THE future of the For Darwen Party will be decided at a ‘crunch’ meeting tonight.

The party, formed in 2007 to fight for town issues, has lost several councillors in recent months, and on Thursday leader Tony Melia lost his Sunnyhurst seat.

It is a swift decline since the party was part of a ruling coalition on Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Deputy leader Phil Jones has called tonight’s meeting, which will see a vote on leadership and discuss issues arising from the election.

He said: “We definitely need to regroup and take stock.

"I believe the result last week was a backlash against the current Government.

“Nationally, we have seen a lot of people voting for Labour, and that has happened here.

“However, perhaps we didn’t get our message across well enough, eith-r.”

Last August, Earcroft councillors Trevor Maxfield and Anthony Meleady left For Darwen over pending coalition budget cuts.

Coun Maxfield now represents Labour and Coun Meleady is an independent.

In June, Martin McCaughran, Sudell ward town councillor, left to join the Liberal Democrats, claiming he had ‘lost trust’ in the party.

Remaining to serve the party are borough councillors Phil Jones and Andrew Graham, and on the town council, Steve Potter, Nella Melia, Tony Melia and Joan Helliwell.

Coun Jones said: “It doesn’t mean we can’t move on.

"We’re a small party, but we’ve achieved a lot, such as setting up Darwen Town Council.”