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Bramhall Tory councillor defects to UKIP

by Iain Roberts on 27 January, 2015

Conservative hopes of capturing the Cheadle parliamentary seat from Mark Hunter suffered a blow yesterday when long-standing Conservative councillor for Bramhall South and Woodford Paul Bellis defected to UKIP. Bellis said he could no longer support Conservative policies nationally or locally.

Stockport has never elected a UKIP councillor, so Bellis becomes their first in the borough. His defection is the fourth to affect the main opposition parties in Stockport in recent months after three councillors quit the Labour party last Autumn to sit as independents.

Bellis’ defection reduces the Conservatives to just nine councillors out of 63 on Stockport, with the Lib Dems remaining the largest party on 28. He has said he will contest his Bramhall South and Woodford seat for UKIP in the May local elections.

Councillor Bellis said  “I can no longer support Conservative policies, both nationally and locally, that do little to address the issues that are facing us as a nation and as a local area today, but are more geared to serve a small minority of people. The party is not the party I joined 21-years-ago.”

Having represented Bramhall South since 2000, Bellis had recently been deselected by the Conservatives.

The make-up of seats on Stockport Council following Cllr Bellis’ defection is:

Lib Dem: 28, Labour: 19, Tory: 9, Ind Ratepayer: 3, Ind: 2, Ind Lab: 1, UKIP: 1

   12 Comments

12 Responses

  1. phil says:

    You comment that ‘Stockport has never elected a UKIP councillor’. People voted this chap in as a Conservative and presumably agreed with their policies, so how is it he can stay in post with different political views. Strange to me

  2. Bruce thwaite says:

    yours have done the same:-

    1. A SHEPSHED Lib Dem councillor has defected to UKIP and has announced she is standing for her new party in this year’s borough and town council elections.

    Coun Diane Horn, of Shepshed West, has been a town councillor for the Liberal Democrats for the last eight years.

    She told the Echo she had become disillusioned by the party, its stance on tuition fees, and its leader Nick Clegg.

    She said: “I am no longer sure what the Lib Dems represent. We had seven Lib Dems on the council and we lost four of them. I bumped into an old friend. She mentioned UKIP to me

    2. A Worthing liberal democrat councillor has crossed the floor to join the UK Independence Party.

    Worthing borough councillor Trevor England has swapped yellow for purple to become the town’s second Ukip councillor.

    3. ONE of Hampshire’s leading Liberal Democrat councillors has defected to the Conservatives, the Daily Echo can reveal.

    Adam Carew, a Lib Dem for 30 years, has described the national party as “”utterly shambolic” and claims to have become disillusioned in the wake of the row over university tuition fees.

  3. Iain says:

    Phil – you could be right, but it’s how our system has worked for more than a century.

    Bruce – I’m impressed by your dedication to attacking us, especially as you’ve had to go so far to find defecting Lib Dems to make your case. A Conservative four miles down the road has defected to UKIP, attacking the local Tories as he goes. How far have you had to go to find Lib Dems? Shepshed, Worthing and Hampshire! Perhaps the headline on the next Cheadle Tory leaflet will be “Hampshire Lib Dem defects”!

  4. Bruce thwaite says:

    Phil

    Cllr John Smith, a councillor for the Offerton Ward in Stockport, defected from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives

  5. Iain Roberts says:

    Bruce – so what you’re saying is, if you go back enough years or go far enough away you can find defecting Lib Dems. Not entirely sure what the point is that you’re trying to make.

    • bruce says:

      The point is that defections happens everywhere something I disagree with – if anyone changes colours then they should resign – it is disrespectful to the people who voted for them.

      • Iain Roberts says:

        There’s certainly a case for that. Traditionally we’ve always elected the person, not the party, in this country (it wasn’t so long ago that the party name didn’t appear on the ballot paper).

        • bruce says:

          Something that we agree on Iain

        • Halifax says:

          Iain, I can’t accept that.

          All main parties tend to parachute candidates, who they want elected into safe seats

          • Iain Roberts says:

            We have an electoral system where people elect the individual, not the party. In reality, voters more often vote for the party, and most candidates who think their “personal vote” will win the day end up disappointed.

            So the system doesn’t match reality, but it’s still the rules we hold elections by – until someone changes them. As someone who campaigned unsuccessfully for the election rules to be changed back in 2011, I know that’s easier said than done.

            There’s another problem: if you force people to stand down when they change parties, what you would probably get in reality is almost no-one switching. Standing for election under a new party label is expensive, time-consuming and risky, so I suspect you’d just get far more councillors and MPs who stayed in a party they didn’t really support any more.

            Whether that would be an improvement on the current situation I’m honestly unsure.

  6. Frederick Kenny says:

    I think this move modestly helps the Conservatives. The anti politics is currently represented by UKIP, SNP and Greens. Anyone you saw the Greens leader interviewed on the Sunday Politics last week will see them as a complete joke while the UKIP is opportunistic to say the least. The Lib Dems are not seen as a protest vote , they are a party of Government to quote Nick Clegg. So you have a real fight on in Cheadle for Mark Hunter (who I personally think is a good MP although I don’t agree with his voting on a mandatory 0.7% GPD for Foreign Aid when clearly there is so much that needs doing here in the UK,and the UK has a massive balance of payments deficit which will hit up as some point).

    In any case electoral calculus currently has the Conservatives retaking Cheadle as follows (-see http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/conlist_c_e.html#Cheadle)

    2010 Votes 2010 Share Predicted Votes
    LIB 24,717 47.07% 29.80%
    CON 21,445 40.84% 33.62%
    LAB 4,920 9.37% 16.47%
    UKIP 1,430 2.72% 17.54%

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