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 - 338 Responses on “Liverpool Riverside”
  1. Lancs
    She’s a paid up party member, of course the moderates are using the TUSC nomination as an excuse but she said it was solely as a personal favour for the TUSC candidate in question who did a lot of work in the Hillsborough campaign as well. She claims (and she’s right) that’s she has never in any other incidence endorsed another party other than Labour, never been a member or supporter of any other party than Labour.

    The moderates are obviously using this as an excuse to tar her but their is quite the history of people openly being full members of particular parties before becoming MP’s for other parties. I wouldn’t put it past the current NEC to try and reject her on these grounds and yes maybe even suspend the whole CLP (which is predominantly in support of her) but hopefully the double standard of welcoming former Tories but pushing away former “supporters” of other left wing parties will be reversed by Corbyn.

  2. Which former Tories have been welcomed into Corbynite Labour? And why on earth would they want to enter it? Politicians usually change parties for careerist reasons, even if they pretend otherwise. There ain’t much of a career boost on offer on your side of politics for a decade or so, at least. Perhaps more likely we’ll see some traffic the other way. Would be interesting to see whether Theresa May would welcome a Liz Kendall or Chuka Umunna or tell them to bugger off. Most likely the former, given her still precarious majority.

  3. She’s the one coming up with an ‘excuse’ – it’s an expellable offence, so I doubt she’ll be a member much longer. She appears not to understand what the word endorses mean, as he name appeared outside the polling stations.

    Anyone can be a ‘paid up member’ online, as Derek Hatton did. It means very little. Hence the NEC are expending so much time expelling all of these people again.

  4. HH
    I wasn’t referring to the period of Corbyn leadership and I wasn’t even solely referring to people defecting to the Lab party. As it is though there has been examples of Tories defecting to Corbyn’s Labour. The Chair of Newham Conservatives defected to Labour a few months ago.

  5. Lancs
    Yes it is but its one of those rules that are enforced on a case by case basis. For example their have been more than a few moderate Lab members endorsing other parties other than Corbyn led Labour and they haven’t been suspended.

    The consensus amongst the grassroots is that the NEC is being very “liberal” with its enforcement so rules, coming down hard on Corbynitsas and offering a huge amount of leeway for moderates.

  6. I’m afraid unless you can names names (moderate Labour members supporting rival Parties) I just don’t believe that assertion. There’s hardly a glut of rival centrist Parties around is there, unlike the Heinz 57 varieties of Trot listed on the Electoral Commission site.

    Ah yes, the deputy chair of East Ham Con Assoc – and he was ethnic. I think Newham may just have made the top 10 (after Tower Hamlets, Stoke, Liverpool) on the old site for the number of Cllrs defecting over the past decade or so, although this guy wasn’t even a Cllr.

  7. @rivers I do not know the specifics of this particular defection but I know in heavily Muslim areas where the Tories are structurally non existent many ambitious local people join the Tories as vehicle for furthering their political career without actually really agreeing with them on anything. Look at the 2014 locals in Newham for example the Tory slate got 31.1% of the vote in East Ham North whereas hell will freeze over before they get that % in that ward in a general election.

  8. Pepps/Lancs
    Sorry for the late response, I must have missed these comments and only stumbled across them now by accident.

    In the case of the chair of Newham Tories he wasn’t “ethnic” he was Polish, he claims he defected over the junior doctors contract imposition. also there have been other cases, several councillors not to mention that high profile case of the chair of the Conservative disabled group defecting.

  9. Lancs
    As for the double standard I mentioned about suspensions and such its obvious, there are literally countless examples over people using the word “Blairite” alone while “Trot” was deemed acceptable by the NEC.

    If you want actual specific cases the former Lab donor Foster actually gave money to the Lib Dems and wrote that article calling certain Lab members and MP’s Nazi storm troopers and the NEC resisted suspending him for months, then there was the man himself Tony Blair who has said that he’d rather have a Tory government than a Corbyn government and yet he’s still a member!!!

  10. Lancs
    As for the double standard I mentioned about suspensions and such its obvious, there are literally countless examples over people using the word “Blairite” alone while “Trot” was deemed acceptable by the NEC.

    If you want actual specific cases the former Lab donor Foster actually gave money to the Lib Dems and wrote that article calling certain Lab members and MP’s storm troopers and the NEC resisted suspending him for months, then there was the man himself Tony Blair who has said that he’d rather have a Tory government than a Corbyn government and yet he’s still a member!!!

  11. Former Militant members Tony Mulhearn, Dave Nellist and Peter Taffe are among 75 activists who have launched a bid to join Corbyn’s Labour Party.

    Politicshome has more on the new position of the Socialist Party.

  12. Why not? That’s where they belong now.

  13. The difficulty they have is that most stood against Labour in May 2015 and May 2016.

    Quite apart from the personal hatred on the ground, particularly in Liverpool.

  14. The other problem is that far-left anarchists do not believe in representative democracy, and certainly not the parliamentary democracy espoused by the Labour Party. Nellist, Taaffe & co would happily destroy Labour to take the revolution to the streets.

    The Labour Party has the right to refuse membership to applicants, in the same way Aviva might refuse the business of someone who has had three write-offs and a drink-driving conviction. Not worth the risk.

  15. That’s So 1980 (Ch5) had some interesting stats.

    A loaf of bread cost 35p which is £2 in today’s money. ie very expensive then as the average wage was £6k pa.

    You also had to wait months for a telephone and it was illegal to install one unless it was from the GPO.

    Amusing footage of Michael Foot, as well as the well known footage of the SAS going into rescue the hostages and kill the terrorists in the Iranian Embassy.

  16. Merseytravel have voted in favour of driver-only trains for the new fleet of Merseyrail trains.

    ie all Labour reps (5 of the 6 are I think) voted in favour of this.

    The RMT have said they may strike in 2017.

  17. Gerard Coyne is launching his bid to be General Secretary of UNITE by attacking ‘Red Len’ today.

    He says UNITE currently spends, “too much time – and your money – on playing politics.”

    He’s also pledged to ‘clean up’ UNITE’s finances.

    UNITE also lent Len over £400,000 for a flat in London.

  18. An amusing aside:

    Whilst waiting outside to meet an ex-colleague at a Costa here, I heard two ‘scallys’ who were gleeful at news they’d just heard on the radio in Moorfields station shop (that 78 Job Centres across the UK are to be closed within a year).

    They seemed particularly pleased that said staff may face the prospect of having to ‘sign on’ themselves.

    This reminded me of a League of Gentlemen episode in which Pauline (the violent, unhelpful OTT ‘welfare to work advisor’) was found to be a benefit fraudster and so had to become a customer herself.

    Although my particular favourite was when she said a claimant couldn’t go to a job interview as he’d miss her advice session on how to get an interview!

    I doubt this ‘anecdotage’ has much psephological impact, other than to note that the PCS union – and perhaps Corbyn – won’t find a huge reservoir of working class support in any campaign to oppose these particular cuts. After all, I seem to recall that DWP staff came below even estate agents, politicians, lawyers and dentists in a poll of which profession people hate to visit.


    Ricky Tomlinson claims Richard Whitely was a spy, but he refuses to produce any evidence.

    His claims sound as “delusional” [words of a Labour MP] as John McDonnell’s soft coup claims.

  20. Richard Whiteley a spy? Seriously? One can only imagine how many secrets he unearthed while hosting Countdown and how essential it was for them to place him in the mayoralty of the hotbed of insurrection that is Wetwang.

  21. Those awful puns were probably some kind of code.

  22. And the Tom Swiftys?

  23. Sadly nasty politics has returned to Liverpool:

    Highlights included:

    * the elected Mayor pacing around with a microphone like an alternative comedian.

    * He defamed the Leader of the Opposition.

    * He attacked the local newspaper for reporting facts.

    * A City Cllr was called a “slime ball” and worse which would probably not pass moderation on here.

    Needless to say it’s now the main news on BBC NW and Cllr Steve Radford has reported the Mayor to the Standards Board for several breaches of the Code.

  24. For those who are unaware, as well as the Southern rail strikes today, there are strikes today by the RMT guards on Merseyrail and Northern Rail (incl Arriva North) services.

    Half of the ASLEF drivers have refused to cross picket lines, which means there’ll be no trains after 6.30pm this evening in Merseyside, Lancs, Cheshire etc and even the 5.30pm commuter trains will only be stopping at every other station.

    A straw poll (the sample was only 280) by local radio showed 44% supported the strikes and 40% opposed them.

    Future strike days are planned – although I expect the RMT will be disappointed that the public aren’t as behind their cause as their members are.


    This won’t surprise many on here, including Labour members.

    As Lord Alton noted, “Our MPs were well known for taking different positions, but nothing surpasses the Labour Group in Liverpool. Their meetings always seem to result in at least 3 different positions being opined.”

  26. No not particularly people refusing to deliver leaflets has certainly not been confined to Liverpool

  27. No not particularly people refusing to deliver leaflets has certainly not been confined to Liverpool

  28. No not particularly people refusing to deliver leaflets has certainly not been confined to Liverpool

  29. To answer my own Q (of why we have By-elections being held next week and at the end of May and June), it seems some Cllrs deliberately leave it a week late in order to resign, so a stand alone by-election is required rather than holding it on Polling Day in May:

    Although for those who are unaware, this Cllr has a long record of receiving huge sums from public bodies in Merseyside over the past 35 years.

    I’m told she ‘earned’ over £100k pa last year alone. She really does sound the sort of politico who gives politicians a bad name. I’m also told that she’d be a Tory if down South, but just happened to be a Liberal cos they were in power in her ward. She then defected to Labour when they were on the rise in the city and was given a safe seat.

    I haven’t had the pleasure of interviewing her (she’s never around), but I do recall seeing her walking towards the Town Hall wearing a fur coat around a decade ago. Even though she’s from a wealthy Jewish family, she seems to be somewhat hated in that community. I wonder of Barnaby has heard of her or the family?

  30. The Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council, Ged Fitzgerald has been arrested along with at least three others.

    Further to previous questioning for fraud, they were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and witness intimidation.

    I understand the others arrested in dawn raids by Lancashire Police include ex Chief Exec, Sir David Henshaw, another former senior Officer and a senior local government politician.

    Whilst I do know more, that’s probably the most I can say on here; but, for those who are interested this is a long-running investigation regarding alleged fraud and corruption at Lancashire County Council and Liverpool City Council and LDL and the four individuals who are currently being held.

    It suffices to say that if today results in Trials and convictions, the saga will no doubt end up as a tv drama akin to GBH!

    This isn’t the first time that Ged Fitzgerald has been criticised. He was also a senior Officer at Rotherham MBC when they failed to act over child grooming there and he remains the only senior officer from Rotherham who is today in a publicly-funded role, the Inquiry having recommended that none of them should be. He is also infamous for his over £230k pa salary, bonus and expensive car that city council taxpayers funded.

  31. The City Council Chief Exec Gerald Fitzgerald has been bailed again for a further 3 months on fraud charges.

    Bizarrely the City Mayor has agreed that he should step aside BUT still receive his full pay.

    Liberal Group leader Cllr Steve Radford & LibDem Group leader Cllr Richard Kemp (LD) have written to the DCLG to ask whether it is within the City Mayor’s powers to agree to this expenditure of £110,000. The others bailed include the former City Treasurer, another former senior Liverpool city council officer who moved to Lancashire County Council and the Tory leader of Lancs CC who has also been arrested for witness intimidation.

  32. I was struck by the proportion of Scousers opposing the bus strikes in Merseyside of late.

    Today, opposition appears to have increased (of the 800 comments on the Liverpool Echo site & Facebook, 60%+ oppose the drivers, as did half on the BBC radio ‘phone-in):

    [For those outside the North West, Arriva bus drivers have announced that they’re to strike on 9 days in December, including one which is the same day as train drivers from Northern and Merseyrail]

  33. Not sure they are a measures of support or lack of it

  34. Vox pops Lancs, nothing more, nothing less

  35. Hardly. Indeed why would the driver feel the need to respond in thus way unless the reaction had been negative from very many.

    I agree it wasn’t a YouGov poll. However, the average number of comments on an Echo or MEN article is 30-40 (which I agree would be a mere vox pop). On this and the previous article re the Arriva strikes, there were over 450, the vast majority of which opposed the strikes.

    Although I realise Rivers10 has previously refused to believe any evidence that the public are fairly evenly split on industrial action, whether by train or bus drivers.

    [Only just spotted your reply upthread – Yes, non-UK Nationals are indeed classed as ethnic minorities in Census figures. PT is spot on re ethnic minorities joining the Tories in poor areas. It has happened for years although increased massively under DC when 31 ethnic cllrs and PPCs defected including in Manc.]

  36. Lancs, you really do need to take some sort of crash course in stats. As way of measuring public opinion self selecting samples, such as below-the-line comments on newspaper articles, are useless. That’s the case whether there are 30-40 of them or several hundred.

  37. No one likes strike action particular the people going on strike who lose a days wages for every day they are on strike. But you don’t go on strike because its popular or because it makes you feel good about yourself.

  38. Somewhat related here, since we’re talking about Liverpool & strikes – my father has a small to claim as possibly the only member of the Conservative Party employed by Liverpool City Council during the Militant years. There were days when he was the only person turning up to work while everyone else was on picket lines.

  39. Lancs
    “On this and the previous article re the Arriva strikes, there were over 450, the vast majority of which opposed the strikes”

    That’s classic respondents bias, its the exact same situation with online petitions (which you have dismissed in the past) in that only those who feel very strongly about something (usually in the form of anger) can be bothered to actually comment. Your not gonna get many people commenting who’s opinion on the strikes is “meh kinda annoying but I can manage”

  40. I’m somewhat amused that a conservative would refuse to strike because of principle even though its a chance to stick it to Derek Hatton

  41. Matt W – although in this case the drivers are being paid (by the union) on strike days. Amusingly they’re now in dispute over 2 pence per hour, “on principle.” Stagecoach drivers accepted the deal weeks ago.

    Kieran W – I agree if merely 30-40 (as I said). But clearly 800 comments – which it was at the time, it’s now over 1,100 – are not “useless.” Nor are they below the line, as all names are verified in order to post [after a legal action I won’t bore you with 5 years ago]. Indeed that’s 3% of the daily readership and 6% of bus passengers in the city. [Yes I do realise not all are passengers but clearly most are as they name the number of the bus they get which are on strike]

    Rivers10 – some did – trade unionists such as your parents and the drivers who were then slated in comments – hence the article re the reaction itself. It wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t significant.

    What’s unusual about this prolonged strike, is that other trade unionists from teachers to GPs have spoken out against it (although Labour City Mayor supports this, but opposes the train strikes in the city).

  42. PT – I assume your father is therefore a fan of GBH?

    Willy Russell’s tv drama (available on DVD) is loosely based on the Militant years in Liverpool.

    In a famous scene, Michael Palin plays the only headmaster in the city to open his school on an ‘all-out’ strike day in the city.

  43. I must see this drama

  44. MW – it’s a really good cast.

    Robert Lindsay plays the Militant council leader. Even Julie Walters is in it.

    I won’t post the wiki entry as it gives away the entire plot and would spoil it for you. Well worth watching. It was probably the first of its kind – 10 x 1 hour episodes – a few years before the BBC’s more famous House of Cards; To Play the King and the American versions.

  45. Lancs, it’s the fact that the sample is self selecting that’s the killer, not so much it’s size. Rivers explains part of the reason why that’s a fatal flaw. Those kind of pretend measures of public opinion merely serve to pollute sites such as this.

  46. Guessing it’s hard to check which commentators actually use the bus service or indeed live in the area.

    From my observation of the Southern rail dispute around here (finally resolved now after nearly 2 years), initial sympathy for the strike was quite strong, but after a month or so of disrupted commutes, passengers attitudes hardened very considerably. Quite a few times on strike days I saw staff getting a nasty earful from irate passengers, often unfairly as the staff left operating the trains by definition were not the ones striking. Though SE England is of course not the hotbed of socialism that Liverpool is.

  47. Kieran W – but I acknowledged it wasn’t a poll.

    Clearly, however, responses do become both relevant and persuasive when the size grows so large.

    Indeed, if you read the article, it’s presumably why the bus driver responded in he way he did (because he was so annoyed that so many bus passengers were indeed attacking the drivers for striking on so many days).

    Otherwise to use your logic, even if 10,000 commented in opposition that would still be “useless” even though that would represent well over 50% of passengers. [Unless you’re claiming bots from outside Merseyside would be so bothered by a local dispute that they’d comment in order to skew the %.]

    HH – that’s my point. I think people assume that eg if a seat votes 80% Labour, then that automatically means they back the strikes. Self evidently they are not. Indeed those who have spoken out against the strikes on both uses and trains here include Labour Cllrs and trade unionists.

    The most popular comment I saw cited the reputational damage continued strikes would do to the city as well as harming tourism (the RMT deliberately held a strike during the Grand National Festival).

    As Rivers10 will know there’s a lot of bad blood between the far Left and the Labour leadership in Liverpool. Indeed local RMT, Unite, CWU branches disaffiliated under Blair and reps have stood against the Party (as SWP, TUSC, 1st For Kirkby etc) as recently as the local elections.

    On the local Liverpool tv channel, the man interviewed in support of the striking drivers was the last Militant Cllr Alfie Hincks (Liverpool Labour). I don’t think he’s bothered standing since he came last in a by-election with around 25 votes in around 2008.

    Maybe Rivers10 will know – have Labour let him back in, as he was standing in front of a Walton CLP banner outside the bus depot on Green Lane.

  48. Liverpool University Labour Students’ tweeted:

    “Happy Regicide Day comrades! We did it once, we can do it again.”

    Merseyside Police have confirmed that they have received reports re the above and are investigating.

  49. The Chief Exec of Liverpool City Council (who is currently suspended on full pay whilst on police bail) has failed in his Judicial Review, after he sought to claim his arrest for several offences was unlawful.

    Amusingly his action has revealed further misdemeanours in open court by himself and his co-accuseds, including the wiping of laptops and destruction of mobile ‘phones etc.

    Whilst I suspect this story is only known to those in the North West, it does still have the potential to have a Council Leader, City Mayor and 3 Senior Officers jailed and/or banned from public office.

  50. Louise Ellman becomes a Dame in HM Queen’s Birthday Honours, as does Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing.

    Bernard Jenkin received a Knighthood.

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