Some comments on social media expressed anger and dismay, while others celebrated and praised the mayor’s work over the past 10 years.
When news last night spread that Joe Anderson had secured the support he needed as a Labour Party candidate – and therefore a strong favourite – for the Mayoral election in May, there was a predictably polarised reaction.
Liverpool’s mayor has suffered some serious defeats, but now stands for a third term in office in the pole position – Liam Thorp looks back on an eventful four years
People seem to love or hate him in general – he has never been a man who causes apathy.
Joe Anderson was always a politician and a figure who shared opinions.
But whatever you think of Joe Anderson, you should never write him off – as the emphatic victory in the Labour elections last night shows.
On the way to this decisive victory, which will put him in pole position for a third term as Mayor of Liverpool after the May elections, Anderson has overcome some pretty big obstacles and suffered a number of bitter defeats that many believe would have brought him down.
The party has just rejected his candidacy for the newly created post of mayor of the Liverpool City Region, a role he had played a major role in shaping through a new decentralization deal with the government.
In August 2016, the combative, colorful Mayor of Liverpool was at one of his lows and openly admitted that a very different Labour selection contest from the one he had just passed had broken his heart.
To say that this result was a blow to Anderson would be an understatement – he felt that the decentralized regional role was his natural next step and had been snatched away from him at the last minute.
Instead, the members had elected former Walton MP Steve Rotheram to the new regional role, who will seek a second term in that position in May.
But another, very public defeat would be imminent.
Mr. Rotheram’s planned departure as Walton MP to be elected (as expected) as Mayor of the Metro in June 2017 had created another vacancy – for the country’s most secure parliamentary seat.
It was another courageous move by Anderson – and one that left him vulnerable once again.
A month later, the Mayor of Liverpool found himself in a similar position to nine months earlier – frustrated, disappointed and licking his wounds.
In April 2017 Mayor Anderson announced that he would seek the Labour nomination to replace his old rival as MP for Walton.