Tag Archive: Lib Dem


Chris Huhne MP

Chris Huhne MP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stephen Tall said it best – “Chris Huhne‘s political career is over. That’s not a sentence I expected to be typing today.”

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flying yellow bird

Image via Wikipedia

Clearly the Liberal Democrats are finished as a political force – that’s why they just won a by-election in Tunbridge Wells, for its Borough Council in Pembridge.

From LDV
LD Claire Brown 578 (43.3; +2.7)
Con 460 (34.5; -24.9)
UKIP 296 (22.2; +22.2)
Majority 118
Turnout 35.41%
LD gain from Con
Percentage change is since May 2010.

This also seems to prove my theory on the recent Burnley by-election, where the Liberal Democrats came sixth – Labour hasn’t had any major bad publicity recently and the Liberal Democrats have lost the anti-governmental protest vote. Also important to note is that Burnley is a traditionally leftist area, whereas Tunbridge would be more centre-right – just look at the candidates. This also seems to make sense with the Paisley by-election we’ve had as well, where Labour took a seat from the SNP, with Lib Dems falling from third to fifth.

Other perspectives might be that UKIP are stealing a substantial amount of the Tory vote, meaning what we lose from Labour in May, we might make up by taking from the Tories. Unfortunately, this means a further shift right-ward for the party, something I can’t be happy with.

Ok, so Labour and the Greens didn’t put any candidates into this election – but still, the Tory-UKIP contest wouldn’t be altered by the presence of the left-wing candidates, and the Lib Dem vote did hold strong, regardless of the lack of Labourites stealing Lib Dem votes.

The Liberal Democrats have suffered, doubtless, which just means that Farron needs to criticise the government more … and we need to wait for Labour to screw up. It’s Labour, they always do.

Burnley BC, Rosegrove with Lowerhouse:

Lab 521 (43.1; +11.8)
BNP 288 (23.8; +5.5)
LD Kate Mottershead 261 (21.6; -11.8)
Con 81 (6.7; -10.2)
Ind 58 (4.8; +4.8)
Majority 233
Turnout 25%
Lab gain from LD

Southwark LBC, Brunswick Park:

Lab 1981 (65.1; +13.3)

LD Kate Heywood 630 (20.7; -2.0)

Green 231 (7.6; -6.9)

Con 129 (4.2; -6.7)

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 70 (2.3; +2.3)

Majority 1351

Turnout 34.2%

Lab hold

Percentage change is since May 2010

via This week’s by-election results: Burnley and Southwark.

 

So, the Liberal Democrats have suffered yet again following their humiliating 6-th place in Barnsley. This time, a pair of councils – Burnley was lost to Labour, and Labour enlarged their lead in Southwark.

Clearly, this is a sign that the Lib Dems are finished, if they are even beaten by the BNP in Burnley.

So fed up am I of the constant stories of the Lib Dems placing poorly, thus naturally meaning that they’re going to lose out big in the next election, that I nearly did’t bother to look at the article on Liberal Democrat Voice.

But I’m glad I did. The actual figures from Burnley and Southwark paint a different picture.

The Lib Dems lost to the BNP…so, why not to the BNP and Tories? That’s my first question. Secondly, how badly did they do to stay in exactly the same place in Southwark.

Looking at Burnley’s results, we can see that the Tories did almost as poorly as the Liberal Democrats – losing 10.2% versus the LDs’ 11.8% Labour gained the same as the Liberal Democrats, 11.8%, the BNP went up by 5.5% and an Independent got 4.8%. But surely this points, not to the Liberal Democrats failing miserably, but the coalition suffering from being in government. The Liberal Democrat’s traditionally always relied on the protest vote, with that unavailable to them, of course they’ll sink in the polls. But this clearly shows, not that the Liberal Democrats are failing, but that Labour are succeeding. Mostly just by criticising, and saying how they’d have done things different.  They haven’t had a chance under Miliband to screw things up disastrously.

This is reinforced in Southwark – Labour gained a huge 13% of the vote, but the Liberal Democrats only lost 2%. The remainder was lost by the Greens (6.9%) and the Conservatives (6.7%). The addition of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition getting 2.3% just goes to show that this is a resurgence of the left, at the expense of the Tories, and more generally the Coalition, rather than the final nail in the coffin of the Liberal Democrat party.

Don’t write us off yet. Clearly, we’re holding on. Now, we have to start climbing.

On the one hand, I want to defend my party. I want to show the world that the Lib Dems and Clegg in particular don’t deserve this hatred, that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, that this won’t hurt the poor as badly as people think.

On the other, I want every one of those MPs who breaks their pledge to suffer – especially those who now drive around in Ministerial cars. I want to blame them for trebling tuition fees in one fell swoop, instead of doing away with them altogether, a platform the LibDems have held for years, and garnered many student votes because of it.

I won’t bother fully enunciating the vitriol my student half feels. Just look at the TV, on facebook, down at your Uni’s student union…it’s everywhere. There’s no point in me blogging about it.

So instead, I’ll warn my beloved Lib Dems. The ones I have defended for years against allegations of being the useless third party, that we’d never be able to taste power, that we were irrelevant. Constantly, comedians wondering who Nick Clegg was. The news side-lining us. All in the past now.
Don’t turn your back on the students. We are the basis for victories in too many constituencies to alienate our support.

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