Image via Wikipedia
It’s been a few days since the results of council, Holyrood, Cardiff and Stormont elections, along with the all-important AV referendum, were revealed. The dust is settling, and it’s time to offer my take on the results.
The recent elections, despite appearances, were good for the progressive Left-wing parties in Britain. The Liberal Democrats suffered badly, and the people rejected AV, but the future may still be bright for us Spineless Liberals.
Let me explain….
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.
LD Claire Brown 578 (43.3; +2.7)
Con 460 (34.5; -24.9)
UKIP 296 (22.2; +22.2)
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.
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.