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)
Percentage change is since May 2010
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.