It's local election day today, and here in Cambridge yesterday we had two Green Party City Councillors elected in Abbey Ward (the third for that ward, elected in May 2011, is Labour).
The four year term of one of the Green Councillors expired today and her seat is being contested by the usual parties (Con, Lib, Lab, Green). The second Green Councillor, Cllr Adam Pogonowski, was elected to his four year term in May 2010, so he has two years left to serve.
After voting had started today, Cllr Pogonowski announced that he was joining the Labour Party. This appeared eg on twitter, and this morning Labour Party activists delivered a leaflet to households in Cambridge (not just in Abbey Ward) announcing Cllr Pogonowski's defection from Green to Labour.
This is, of course, by no means an isolated example, MPs do it as well as Councillors, and it is permitted under our electoral rules, but should it be? Cllr Pogonowski was elected to serve on Cambridge City Council by voters who supported either the Green Party ticket, or Mr Pogonowski personally, or a combination of both. No-one voted for Mr Pogonowski to serve as a Labour candidate, indeed Mr Pogonowski defeated the Labour candidate in the 2010 election.
Should someone wishing to act as Mr Pogonowski has done today be required to resign and seek re-election, rather than simply being allowed to switch parties at will while in office?
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