The former Leader of the Welsh Conservatives on Swansea Council, Councillor René Kinzett, has issued a challenge to the City's political parties ahead of next week's local elections.
As voters go to the polls on Thursday, or are set to send back their postal ballots, Councillor Kinzett has repeated the phrase made popular in the aftermath of the 2010 General Election, that there should be no "coalition of the losers" running the Council after 3 May.
Councillor Kinzett said:
"When Labour lost the General Election, they tried to stitch together a coalition of the losers - bring together all the Nationalist parties as well as the LibDems.
"It was clear that the voters had thrown out Gordon Brown from Number 10 Downing Street and it would have been a travesty of democracy had he managed to hold on to power by his finger tips with the support of half a dozen or so smaller parties".
Councillor Kinzett said that "there was a parallel with Swansea. The LibDems had come second in the 2008 local elections, but were able to cling onto power by bringing together various other Councillors to back their claim to run the Council. In the 2008 elections, Labour won the largest number of seats on the Council, but were denied the chance to run the Council as they did not have more than 50% of the seats in the Council Chamber."
Councillor Kinzett added:
"Back in 2008, the LibDems were able to do a back room deal with the flotsam and jetsam of the Council Chamber, stitching together LibDems, those who take the LibDem logo as a flag of convenience and the diaspora of the Swansea political scene. It should not happen again.
"The people of Swansea should decide who runs their council and the party with the largest number of seats should have the opportunity to implement their manifesto. The Welsh Conservatives are contesting many more seats than the LibDems in Swansea and my party should not stand idly by and let them stitch together another coalition of the losers".
Craig Lawton, a Conservative candidate for Sketty ward, went one further as he added “The council will be made up of a diverse amount of opinions, experience, and most importantly skills. It is important that whichever party is in charge after the election does not simply adopt a ‘jobs for the boys’ type mentality. Instead they should be appointing the best councillor for the job in terms of committees and panels.”
Mr Lawton went on to say “this is the only way that we can ensure that Swansea Council does the best it can for all the people of Swansea, no matter how they voted.”
Former Sketty councillor Tony Lloyd, who is running in Sketty again this time round, echoed Cllr Kinzett’s thoughts by saying “The way in which the LibDems effectively stole the election in 2008 was entirely unacceptable in a democracy. They had no mandate to govern whatsoever. We must make sure that such an agreement does not take place again this time.”
Fellow Sketty candidate Dayne Powell said “the Liberal Democrats have put forward just 42 candidates for the upcoming election. This is by no means enough to guarantee they will hold on to the administration of the council and I feel it sends a very clear signal out to the electorate that the Lib Dems are not interested in winning a majority - just in doing a stitch up with the so-called independents”