Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green councillors in Oxfordshire have agreed to “put their differences aside” in the interest of local residents to form a coalition.
With no party winning the 32-seat majority required leaders from the parties have formed the Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance that is anchored in “the principles shared across our manifestos, with climate change and the environment at their heart.”
It echoes a similar allegiance struck in Stroud, which was renewed after the May 6th election.
Cllr Doina Cornell said the alliance has “achieved so much for the district over these last nine years, protecting and investing in our communities instead of cutting back.”
On the national front, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has embarked on some serious soul searching following drubbings for the party across the regions.
Labour lost control of eight councils and shed some 326 councillors all told, with the biggest defeats coming in Hartlepool, where a Conservative MP was elected for the first time in 62 years, and in County Durham, which saw Labour lose overall control of the council for the first time since 1925.
It follows on from the 2019 general election which saw Labour suffer one of its worst results in living memory.
The election saw much of the so-called Red Wall turn blue, with seats such as Workington, Tony Blair’s former constituency of Sedgefield and Bolsover, which had been Dennis Skinner’s seat since 1970, fall to the Conservatives.
The scale of the defeat, which was underpinned by ongoing Brexit issues, has led many people to suggest that the only way forward for Labour is through an alliance with other parties.
Scotland would be a logical place to start, with the SNP having 45 MPs in parliament, but to do so would mean putting the thorny issue of independence on the agenda and could see Labour preside over the breakup of the union.
A more likely partnership would therefore be with the Lib Dems and Greens, which could win up to 351 seats according to analysis.
Earlier this year a 20,000 person focaldata poll found Sir Keir could add 100 seats to his count if he joined forces with the aforementioned parties.
As Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said: “If Keir Starmer wants a shot at No 10 in three years, the party must be open to working with the Greens and Lib Dems, particularly given the impending constituency boundary changes and SNP strength north of the border.”
Without such pacts, Labour cannot hope to be back in power any time soon.
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