Liverpool, Wavertree

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4098 (10%)
Labour: 28401 (69.3%)
Lib Dem: 2454 (6%)
Green: 2140 (5.2%)
UKIP: 3375 (8.2%)
TUSC: 362 (0.9%)
Independent: 144 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 24303 (59.3%)

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. The Wavertree seat covers the south-western part of the city, stretching from run down, inner-city terraces towards the city centre out towards some of the more middle-class areas of the city.

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. Wavertree was the last seat held by the Conservatives, lost in 1983. More recently Wavertree become one of the better targets for the Liberal Democrats, who Liverpool`s middle class voters have increasingly turned to rather than the Conservatives, but their support collapsed following the creation of the coalition.

Current MP
LUCIANA BERGER (Labour) Born 1981, London. Educated at Birmingham University. First elected as MP for Liverpool Wavertree in 2010. Shadow Minister for Mental Health since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 2830 (7%)
Lab: 20132 (53%)
LDem: 12965 (34%)
UKIP: 890 (2%)
Oth: 1097 (3%)
MAJ: 7167 (19%)
Con: 2331 (7%)
Lab: 18441 (52%)
LDem: 13268 (38%)
UKIP: 660 (2%)
Oth: 471 (1%)
MAJ: 5173 (15%)
Con: 3091 (10%)
Lab: 20155 (63%)
LDem: 7836 (24%)
UKIP: 348 (1%)
Oth: 708 (2%)
MAJ: 12319 (38%)
Con: 4944 (11%)
Lab: 29592 (64%)
LDem: 9891 (22%)
Oth: 915 (2%)
MAJ: 19701 (43%)

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

2015 Candidates
JAMES PEARSON (Conservative)
LUCIANA BERGER (Labour) See above.
LEO EVANS (Liberal Democrat) Educated at University of Liverpool. Student.
PETER CRANIE (Green) Born Scotland. Educated at Keele University. Lecturer. Contested Liverpool Riverside 2005, West Lancashire 2010, North West region 2009, 2014 European elections.
NIAMH MCCARTHY (Independent)
Comments - 233 Responses on “Liverpool Wavertree”
  1. Pepp – it’s been discussed on here previously.

    But, in short, the rapid decline of Liverpool Tories occurred in the 1990s onwards.

    Indeed the Tories gained Lpool Garston in 1979, Lpool in the Euros later that year and had swings towards them in Lpool Garston in 1992 and won Woolton ward and came within 100 votes of gaining Allerton ward a month later.

    They also held Woolton in 1994 – an era when they lost every shire county in the Country bar Buckinghamshire.

    The last Tory Cllr for Allerton was jailed for sexually assaulting young boys, so that in part; plus the last Tory Cllr for Woolton was absent (living in Blackpool for 3 years) and lazy when he was in the city.

    The third but possibly main reason was that the local Tory Associations were involved in a legal dispute and whilst wealthy and quite numerous (the Tories had 250 members – more than the 200 the LDs had who ran the city in 1998 onwards), they didn’t do any campaigning for 10 months of the year and were essentially a social club for members.

    It isn’t a case that CCHQ need to fund them – Lpool Tories amazingly have almost £1m in the bank (!) Yes, that is a fact revealed by the Lpool Daily Post around 5 years ago.

    There were also other small reasons (such as the Orthodox Jewish community moved from Lpool to Manc in the 1990s).

    Tories – when a candidate has bothered to make an effort – have come close to winning. The Tories came within a recount of regaining Roby ward, Knowsley MBC in 2008.

    There’s certainly a gap in the market for a patriotic candidate in Liverpool. Indeed, now and then one pops up and surprises people.

    A local butcher and Orange Order member stood for the LDs and overturned a Labour majority of 900 to win a ward in 2007. The BNP beat the Tories in every ward they contested here in 2008 and in 2013, UKIP came 2nd in almost half of the wards in the city.

    So the anti-Labour voters in Lpool haven’t gone away you know. They just tend to lay dormant for 5 years then give whoever is running the city a good kicking (as happened to Labour in the city when they went down from 70 to just 9 Cllrs in the 1994-2003 period).

  2. Rivers10 – I meant to add that I agreed with the rest of your lengthy post, however.

    Yes, the sheer wealth of the L’pool Tories amazes everyone in all Parties when I tell them.

  3. “Sales in the city fell from 55,000 per day in 1989 to 12,000 per day today”

    That many are still sold? How? I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen one in a shop before.

  4. Maxim
    Just goes to show how things can change, Walton in particular electing a Tory MP…

  5. Very interesting question from PmT and answers from Rivers and Lancs.

    Thanks all.

    Oh, and with a couple more electoral facts thrown in by Maxim to spice things up a bit too. 🙂

  6. Definitely!

  7. Rivers10 – quite easily.

    Some OAPs but it in Liverpool (as they always did), but half are probably non Scousers who live here.

    It’s on sale in 50 city centre outlets (hence there’ve been attempts to persuade supermarkets to boycott it).

    In fact I saw a workman buy a copy in the Tesco on Old Hall Street next to the Echo HQ only last month.

  8. @Rivers10: “Finally Leo Evans will not stand for the Lib Dems again, I actually know him, he was on my course at uni and he wasn’t a Liverpool local (though he obviously studied at Liverpool uni) can’t remember were he said he was from but given that we are in our final year he will likely take his political ambitions back to his home turf (re his ambitions might I add they weren’t major to begin with, he knew he was going to lose badly in 2015, given we did a politics course it actually became something of a running joke in classes but I digress)”

    You might want to think again on that, he’s been reselected apparently:

    His bio would also indicate his background is in Northern Ireland, so he may want to stand under the Alliance banner, who knows? Though his Lib Dem links might not help him too much there.

  9. One of the new members of the CLP here, backed by Momentum, has put out a fairly critical statement out about Berger. One of the main gripes is her support for bombing Syria. But the new CLP Secretary, also backed by Momentum, and Berger have put out a joint statement calling for unity.

  10. Good to see that things seem to be more controlled these days. Berger has had to put up with some horrible antisemitism over the last year or so.

  11. Polltroll
    “Berger has had to put up with some horrible antisemitism over the last year or so”

    This is sadly true but I do feel the need to point out that the overwhelming majority of it was from the hard right.

    I’ve made it clear before that I fell out with Momentum and have no love for them these days but the one thing that I always felt was really overblown was the accusations of antisemitism. Its true many a Momentum member are extremely (if not aggressively) anti Israeli but that shouldn’t be conflated with antisemitism.

  12. To be fair of those convicted – for anti-Semitism against the MP – one was far Right and one was far Left.

  13. You fell out with Momentum?

  14. I’ve left Momentum too.

  15. Matt
    After Copeland yes, I was one of a few voices in Liverpool Momentum who called Copeland out as a disaster. I didn’t even explicitly blame Corbyn I just said the leadership needed tot take stock and learn but this went down very badly and several individuals just refused to hear it and instead blamed everything under the sun (the previous MP, the candidate, the PLP etc) they just refused to hear a bad word about Corbyn.

    The response I got on Twitter was (unsurprisingly) even worse, now I’m not talking about your typical abusive troll (though there were plenty of them) since they don’t bother me, rather what really irritated me was when several well known Corbyn supporting bloggers/accounts (with tens of thousands of followers each) decided to, in unison publically accuse me of being a “spam bot paid for by Blairites” now this was an utterly ridiculous accusation by any metric since I’d followed these people for years and a cursory glance at my Twitter history would show that prior to the by election result I’d posted nothing but pro Corbyn stuff yet when I pointed all this out their response was to throw a few insults at me then block me.

    That was the last straw, it confirmed what I had feared for a while that there where some real nutcases in Momentum that have no loyalty to the Lab party but instead only have loyalty to Corbyn, their paranoid, oftentimes aggressive and worst of all totally naïve. I should clarify that such people are a definite minority and most of the folks in Momentum are/seem to be great but sadly the nutters seem to have more influence than I’m comfortable with. Thus I’ve disassociated myself from them, until they clean up their act and some of the members grow up I’m not getting involved with them anymore.

  16. Fair enough. I never joined momentum already pay party and union subs only so much i can folk out for

  17. Rivers – I’m sorry to hear what happened to you, it sounds pretty similar to what happened to Owen Jones, who also felt he needed to re-evaluate the siutation after Copeland.

    As it turned out, Copeland was not really a typical seat, it was much tougher on Labour than most marginals, even those in northern England. Perhaps people read too much into a single by-election result (particularly Theresa May!)

  18. Rivers10 – well done re leaving Momentum (although presumably that means those left are real nutters)

    This move re Wavertree CLP didn’t surprise me. Long before the Corbynistas, I’m told one ward wanted Jane Kennedy deselected and a socialist PPC instead.

    Maybe they think Terry Fields was a success here?!

  19. Polltroll
    No need for you to apologise, on the whole I think it was a good thing, it opened my eyes to the bad side of Momentum and it opened the door for me to get involved in some of the soft left groups in Lab (Tribune or Open Labour) whom basically agree with the platform but still hold reservations about the leadership, I feel much more comfortable amongst these people than I ever did in Momentum and as you said I’m by no means alone in this, from what I can gather Open Labour seemed to be on some sort of recruitment drive the week following Copeland, hoovering up disillusioned ex Momentum people, I’ve personally met dozens of people who were basically in the exact same boat as me.

    Re Copeland I do agree it was a particularly difficult seat for Lab to defend and clearly not representative of the country as a whole which is why I was prepped for a defeat, it was the scale of the defeat that shook me and as is I do fervently believe that at that point in time we were on course for a landslide defeat, it was the campaign which turned things around.

  20. Lancs
    I figured you’d approve of me leaving Momentum.

    As for whose left its hard to say, for example the recently elected new chair and deputy chair of Liverpool Young Momentum (deputy chair being a friend of mine) are both definitely on the more “moderate” end of the Momentum spectrum.

    Also from what I’ve heard the campaign did Momentum a lot of good, it revealed the true grafters who were willing to get their hands dirty and campaign and the loudmouths who just troll people online and moan at meetings, also having actually met the public and their supposed “red Tory” MP’s a great many will have been further moderated by a dose of reality.

    At the end of the day I do think Momentum is getting better but it will have to change a lot more before I decide to go back.

  21. For those unaware of how nuts/extreme Terry Fields’ supporters were, here’s the documentary Comrades from 1992:

    I particularly recommend a young Jane Kennedy (at 8mins) who critiques the dangers of just opposing cuts.

    Tiny Trots at 32 mins and the Declaration @ the Count in the splendour of St George’s Hall at 44 mins will probably interest most on here.

    You see a younger Rosie Cooper and Steve Radford. Yes, voter had a good choice here with 2 Lab & 2 Libs!

    The Liverpool Broadgreen result was:

    Jane Kennedy (Labour) 18,062
    Rosie Cooper (LibDem) 11,035
    Terry Fields (Real Labour) 5,952
    Helen Roche (Conservative) 5,405
    Stephen Radford (Official Liberal) 1,211
    NLP 149

    Turnout : 70% (down 6%)

    I found Fields saying the result was “garbage” far more dangerous than his singing, Cuban cigar smoking, dark glasses and his talk of class war. But it is a lesson from history for the Labour Party. I also enjoyed the little old lady saying she didn’t like Terry Fields so the Militants start arguing with her on the doorstep about democracy!


    The sort of people on the far Left who want to turf out Berger and Ellman.

    He says she’ll be “answerable” to them.

  23. Looks like we’ve strayed into territory which is contrary to the comments policy yet again.

  24. I’ve given up telling them…

  25. Ignore Lancs and his painfully transparent agenda. Hopefully he’ll get turfed out by Anthony before long, or just put into permanent moderation. He talks a pile of shit

  26. I wish there were a like button as you get on VoteUK.

  27. Interesting to read Rivers10’s account above. Sorry you’ve been treated like that (though welcome to Open Labour, from possibly its least active member).

  28. Barnaby- now I’ll be painfully transparent. It’s a pleasure to have you back 🙂

  29. In fact, Wavertree CLP Exec have distanced themselves from Roy Bentham – which isn’t surprising – as he had no authority to state that the MP would need to answer to them before she voted the same way in future:

    Barnaby – I’m actually really surprised by your comment. I realise you’re in the 10% minority amongst Jewish members in this argument, as the rest are backing Berger against the far Left; but, all of my comments are sourced and based on fact. You can of course disagree with the same or explain why you think x isn’t the case, but eg you can’t deny that A was a former Militant, or that B was prosecuted for being Anti Semitic towards Berger, or that this seat has a long history of problems with far Left infiltration. All happened.

    Incidentally, if anyone is in breach it is clearly Tristan with his now fifth abusive comment directed at myself.

    I believe in free speech and I think any fair minded person can see his comments for what they are without the need to point this out; but, I should perhaps point out in case it’s the sort of behaviour he employs elsewhere that not only is it potentially actionable in civil terms, but the new CPS guidance has led to over 280 online trolls being prosecuted.

    So calm down, calm down! (as they don’t say here)

  30. I’m perfectly calm thank you. I’m merely pointing out that there is a comments policy and none of this has any relevance to the psephology of Liverpool Wavertree.
    Since you seem to think I am supporting her deselection, I am not calling for Berger to be deselected. It is up to CLPs to decide whether they wish to do that, not members in other constituencies.

  31. I hope you aren’t suggesting that we don’t believe in freedom of speech simply because we believe in adhering to the comments policy.

  32. Matt W – No I was stating that I believe in freedom of speech so I won’t report Tristan for his constant abuse of late, as those comments speak for themselves.

    Indeed 2 comments contained no psephology or indeed any comment relevant to any seat. Merely abuse.

    Barnaby – it clearly DOES have relevance to this seat if she is deselected! Indeed to claim, “none of this has any relevance” is mind boggling and shows you are unaware how big an issue this has been in the press, main item on BBC North West News and it even made the national BBC News. Again I am baffled by your stance, given your usual sensible comments.


    The City Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson has again been questioned by police under caution.

    Police are investigating alleged fraud involving Council contracts.

    The Opposition LibDem leader Cllr Kemp has called for the Mayor to step aside, as has the Lib Group leader Cllr Radford and ex Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle.

    Joe Anderson denies any direct involvement in or knowledge of the alleged fraudulent activities and refused to confirm or deny whether his home was searched.

    Liverpool City Council’s Chief Exec Ged Fitzgerald remains suspended on police bail, as does ex City Treasurer Phil Halsall and 2 others involved in both Liverpool and Lancashire County Council.

  34. Former LibDem City Council Leader Lord Storey (1998 – 2006) has written to the Government asking for Commissioners to be brought in to run Liverpool City Council, after the Chief Exec was suspended whilst on bail, the City Mayor was also questioned by police and another senior officer is absent on long-term leave.

    Lord Storey also raises the prospect that debts and borrowing proposed by the City Mayor are unsustainable and the finances are not being properly scrutinised in the absence of senior officers.

  35. Luciana Berger has suggested she may leave the Party – but it sounds as if she may be deselected even if she remains.

  36. I think of all the mp’s suggested she is the MP anti corbynits who dont want to quit will be most saddened to see go because of the implications it will bring.

  37. I wonder if Corbyn will endorse Ricky Tomlinson as her replacement? Right age group for him and McDonnell. Anybody remember the posts of GetReal on this seat before the 2010 election? He was very scathing about Berger IIRC.

  38. Very unlikely – Ricky Tomlinson will be 80 in september. Liverpool has plenty of younger corbynistas who will demand to be selected.

  39. Seems like you have had a sense of humour bypass today

  40. I think it was a joke but it wouldn’t surprise to me to see some over 60 candidates for labour in winniable seats – local corbynite veterans given a crack.

  41. The last thing the area needs is Tony Mulhearn or Derek Hatton making a comeback.

    Although to be fair, even though Berger was a London parachute, before her the area was full of old Old Labour MPs who did very little (Wareing, Parry & Loyden).

    The most Militant was the most active: Terry Fields.

    However the most active Liverpool MP throughout was Liberal David Alton.

    It’s little wonder turnout is the lowest in the EU in Liverpool wards.

  42. Sounds like the CLP have called off the dogs – if Owen Jones is still okay with that expression.

  43. Does anyone know EXACTLY what Berger has said or done to
    prompt a VONC?

  44. she was interviewed casting doubt on her future membership of the party

  45. Those submitting the motion said it was due to her constant criticism of the Leader.

  46. Luciana Berger has resigned from the Labour Party.

  47. Yes, an interesting 7.

    No concrete word yet from a few others, but I doubt Ellman et al will jump ship.

  48. I doubt any others will quite straight away as they would have had the opportunity to join the original 7 and go with them.

  49. As I said, it depends on the momentum (!) generated.

    Many will be watching and waiting.

    If it fizzles out there will be few if any more recruits. If it snowballs and has a major impact on the polls there will be. A few months after the SDP was formed they were polling over 40%. Today’s hyperactive social media world does seem to create ideal conditions for a short term surge.

    One thing we can be pretty sure of today is that Jeremy Corbyn’s chance of becoming PM has been severely damaged (perhaps he’s secretly grateful).

  50. He only be secretly grateful if prehaps he wants an excuse to step down and get an younger corbynite to replace him.

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