Don't stay home and let Tories in, say Labour
BRISTOL'S Labour leader has warned party members that the race to become the city's first elected mayor could be won by the Tory candidate Geoff Gollop.
Peter Hammond says the election is being portrayed as a race between Labour's Marvin Rees, Independent George Ferguson and Liberal Democrat Jon Rogers.
But he says the most assured performances from Mr Rees' opponents in debates so far have been delivered by Mr Gollop.
Writing on activist website LabourList, Mr Hammond, who leads the Labour group on the city council, said: "The Tories seem to be running a 'below the radar' campaign, largely avoiding big media hits in favour of quietly campaigning in their strongholds.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
"There is a clear logic for that strategy. The Tories want Labour voters to stay at home. A low turn-out suits them. They do not want to alarm Labour voters that there is a chance of a strong Tory showing or even the election of a Tory mayor.
"The below-the-radar strategy of the Tories means relying on the Labour vote fracturing with a crowded field of candidates, or failing to materialise at its full-strength.
Mr Hammond pointed to the turnout in Labour-held council wards for this year's mayoral referendum, which was only two-thirds of the level in Tory wards.
Mr Rees is favourite to get the most first-preference votes in the election on November 15.
But he is unlikely to win a clear 50 per cent majority because the high number of candidates will split the votes.
The result therefore comes down to the second preference votes – every voter can put two X's on their ballot paper – and the outcome is very unpredictable.
Mr Gollop said: "I am delighted that the Labour campaign is not going well and Peter recognises that I can win.
"It was winning that I discussed with the Mayor of London when Boris and I met in London on Monday.
"Who would have thought that Peter Hammond and Boris Johnson have so much in common?"
â Independent mayoral candidate George Ferguson has formed his own political party to comply with the election's registration forms.
The city architect has set up the Bristol First party so that his logo appears on the ballot paper – but has promised to dissolve the party if he wins the election on November 15.
He said the move was a "legal technicality".
â Neil Maggs, the Respect Party's mayoral candidate, has pledged to put "people before profits" in launching his manifesto.
He said: "My manifesto is for jobs and for housing. I shall oppose the cuts which both locally and nationally have been so damaging to ordinary working people and their families."
He also pledged to tackle transport, business, and an arena.