Friday, 28 March 2014

Defection Watch: Cllr Quits Labour in Cardiff

Cllr Gretta Marshall
Cllr Gretta Marshall (Cardiff, Splott division) has quit the ruling Labour group on the council, saying that there were too few women included in the newly reshuffled cabinet.  Cardiff Labour recently selected a new leader in Cllr Phil Bale who then formed a new cabinet to run the city council, which has already been criticised for including a large number of relatively new and inexperienced councillors.

There have been three by-elections in Cardiff within the last six months.  All were held by Labour, although one in Splott ward itself was fairly narrowly held against a 6.1% swing to the Liberal Democrats.

New council composition -
Labour - 44 (-1)
Lib Dems - 15
Conservative - 7
Independents - 7 (+1)
Plaid Cymru - 2

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Defection Watch: Ceredigion Indy Joins UKIP

Cllr Gethin James
Independent Cllr Gethin James (Ceredigion, Aberporth division) has joined UKIP, making him the third unitary-level UKIP councillor in Wales.  

Ceredigion is currently run by a Plaid Cymru-Independent coalition (including the 'Independents' group and 'The Independent Voice' group, but not the sole 'Non-Party Independent'), and Cllr James had been a member of the council's cabinet for Lifestyle Services and Waste.  However, the Plaid Cymru council leader, Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn, has now sacked James from his cabinet position, saying that Plaid doesn't want a UKIP member in the cabinet.  It is believed that James will still continue to sit as a member of the independent group involved in the coalition, however.

James held his division fairly easily in the last elections in 2012 - he won 61.3% of the vote to Plaid Cymru's 26.7% and the Conservatives' 12%.  UKIP have no electoral history on the council though, so it's hard to tell how his defection will affect his future electoral chances.

New council composition -
Plaid Cymru 19
Independents 15 (-1)
(Independents Group 11 (-1), The Independent Voice 3, Non-Party Independent 1)
Liberal Democrats 7