Friday, 14 January 2011

The reports of the Lib Dem death are greatly exaggerated

The Oldham and Saddlesworth by-election result was certainly not the Lib Dem capitulation that the media were envisaging only last weekend.

An ICM for Mail on Sunday poll scored: Labour 44%, Lib Dem 27%, Conservative 18%

Meanwhile, a Populus for Sunday Telegraph poll scored: Labour 46%, Lib Dem 29%, Conservative 15%

There was even talk of the Tories moving into second and the Lib Dems collapsing to 3rd to measure the similar low figures that we've been scoring in the national opinion polls recently.

A good 2nd place
In fact, the final result on a 48% turnout was: Labour 42.1%, Lib Dems 31.9%, Conservative 12.8%.  A Labour HOLD then with a Majority of 3558.

As newly installed Lib Dem President Tim Farron said on BBC Radio 5 Live, this is a good 2nd place for the Lib Dems. The Labour majority of 3,558 in the end it's worth remembering was lower than the notional majority that they had going into the 2010 general election of 4,245.

In the annulled general election result last May, the Lib Dems scored 31.6% of the vote. So despite the scare-mongering and the doom-laden forecasts of recent days, and despite the difficult decisions that have been made as part of a responsible government, we managed to hold onto our % of the vote - indeed, increase it marginally.

Tory Collapse
The story then is not of a Lib Dem haemorrhage but of a Conservative collapse. They lost over 7,000 votes and over 13% of their vote.

So worry ye not. These are challenging times for the Liberal Democrats, but the Liberal Democrats, as proven when we made the decision to go into government last May to put right Labour's failures, are up for a challenge.

Well done to Elwyn and to the team for a spirited campaign.

This Liberal Democrat will go to sleep soundly in the knowledge that that there's still plenty of life in that old bird yet.

Mark Twain would be proud.


  1. You omit to say that the Lib Dem share of the vote was higher yesterday, than what Phil Woolas achieved in May 2010.

    Labour's policy since April has been to totally go in to destroy and kill off the Lib Dems and since the election, they have dont even more to try and pull us away from our coalition partner.

    Their only policy has been to say no to any of the proposed cuts and constantly say "Now is not the time to make the cuts", but they never say when the time would be right.

    As they have no policy to cut the deficit, it proves you can do well in an election by proposing to do nothing (aka bugger all!).

    We did almost bugger all in Preseli Pembrokeshire at the General Election and our vote went up (including our share). Maybe at the Welsh election, we should adopt the Labour policy and do nothing and maybe you will win an Assembly seat... lol...

    Whilst eveyone else is on the stump, you can be lazing on the beach...

  2. PS - in view of the nastiness of the Labour Party towards the Lib Dems since the election was called and their poison since we went into coalition, I had always seen Labour as a coalition ally.

    NOW, I see them as the NEW NASTY PARTY, having taken the mantle away from the Tory Party of pre-May 6th 2010.

    If Labour want a coalition party after the next election, they deserve 2 fingers, or due to cut backs, ONE finger.

    They have no interest in the financial security of the UK and only have their own selfish interests at heart.

    Now, I dont want to know Labour and I am ashamed to say that. Before the election, I thought of Cameron and Osborne as c***s. I have been completely surprised at how I must have been wrong and I now label the Labour Party with that tag.

    Labour have one hell of a hill to climb before they become respectable again, in my eyes.

    I am FULLY behind the coalition and it seems the media still dont get what a coalition is. Its not Tory policies and its not Lib Dem policies and the public need to be reminded of that, but above all, we went into coalition as this was the only possible way that there would be stable Government to put right the huge financial deficit and mess, left by LABOUR.

    For so many years, so many senior members of the Lib Dems have been close to Labour and it came as a shock for us to go into coalition with the Tories.

    To be honest, with Labour's vile outpourings and nastiness towards the Lib Dems (NOT the Conservatives), at the moment, I do not want ANY dealings with Labour in the forseeable future.

    Instead of being poisonous (like the Tea Party in the US), it would surely be in their best interest to be NICE to the Lib Dems.

    Labour have shown their true colours to me!