Building Coalitions: Ray Morgon’s Challenge

Havering is a political nightmare where elections usually end in No Overall Control.1 Resident Associations (RA) are wooed into coalitions. (They’ve supported Conservatives and Labour in the past.) 2022 should be different. Ray Morgon’s RAs could be the majority group and he’ll have to create a coalition.

The recent Council meeting illustrates Ray’s problem. He made an impressive speech showing he understood the principal challenges which he’ll face leading a RA Administration. Unfortunately, two more RA ‘leaders’ were given full status for their speeches. At the March 2nd Council meeting there were three RA leaders recognised by the council.

Martin Goode (RA) supports the Conservative Administration. Martin, and his colleagues have kept the Conservatives in power for four years. If they’re re-elected will Ray ‘bid’ for their support like Damian White did in 2018? Building coalitions involves holding your nose. What will Ray do?

Jeff Tucker (RA) is a maverick. His Council speeches suggest unreliability. His Rainham stronghold is shaky. (He ‘lost’ 600 votes between 2014 and 2018.3) But he’s been a councillor for twenty years and could win in a bad year. Will Ray take the risk?

Labour and Conservative: As political parties they’re reliable. Their leaders can deliver votes and they won’t go off in a huff. But Ray knows they’ll both want their favoured policies endorsed. Will Ray pay the price? Will less motivated RAs go along with ‘horse-trading’?

RAs like being wooed. In 2022 Ray may need to learn political seduction. Damian’s masterclass4 is the template.

Notes

1 Havering London Borough Council elections – Wikipedia The last ten elections from 1982 have had seven NOC outcomes.

2 Havering Council Tax Meeting, 2nd March 2022 – Politics in Havering

3 2018 Havering London Borough Council election – Wikipedia

4 Damian White’s Political Arithmetic – Politics in Havering

3 thoughts on “Building Coalitions: Ray Morgon’s Challenge

  1. So I’ve been told Martin goods wouldn’t prop up a Conservative coalition assuming the RAs and Tories win an average of 21 I can see them both getting between 19-23
    This also implies labour wins all 6?on the hill which depends on split votes from Anti EU parties greens libdems etc
    Worse case scenario and I’ve Discussed this with labour member friends
    Labour and Brian Eagling have to both work in A RA coalition for the good of the area – my friends said they reckon they would

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  2. In previous years, the RA’s have not offered candidates for the North of the borough, instead, they concentrated on the areas where they have been based.

    The South of the borough is almost fully RA elected.

    Over the last 3 years the RA’s (excluding the group who have propped up the Conservative group) have come together not just to work as one, but also to expand the network.

    The RA’s have prospective candidates to stand in every ward. The residents in the North of the borough now have a proper alternative and not a ‘paper candidate’ to vote for.

    If the residents are unhappy with the way the council has been run, they have a real alternative this time. The HRA is the group – The Havering Residents Association

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    1. Thank you for your comment

      I worry that RAs don’t understand *whipping*. A group will always have tensions but RAs belong to quasi-independent groups and they make their own decisions. This makes forming and maintaining an Administration very difficult. At the recent Council meeting there were three RA Leaders given equal time in the debate.
      Ray Morgon will have his work cut out and will have to form ‘coalitions’ amongst RAs. It might be the case that he will have to be yet more inclusive to keep a stable Administration in place.
      I do however, think that RAs will be the largest group in May and it’s all to play for.

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