The news that current Falkirk South Labour Councillor, Joe Lemetti, is to stand at the May 3 elections as an Independent rather than Labour candidate is proof of deep divisions within the Falkirk Labour campaign.Joe Lemetti was elected a Labour Councillor in 2007 and has served in various positions within the Labour / Tory Administration.
However, he was pushed aside when twice defeated Holyrood candidate, Dennis Goldie, turned his sights onto local government after his 2011 humiliation when the former Labour Provost of Falkirk lost the Falkirk West Constituency by around 6000 to the SNP’s Michael Matheson.
Labour Councillors seemed to be caught out by Lemetti’s actions as he was given a glowing testimonial by Labour Provost Pat Reid at the last meeting of the council before the elections.
However, Labour seemed to be the only party oblivious to the fact Lemetti was about to end a long association with the Labour Party and by his actions severely wound his former party’s prospects at the polls.
Falkirk South SNP Councillor, Georgie Thomson said,
“What we are seeing publicly is what we have been made aware of behind the scenes for the last five years, namely a Labour Party increasingly at war with itself.
What we seem to have in Falkirk South is a family dynasty rather than political organisation and Joe Lemetti appears to have committed the crime of standing up to the dynasty.
With an increasingly divided and discredited Labour Party fighting with itself in Falkirk South the contrast with the united and energetic SNP can not be starker.
The SNP are poised to make a gain in Falkirk South not just because of Labour’s deficiencies but because people know where they stand with the SNP.
They know they will get two Councillors who will work together for the benefit of the entire community rather than follow their own agenda.”
At present Labour hold 2 of the four seats in Falkirk South with the SNP and the Tories holding one each. However, the SNP has targeted Falkirk South for a gain on May 3 even before the news of the likely split in the Labour vote.
In addition to the popular SNP Councillor Georgie Thomson the SNP are fielding the up and coming Colin Chalmers.