Jacob Williams

Party planners: The party files, Pt. 4

Sunday 4th November, 2012
Party planners: The party files, Pt. 4

Following the conclusion of the ‘Party files’ for the 2008 election, this first instalment of the 2012 Party files focuses on the preparation ahead of the polls in 2012.

Welcome news for a small minority of my regular readership is that the 2012 pre-election party files are far less comprehensive than those I’ve covered for 2008.

It might go some way in explaining the IPG’s bruising at the polls, however continuity with the pre-2008 election files is offered by the recurring prediction documents.

Three separate files, in fact. Each of which uses the trusted traffic light system for all candidates –green for no expected change, red for likely change and yellow for possible change.

If you’re beginning to think that Partygate is fizzling out, fear not. In the next update I will be revealing how council resources assisted a so far unmentioned canvassing tool in the IPG’s arsenal; that was used in the re-election campaigns of two serving cabinet members.

Plotting the 2012 election campaign

‘election results 08.doc’

This is the earliest of the 2012 election prediction documents and was created in June 2011, eleven months before going to the polls. It focuses on the re-election prospects for all councillors elected at the 2008 election. As the title suggests, this document is based on the 2008 results document covered in last week’s post. The only change to it is that the predictions are signified using by the shading of the ward names in the left column using the traffic light system. (Uses of shading in any other column relates to a candidate’s registered party colours – green for Plaid Cymru, red for Labour, blue for Conservative, yellow for Lib Dem.)

election results 08

‘Green 2012.doc’

This set of predictions was created at the end of January 2012. Close enough to the elections to have a better idea of some of the new challengers, but still over two months before nominations opened.

This is reflected in some of the names given to the candidates, such as ‘The Milkman Labour,’ ‘Ex Woolworth manager?,’ ‘A N Other,’ ‘Indy woman,’ and ‘Current mayor of the Dock.’

As with the previous prediction document, the predictions are in the left column – shaded green if no change is expected, red if change is expected, and yellow for possible change.

Underneath the table at the bottom of the document are three sections titled ’29 Green,’ ’21 Yellow’ and ’19 Red.’ In these sections, the names of the candidates holding an IPG seat are listed within the left column, with all others in the right column.

Green 2012

‘Candidate_sheet_2012.doc’

This document was created on the same day that the final list of all contenders was published by the election returning officer– 13th April; by lewisrob, PCC, as were all of the other documents on this page.

The initials of the predicted winner is in the right hand column, which is highlighted in the party colour if that candidate is standing for a registered party. This document relates to all candidates and wards, rather than just IPG ones. As with the previous document, the traffic light indicators for change are used in the left column, highlighting the wards. A look through them shows that a ward highlighted red doesn’t indicate the likely loss of an IPG member, but a ward that is likely to change. For example, neither Manorbier, Penally, Rudbaxton, Scleddau or Pembroke Dock Central were IPG seats being defended. Green means no change likely, whilst yellow means change is possible.

Candidate sheet 2012

←The party files, Pt. 3

Poll count and post-election antics 2008

The party files, Pt. 5→

Going to the polls 2012


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18 Comments...

  • PR

    Is it significant that Simon Hancock’s initials in the ‘predicted’ column is not shaded red?

    Mike Stoddart has suggested that Hancock may have made up his mind to join the I(P)PG before the election, using his long standing Labour membership to con the voters of Neyland East as a Labour candidate, before jumping ship to pocket his SRA with the I(P)PG.

    This document could add weight to this claim and could be damning evidence that he did not, as he claims, change allegiance after the election. Or am I missing something?

  • That’s a very interesting observation, and, having re-checked through that last prediction document, Neyland East is the only example where the party-colour shading of the name in the middle column is not matched in the shading of that same candidate’s initials if they were predicted to win.

    I don’t remember if Mike did actually make that claim on his website, but I’m sure he’ll be sniffing around this post soon enough and will chip in his two-penneth worth. Maybe it was a mistake, but whatever the explanation, it is quite interesting that Cllr. Hancock was a candidate who changed affiliation from a registered party to the IPG straight after the election.

  • Concerned

    Yes, as a Labour voter I would like a full explanation of Simon Hancock’s role in all this. I hope that between the two of you (JW and OG) you can get to the bottom of this.

  • John Hudson

    We know that David Wildman helped to write or even wrote the election handout for one independent/no name candidate, even when he was standing against an established independent group councillor.

    As an unaware elector, I would like to know whether there are similarities in other candidate’s addresses that could be indicative of a pro-forma approach.

    If a candidate asking for votes can’t even be bothered, or hasn’t the wit, to originate their own election address, I would like to know.

  • PR

    http://oldgrumpy.co.uk/archived/June%2028%202012A.html

  • Simon Hancock stood and got elected (unopposed) as a Labour candidate, then subsequently refused to join/abandoned the Labour group on the council and signed up to the IPG. I don’t believe Old Grumpy has said that he decided to do this before the election, and he doesn’t say that in the column you’ve provided the link for.

    I haven’t seen anything to suggest that Cllr. Hancock decided to do this pre-election, but the fact his initials are not shaded red in that right hand prediction column is interesting, but I can’t discount the possibly that it’s an oversight (though checking and re-checking reveals that it would be the only such mistake.)

    Don’t forget that the IPG had 39 members pre-election, and would have been fully expecting to come out with similar if not greater numbers (to see just how ambitious the IPG is when it comes to elections, check out the strategy documents from 2008 – one sheet shows they were hoping to come out with 47 councillors.)

    I imagine that the idea of poaching Hancock from Labour was dreamt up by Adams after it was becoming clear that he was struggling to even command an IPG majority.

    One of the documents I’ll be covering in a future update shows that post-2012 elections, the IPG even banked on signing up a councillor who had served as an unaffiliated since being first elected in 2008.

  • Concerned

    http://oldgrumpy.co.uk/archived/May%2024%202012.html

    This sheds more light.

  • PR

    OG does point out that the reason Hancock gave for abandoning Labour in favour of the IPPG and his SRA was the contributions required from his Councillor’s salary to Labour Party funds.

    This requirement was announced by Labour and known by Hancock in the September prior to the election in May giving Hancock plenty of time to abandon Labour BEFORE the election and standing as an Independent in the election hence not misleading the people of Neyland East. That to me smells very bad indeed…

  • I agree that something smells bad about it, and it begs serious questions over the reason Hancock gave to the newspapers for jumping ship.

    As far as I’m aware, this percentage contribution requirement (among other things) was laid out in a document as a contract that all Labour hopefuls had to abide by before being adopted as a Labour candidate.

    So not only did he know about these requirements three months before the election, but he will have been required to agree to them before submitting his papers.

    As for abandoning Labour, I think Hancock found himself in a fortunate position. The IPG desperately needed extra manpower in order to secure that elusive absolute majority, and as there weren’t enough takers from the new independents, they had to cast a wider net.

    If the IPG had been in a healthier positon with, say, 33 councillors, I very much doubt the top brass would have even considered offering a non ‘independent’ such a juicy SRA. Even as we speak, there are still numerous hungry mouths in the IPG’s troops.

    Charity begins at home.

  • I do not recall saying that Cllr Simon Hancock had decided to jump ship before the election, though there were rumours that such a move was on the cards.

    My understanding is that all Labour candidates had to give an undertaking to pay a portion of their allowances into the pot before they could be adopted. This agreement, as I recall, contained other provisions such as a promise to hold regular constituency surgeries.

    As Cllr Hancock was adopted as Labour candidate for Neyland East, one must assume that he had agreed to abide by these conditions. So, why they became an unbearable burden after the election is not altogether clear.

  • Dave Edwards

    Labour candidates, myself included, stood in 20 seats at the 2012 elections and all 20 signed the undertaking to make a contribution towards Labour’s campaigning costs in future contests. All the other successful candidates are paying a small levy from their councillor salaries so why was Cllr Hancock not prepared to support the party that supported him in every council election since 1995?

  • Anon.

    My understanding is that Simon Hancock only left the Labour group because at the time Sue Perkins accepting the cabinet seat meant that he could not sit as chair of the Health and Older Persons’ O&S (as he had prior to the election).

    It subsequently became clear that the Labour Group would retain a scrutiny chair but Simon had left by this point. (Interesting how these announcements by officers and the IPG leader were timed).

    Had Sue Perkins not accepted her Cabinet seat I’m certain Simon Hancock would still be a Labour councillor.

  • Dave Edwards

    Clearly, Anon, you have an inside track into PCC Labour Group matters.

    As an ordinary Labour Party member, I find great difficulty in understanding Sue Perkins’ decision to enter into an alliance with the IPG by joining their cabinet. In my view, she was a shoe-in for the Young Persons Scrutiny Chair where she could have held the IPG to account and got Cllr George’s head on a platter for his past failures instead of allowing him to get off scot free and a deputy leadership promotion to boot.

  • PR

    Sorry OG, my fault for misinterpreting your statement about only rumours before the election, although for me, David Edwards’ point is the most valid:

    “Why was Cllr Hancock not prepared to support the party that supported him in every council election since 1995?”

    I don’t really swallow the explanation that he could not sit on or chair the Health and Older Persons’ O&S, that’s no reason at all to switch a lifetime allegiance to a political party especially when the SRA beckoned, the people of Neyland would have a hard time swallowing that one.

    If I were in Hancock’s ward in Neyland he certainly wouldn’t be getting my vote again after such shoddy behaviour, he should have resigned and forced a by-election as an IPPG candidate or stuck with Labour and insisted that Adams and his cohorts accepted him into the cabinet as a Labour member, after all, if Sue Perkins was good enough for them why not Hancock with his Labour badge still intact?

    I’m very interested to know why they HAD to have a female in the position of Safeguarding and Children’s Services? Positive discrimination to ensure gender equality?

  • It is interesting to note that this week’s Milford Mercury carries a report that Cllr Hancock has been re-elected as Chairman of the Neyland branch of the Labour Party.

    It was always my understanding that any Labour member who joined another group, when there was a Labour group on the council, was automatically ejected from the party.

    That is certainly what happened to Cllr Pearl Llewellyn and possibly Cllrs Ken Rowlands, Umelda Havard and Lyndon Frayling, though I can’t rule out the possibility that these last three may have jumped before they were pushed.

    Can David Edwards enlighten us?

  • Concerned

    As far as I recall, Rowlands, Havard and Frayling were pushed. That was not a happy time in the Labour camp. There has clearly been a change of policy by Labour (which makes sort of sense) as Hancock is still a member.

  • Dave Edwards

    Concerned, I can’t agree that Rowlands, Havard, Frayling (or Hancock) were pushed. Labour Party rules are clear – if you stand against an official Labour candidate you will be expelled. Similarly, if you stand as a Labour candidate, then join another Political Group you are deemed to have been dishonest to the electorate and expulsion follows.

    The Labour Party has, of course, a basic belief in a just system surrounding expulsion and so it can take time for the process to run its course. In the Hancock case there are clearly still arguments/tactics in play but not a change of policy. Expulsion will come, I am sure, and will be welcomed by the vast majority of Labour members.

  • Dave Edwards

    The surprising decision of the Neyland branch of the Labour Party to support Simon Hancock followed his explanation of the chain of events precipitated by Sue Perkins’ decision to join the cabinet.

    Clearly there is more to this story yet to be revealed. Maybe Anon or Concerned can enlighten us.

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