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2.59%

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2.59% is the vote share the Liberal Democrats got in Newark yesterday.

I've been going through by-election results, and this is the worst result the party has got in any by-election since the end of World War 2 (perhaps worst ever, but I haven't been through the pre-war period)

But Clegg is staying, apparently!

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It's like football clubs that stick with a manager out of loyalty even though he's going to get them relegated.

Or maybe they're nostalgic for the days when all the Liberal MPs could share one cab.

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I was up late last night and had the iplayer on in the background of the Andrew Neil programme - the lib dem MP they had on was in complete denial. It was staggering how much denial he was in IMPO.

They are going down with Clegg no matter what it seems - reminded me of those films about Custer and his blind but obedient and docile officers at the Little Big Horn.

I'll never forget after one of the Welsh Assembly elections a few years back when the Liberals held the balance of power - they could have got into power by forming a coalition with Labour or even - shock horror - with the Tories. I can remember the venomo uttered by the Liberal leader in Wales when it was suggested to her that they could form a coalition with the Tories.

Instead, they went up to mid-Wales, stayed in a hotel in Llandridnod Wells and basically had a melt-down. It would have been funny if it had not been so important - i.e. the future direction of policy in Wales.

Whilst they were having a meltdown Labour and Plaid Cymru formed a coalition. The liberals basically bottled it - they had the opportunity for power and they bottled it.

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Lib Dem supporters are deluding themselves if they think their party is not in serious trouble. They won't be wiped out, but losing 1/3 of councilors, most of their MEPs and being pushed hard in even their safest Westminster seats, plus the collapse in votes in others they wouldn't be expected to win all points to a torrid time next year. Comes to something when the only positive the LDs can take from last night is that they beat Bus Pass Elvis, having lost to him in a council by-election recently.

Despite the Cons holding this one with a reduced but healthy majority, the manpower deployed in the constituency must be unusually high. There were reports of around 1,000 activists from the PM downwards, with 50 Conservative MPs in the constituency some days. This for one of the safest Conservative seats there is. Whether it made any difference is another matter, turnout was well down on 2010. I'm still of the view that UKIP will punish the Tories in the seats that matter, irrespective of whether they win a seat or not.

The Tory voters of Newark have shown themselves to be on a plane with Eastleigh LibDem thickos though. What level of corruption is required to get these people to stop voting for the same tie colour?

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Well, the environmental record of the government means that they've lost that vote to the Greens.

The shift to the right - basically Tory-lite - has got rid of the disgruntled left-wing vote.

Being in government means they they have lost the protest vote.

Enacting anti-student policies means that they have lost the student vote.

The only hope they have in the GE is where it's between them and the Tories.

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I was quite amazed by the slant ( bias) o the BBC this morning re this by election result. They skimmed over the fact that UKIP won 26% of the vote played it as a comfortable Tory win. While it may have bee a victory by 7000 votes the fact that the Tories spent so much time and manpower makes you realise that they were sh1tting themselves.

26% of the vote.................. UKIP!

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I was completely wrong thinking UKIP would do well.

It all started out well for them with the town wards coming in...the Victorian terraced homes and council estates of Balderton. According to the Today programme the ballot papers were piling up neck and neck. But then the villages started to arrive and brought home a crushing Tory win.

Labour get worried....the precariat love UKIP.

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I was up late last night and had the iplayer on in the background of the Andrew Neil programme - the lib dem MP they had on was in complete denial. It was staggering how much denial he was in IMPO.

They are going down with Clegg no matter what it seems - reminded me of those films about Custer and his blind but obedient and docile officers at the Little Big Horn.

I'll never forget after one of the Welsh Assembly elections a few years back when the Liberals held the balance of power - they could have got into power by forming a coalition with Labour or even - shock horror - with the Tories. I can remember the venomo uttered by the Liberal leader in Wales when it was suggested to her that they could form a coalition with the Tories.

Instead, they went up to mid-Wales, stayed in a hotel in Llandridnod Wells and basically had a melt-down. It would have been funny if it had not been so important - i.e. the future direction of policy in Wales.

Whilst they were having a meltdown Labour and Plaid Cymru formed a coalition. The liberals basically bottled it - they had the opportunity for power and they bottled it.

it was actually more farcical than that. There was a proposal to set up a rainbow anti-Labour oalition, consisting of Plaid, Lib Dems and Tories.

Plaid and Tories agreed, but the Lib Dems held a meeting of their executive. There was a tied vote 9-9. Normally, organisations in their constitution make provision for a tied vote - e.g. the chair votes twice - but in this case there was no such provision.

So several weeks had to elapse for the calling of a special conference of all the Welsh party members, by which time Plaid and Labour had negotiated the One wales Agreement which saw them govern in coalition between 2007 and 2011,

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Well, the environmental record of the government means that they've lost that vote to the Greens.

The shift to the right - basically Tory-lite - has got rid of the disgruntled left-wing vote.

Being in government means they they have lost the protest vote.

Enacting anti-student policies means that they have lost the student vote.

The only hope they have in the GE is where it's between them and the Tories.

The Oakeshott poll shows that Tory/Lib Dem seats like Twickenham and Wells will go to the Conservatives.

I forecast the Lib Dems will win about ten seats next May - down from their present 57.

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Lib dems best hope is to hold balance of power with labour.

If they pulled the plug on the coalition today, dump Clegg with immediate effect, trigger a GE they just might have a chance of forming a coalition with labour.

UKIP now have no policies and no candidates ready to challenge in a GE.

In 12 months time they'll be better prepared.

Now is their best chance. 12 months time they get annihilated, and Clegg gets binned anyhow. Lose/Lose

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Lib dems best hope is to hold balance of power with labour.

If they pulled the plug on the coalition today, dump Clegg with immediate effect, trigger a GE they just might have a chance of forming a coalition with labour.

UKIP now have no policies and no candidates ready to challenge in a GE.

In 12 months time they'll be better prepared.

Now is their best chance. 12 months time they get annihilated, and Clegg gets binned anyhow. Lose/Lose

Seems opportunist and not really in the interests of stable government. I would respect them more if they stick it out.

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The lib dems chose to team up with another in a coalition government....their choice therefore they are in effect under the thumb, their choice....swings and roundabouts.....maybe people think they are a wasted vote, will never be in a position to win, a party that can only tag along with any party who will use them to their advantage on condition they will have the upper hand and final say. ;)

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The lib dems chose to team up with another in a coalition government....their choice therefore they are in effect under the thumb, their choice....swings and roundabouts.....maybe people think they are a wasted vote, will never be in a position to win, a party that can only tag along with any party who will use them to their advantage on condition they will have the upper hand and final say. ;)

Well you say that but without Cleggy there would be no minority status for Cornwall.

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I was completely wrong thinking UKIP would do well.

It all started out well for them with the town wards coming in...the Victorian terraced homes and council estates of Balderton. According to the Today programme the ballot papers were piling up neck and neck. But then the villages started to arrive and brought home a crushing Tory win.

Labour get worried....the precariat love UKIP.

UKIP did do well. They went up from 3.8% to 25.9% in 4 years. I'd call that level of progress excellent. Newark was an extremely safe Tory seat - one that would return a Tory MP even if you pinned a blue rosette to a turd.

Losing 8% of their vote, and UKIP gaining 22% in such a safe seat really doesn't bode well for them in the marginals, which is where GEs are lost and won.

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Enacting anti-student policies means that they have lost the student vote.

Not just the student vote, pretty much anybody who left university in the last 10 years was turned against the Lib Dems by their tuition fee betrayal, even if the policy has no impact on them personally. The Lib Dems claimed to be on the side of the young in order to bag their votes, then when they had used those votes to gain power they did absolutely nothing to help the young. Tuition fees has become the rallying cry, but the anger is broader than that.

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it was actually more farcical than that. There was a proposal to set up a rainbow anti-Labour oalition, consisting of Plaid, Lib Dems and Tories.

Plaid and Tories agreed, but the Lib Dems held a meeting of their executive. There was a tied vote 9-9. Normally, organisations in their constitution make provision for a tied vote - e.g. the chair votes twice - but in this case there was no such provision.

So several weeks had to elapse for the calling of a special conference of all the Welsh party members, by which time Plaid and Labour had negotiated the One wales Agreement which saw them govern in coalition between 2007 and 2011,

Yep. Bunch of jokers.

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Lib dems best hope is to hold balance of power with labour.

If they pulled the plug on the coalition today, dump Clegg with immediate effect, trigger a GE they just might have a chance of forming a coalition with labour.

UKIP now have no policies and no candidates ready to challenge in a GE.

In 12 months time they'll be better prepared.

Now is their best chance. 12 months time they get annihilated, and Clegg gets binned anyhow. Lose/Lose

If they pull the plug now, under the fixed term parliaments law, there would not necessarily be a GE. In fact an immediate GE would be unlikely.

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Not just the student vote, pretty much anybody who left university in the last 10 years was turned against the Lib Dems by their tuition fee betrayal, even if the policy has no impact on them personally. The Lib Dems claimed to be on the side of the young in order to bag their votes, then when they had used those votes to gain power they did absolutely nothing to help the young. Tuition fees has become the rallying cry, but the anger is broader than that.

+1

What were they thinking? They have lost my vote for ever. I left uni nearly 20 years ago but I cannot forgive the tuition fee betrayal. I cannot even begin to describe how disappointed I am with the LibDems. Any other policy could have been dropped but the line in the sand was the tuition fee pledge. You can't go back on that and still expect people to support you.

The collapse of the LibDem vote is inevitable. I doubt they'll ever recover from this.

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Well, the environmental record of the government means that they've lost that vote to the Greens.

The shift to the right - basically Tory-lite - has got rid of the disgruntled left-wing vote.

Being in government means they they have lost the protest vote.

Enacting anti-student policies means that they have lost the student vote.

The only hope they have in the GE is where it's between them and the Tories.

I suspected that to happen, but the greens actually lost 1/8th of their votes in the Euros, where fringe parties tend to do well. Nor are all the lib dem votes re-appearing with labour. It seems many are simply disgusted and abstaining.

Might have something to do with the mess they've made of running Brighton?

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/06/13/the-green-party-needs-to-talk-about-the-mess-in-brighton/

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UKIP did do well. They went up from 3.8% to 25.9% in 4 years. I'd call that level of progress excellent. Newark was an extremely safe Tory seat - one that would return a Tory MP even if you pinned a blue rosette to a turd.

Losing 8% of their vote, and UKIP gaining 22% in such a safe seat really doesn't bode well for them in the marginals, which is where GEs are lost and won.

Indeed. If the only thing keeping them from winning was mass tactical voting as labour and libdems claim, its clear the UKIP vote was bigger than the all three main parties, had labour voters actually voted labour and tory voted tory.

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Not just the student vote, pretty much anybody who left university in the last 10 years was turned against the Lib Dems by their tuition fee betrayal, even if the policy has no impact on them personally. The Lib Dems claimed to be on the side of the young in order to bag their votes, then when they had used those votes to gain power they did absolutely nothing to help the young. Tuition fees has become the rallying cry, but the anger is broader than that.

Yes, education should be for all who want it! Not just the weathy! :blink:

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+1

What were they thinking? They have lost my vote for ever. I left uni nearly 20 years ago but I cannot forgive the tuition fee betrayal. I cannot even begin to describe how disappointed I am with the LibDems. Any other policy could have been dropped but the line in the sand was the tuition fee pledge. You can't go back on that and still expect people to support you.

The collapse of the LibDem vote is inevitable. I doubt they'll ever recover from this.

Labour and the Greens must be pretty chuffed, Clegg has suicided his party and they will get to pick up the pieces.

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I think a lot of what went wrong for the Lib Dems during this Parliament can be traced back to the 1980s and 1990s under Paddy Ashdown. They decided to shed the beard and sandals image and turned themselves into such an efficient power-hunting machine that by the time they got into office there was very little humanity or political principle left in those running the party. Lib Dem grassroots members and voters are an idealistic bunch, and I think they were shocked by events like tuition fees which demonstrate that the party is now a ruthless calculating machine that seeks power by any means necessary, or as Clegg would describe it "a party of government".

No doubt Ashdown and Clegg think they 'did the right thing' going down this path because there is no point being in politics if you never get a sniff of power, but they shouldn't be surprised that the idealistic liberal left has turned its back and walked away.

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