Saturday, May 03, 2008

Liberal Democrats come second

The Liberal Democrats' leap into second place in the popular vote is mentioned in today's press but such an achievement deserves a bigger spotlight. It's not just a nail in Gordon Brown's coffin - it's spectacular in its own right.

Some of the kinder predictions in the media suggested that we would be doing really well if we lost only 50 seats. Well, we gained 34 nationally and made some amazing gains in Sheffield. Two of my friends were on campaign teams which were responsible for more than a third of our total gains, in Sheffield and South Lakeland. I was very pleased to see Cllr Clive Leal elected in South Lakeland, having done a fair bit of telephone canvassing for him.

The Tories completely failed to live up to their expectations that they would grab back the ground they lost to us in the nineties. They are being feted in the press as victors but we should not forget that behind the smiles and the cuddly green facade, they are still the same pro big business, pro the rich, anti commumity party they were in the days of Thatcher. Interestingly, Nigel Lawson is interviewed in today's Guardian doubting that we need to do anything about climate change.

Labour really do look like a bit of a pathetic rabble. Yvette Cooper was like the proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights on Channel 4 News last night. They're out of ideas, out of touch and seemingly out of energy to do anything about it.

People are still, rightly, dubious about David Cameron and I wouldn't let George Osborne run a bath, let alone the economy. Mind you, I can't really think of any Tory I'd leave in charge of any sort of fiscal policy.

I think the Tories only did so well because they weren't Labour in many places. Where the people were already served well by Liberal Democrat MPs and Councillors, the Tories actually went backwards. Tim Farron, who has a majority of about 250 in Westmorland and Lonsdale, found that Thursday's results showed 21000 Liberal Democrat votes against 13000 Tories. In Chris Huhne's Eastleigh constituency, we even took a seat off the Tories.

I hope that the successes of this week bode well for Elizabeth Shenton in Crewe and Nantwich, which Labour has called with indecent haste, even before the funeral of Gwyneth Dunwoody, one of their best Parliamentarians, for 22 May presumably because they are so scared of being beaten.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yes, labour did badly.

However, Lib Dems stood static so you can't honestly claim "lib Dems leap to 2nd place."



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