POLITICAL groups are once again eyeing up taking control of council’s across The News’s area as the local election draws nearer.
Battle lines have been drawn across Portsmouth as main parties look set to go to war ahead of May 3’s vote.
The Liberal Democrats are launching a bullish charge to takeover the Portsmouth City Council, having lost power four years ago.
Below are links to all the candidates covering councils in Portsmouth, Fareham, Havant and Gosport:
Fresh from a visit from the party’s national leader, Sir Vince Cable, city Lib Dems are convinced they can regain power: the party is contesting all 14 seats that are up for grabs this election. Currently they are the second largest party in the council with 15 seats compared to the Conservatives’ 20. A three seat gain in May’s election would flip these positions.
While Labour is also launching its own charge, with the party hoping to use the momentum from its historic victory in Portsmouth South during last year’s snap election – which saw the party dethroning former Tory MP Flick Drummond and gaining its first parliamentary seat in the constituency – to gain more representatives.
Much like the Lib Dems, Labour believes it is poised to make a significant gain in seats, with political insiders saying one of the most-hotly contested battles between all three major parties is expected to be played out in St Jude’s ward, currently held by Tory culture chief, Councillor Linda Symes.
Meanwhile, the city’s Tory group is set to outline its own political pledges tomorrow, revealing its manifesto ahead of their fight to maintain power – along with a number of new initiatives the Conservatives aim to bring in to help improve Portsmouth, and clinch last-minute support.
Also entering the fray is the Green Party, which is putting up a solid showing in the city this year, contesting all but three of the 14 seats up for grabs.
Ukip is looking to try and retain a grasp on its political say in the city, with three candidates up for election.
However, the party’s numbers elsewhere have dwindled, with only a handful up for election across Gosport, Fareham and Havant.
Support has shrunk nationally in the wake of Brexit and the loss of its former leader, Nigel Farage – who was the party’s key figurehead.