'Some MPs may wonder what might have been if they had chosen to back him instead of trying to sack him'
THERE might still be everything to play for nationally, in the 2017 general election, but Liverpool’s five Labour MPs won’t be sweating when the polling stations open at 7am.
Despite all of them turning their backs on their leader less than a year ago, political kryptonite would be required to endanger the jobs of Louise Ellman (Riverside), Luciana Berger (Wavertree), Stephen Twigg (West Derby) and Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood).
Even the newbie Dan Carden (whose father Michael was at the forefront of the Liverpool dockers’ struggle in the 1990s) is likely to breeze it in Walton where he is contesting the seat vacated by newly elected metro mayor Steve Rotheram (majority 27,000).
It’s a similar situation in neighbouring Bootle where Peter Dowd, the only Merseyside Labour MP to stand by leader Jeremy Corbyn in the failed coup last June, will undoubtedly still be in post come the weekend.
However two other Merseyside seats - Southport and Wirral West - have become key battlegrounds which could alter the political map of the region.
In Southport, long standing Lib Dem MP John Pugh has retired from the House of Commons, with at least one of the bookies predicting the Conservatives will snatch it from Tim Farron’s group of eight MPs.
In the last general election, the voters decided to punish the Lib Dems for their 2011 decision to climb into bed with David Cameron’s Conservatives, becoming the junior partners in the coalition government. The fact that the then leader, Nick Clegg, broke a promise over student tuition fees didn’t help.
Even so, probably because of his personal popularity in the seaside constituency, Pugh was not one of the 50 or so Lib Dem MPs to be fired by the electorate.
Across the river, Wirral West has become another war zone, with Labour’s Margaret Greenwood facing a battle with Conservative Tony Caldeira. In what was a key scalp for Labour last time round, Greenwood snatched the seat from Esther McVey who had become something of a hate figure over her “reforms” as Minister for the Disabled.
McVey looks certain to be heading back to Westminster on Friday as the newly elected Conservative MP for the millionaire constituency of Tatton. Its previous incumbent, George Osborne, sacked by Theresa May as Chancellor, spent most of the last year on the back benches and raking in handsome fees from a collection of other jobs. In April he threw in the political towel to become editor of the London Evening Standard.
Greenwood’s next door neighbour in Wirral South, Alison McGovern, is the bookies’ favourite to hold on to the seat, though the Conservatives, having lost it in 1997, want it back.
McGovern won in 2010 with a majority of around 560, seeing her hard work rewarded in 2015 when her lead rocketed to well over 5,000.
Nationally, the landslide predicted for the Conservatives, seems to have dramatically dwindled in the past few weeks, as Jeremy Corbyn’s personal dynamic has gathered steam.
Even the critics in his own party have finally put the brakes on their daily barrage of attacks, perhaps, grudgingly, acknowledging the impact he and his manifesto have had on the election campaign.
The seasoned political commentator Michael Crick wrote that people were flocking to Corbyn election rallies in numbers not seen since the days of Winston Churchill.
Come Friday morning, if Corbyn fails to win, but hasn’t suffered the losses predicted weeks ago, some of those MPs may wonder what might have been if they had chosen to back him instead of trying to sack him.