a man, not a woman.

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