flying yellow bird

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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.