And more results…

The patterns from last night seem to be a thumping victory for the SNP in Scotland, Labour heading for victory in Wales. In the English local elections the Liberal Democrats are suffering badly, facing extreme losses in Northern cities and patchier losses elsewhere. The Conservatives are experiencing modest losses to Labour, but these are being cancelled out by gains from the Lib Dems.

This afternoon we have the rest of Wales, Scotland and the locals before counting starts on the referendum at 4pm.

Finally, YouGov have released data from polling on election day (a sort of online exit-poll) here.


375 Responses to “And more results…”

1 5 6 7 8
  1. @ Stuart Dickson

    “Donald Dewar chose the list system BECAUSE it is silly and undemocratic.

    You will never understand Scottish politics until you understand how Scottish Labourites think. Good luck.”

    Yeah, I don’t want to rain on your parade but I mean or sound arrogant or condescending or imperialist. But some of the results from the regions are just wacky. Like in the North East of Scotland region, the SNP received 52.7% of the vote but only one seat (with both Labour and the Tories getting more). Or in the Lothian results, the SNP won the plurality of the vote with 39.2% with Labour its closest competitor at 24.9% of the vote. But despite this, the SNP gets zero seats and Labour gets the most. That’s just wrong. The results should reflect what the voters want, not what benefits some political parties.

    This isn’t an elementary school competition to see which class raise the most money for some charity where the class who raises the most money gets the McDonalds lunch AND the ice cream social while the next top ten finishers get only an ice cream social. It’s a frickin’ election! If people can’t command the votes because voters don’t want to vote for them, they shouldn’t be allowed in simply because because that would be “most progressive” and “most fair to the parties.”

  2. @ Alec

    “Its started already – Heffer in the Telegraph says Cameron should ditch Clegg and call an election while here people are saying Milliband’s job must be under threat.

    It’s by no means a wonderfull night for Labour – Scotland was very poor, southern England disappointing, although with minor gains. As others have said, some straight Tory/Labour switching in the midlands and NW, good show in the NE too, plus Wales of course.

    This is the fastest turn around from a very heavy GE defeat for any opposition party I can remember in my long career watching politics. The bottom line if that if these vote shares were repeated in a GE then Milliband would be PM with a majority and Camerom lose 40 odd seats.

    We are just about to start the real politics and Labour have had a decent start but they need to be on their game – any idea that they can sit back and pick up the pieces after the cuts would be mistaken and they need to respond to this reaalignment of British politics, but they are well placed to do so.”

    I heard Labour was expected to gain 400 seats, maybe as many as 600. They gained at least 800 and 26 councils. They have recovered from a terrible low last year. The Tory losses to Labour were buffered by their gains against the Lib Dems but Labour took from both parties. The polls have shown a Labour lead, not a massive Labour lead. The election results confirm it.

  3. These predictions that Labour only needed to gain 400 or 500 were absurd.

    I would say an absolute bottom line would be above 500 but it could have been as high as 1,400, and the true figure about half way between.

    So
    I would say they have done quite well, but so did the Tories.

  4. @ Swebb

    “Totally agree with you. Sky News shows net Labour gains in England of 860+ seats. Labour gains a working majority in Wales. Labour is the only party to maintain its vote share in Scotland against an SNP tidal wave (the Westminster Coalition parties lost TWICE as many seats as Labour in Scotland). Then Labour romps home in Leicester South with a swing of over 8%, with the Tories hit hardest. Nick Robinson uses the fact that Labour lost 8 seats in Scotland to turn all that on its head.
    Speechless.”

    Media likes to report its own narratives. In Scotland, Labour had large swings to it in Conservative held constituencies. So their anti-Tory strategy wound up going bust against the SNP but at least in the cases where Labour was actually competing with the Tories, Labour did well. This is probably Labour’s best local election result in at least a decade if not more.

  5. SoCalLiberal

    I was surprised no one picked up your question before, so if an outsider can answer it, I hope I can without the weight of Alba falling on my head.

    In informal parlance the regional seats are often called ‘top-up’ seats, and the idea is to provide representation for all the voters who chose Parties who got less than their fair representation from the constituency seats. In Scotland this is particularly important for two reasons.

    Firstly, traditionally the Labour Party dominated large areas of Scotland. This meant in whole regions every seat would be won by them with no opposition. Secondly Scotland had four Parties with substantial support. This could mean that individual constituencies could be and were won with less than 30% of the vote, disenfranchising a large majority of the population.

    As a result the current system was set up, so one Party could not rule the country despite having the support of only a relatively small percentage of the population.

    Ironically the system has in particular benefited the Conservatives, who were the only Party to oppose it – they probably would have faded away in most of Scotland without being able to take regional seats.

    The Party that really suffered from under-representation in constituency seats was the SNP, because their vote was spread evenly across Scotland, so even a high vote meant just meant they came second everywhere. So a second irony is that they are the ones to have achieved what no Party was supposed to (and none of the polls predicted) – an overall majority.

  6. @ Liberal Student

    “haha socialliberal-how dare you, I very often descend down to the lower orders to share a tiptop of the finest ale with my commoner friends lol
    -In all honesty, trust me, students have abandoned the Lib-Dem party faster than rats off a sinking ship. Though I do sometimes remind my fellow students that if they did not want a conservative government, maybe they should have voted, then got mad .”

    Descending into the lower orders? Your “commoner friends”? And ale? Omg, lol. And I’ve been (mis)labeled a “liberal elitist!” Sheesh. I don’t even know where to begin with you. J/k. :)

    My rule is that if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain (well at least not to me).

    Lib Dems forming a coalition with the Tories was ultimately to the benefit of Labour. For all of their complaining and criticism, Labour’s top brass should be secretly sending heart shaped boxes of Prestat chocolates to Nick Clegg. Because of the coalition, Labour gets the following benefits:

    1. They get to be the only major opposition party. Thus any discontentment with the government goes right to Labour.

    2. Cameron has a working majority with the Coalition. Because of this, Labour doesn’t have to be pushed on any tough votes in Parliament. Furthermore, Cameron can’t get credit he’d get for having to run a minority government and boost his popularity for it (like Stephen Harper in Canada).

    3. Being in opposition has allowed Labour to recover their vote nationally, replace some deadweights in Parliament with bright new MPs (in Barnsley Central and Oldham East and Saddleworth), and retool their platform.

    4. They have the opportunity to recover a number of the center left voters who left them fro the Lib Dems over Iraq but have been traditionally Labour voters.

    Labour was lucky that they only lost in 2010 because if anything they should have been destroyed given the preelection polling and their time in power. If Labour had formed a rainbow coalition, it would have been politically disastrous for them. They’d be even lower in the national polls than they were a year ago, the party would be a mess, and the government would still be unstable.

  7. @ Roger Mexico

    “I was surprised no one picked up your question before, so if an outsider can answer it, I hope I can without the weight of Alba falling on my head.

    In informal parlance the regional seats are often called ‘top-up’ seats, and the idea is to provide representation for all the voters who chose Parties who got less than their fair representation from the constituency seats. In Scotland this is particularly important for two reasons.

    Firstly, traditionally the Labour Party dominated large areas of Scotland. This meant in whole regions every seat would be won by them with no opposition. Secondly Scotland had four Parties with substantial support. This could mean that individual constituencies could be and were won with less than 30% of the vote, disenfranchising a large majority of the population.

    As a result the current system was set up, so one Party could not rule the country despite having the support of only a relatively small percentage of the population.

    Ironically the system has in particular benefited the Conservatives, who were the only Party to oppose it – they probably would have faded away in most of Scotland without being able to take regional seats.

    The Party that really suffered from under-representation in constituency seats was the SNP, because their vote was spread evenly across Scotland, so even a high vote meant just meant they came second everywhere. So a second irony is that they are the ones to have achieved what no Party was supposed to (and none of the polls predicted) – an overall majority.”

    Thank you for explaining this to me. It still doesn’t explain how the formula works. A top-up seat is lunacy and the Conservatives were not wrong to oppose it. You’re NOT disenfranchised if your candidate loses an election. That’s called the will of the electorate. It may not be what you like but as long as it was a free and fair election, you haven’t been disenfranchised.

    Btw, looking at the few voting divisions that were either narrow No wins or Yes wins….it does look very Bradley Coalition to me….without the success of course.

  8. @ Roger Mexico

    “As a result the current system was set up, so one Party could not rule the country despite having the support of only a relatively small percentage of the population.

    Ironically the system has in particular benefited the Conservatives, who were the only Party to oppose it – they probably would have faded away in most of Scotland without being able to take regional seats.”

    Isn’t that how votes usually work out in the UK anyway? It’s not surprising in a multi party system.

    The only electoral system in a U.S. legislative body that has any resemblance to this silly top-up system by rewarding the losers of an election is in the District of Columbia (not be choice of the District’s citizens but Congress). They have a system as follows: there are 13 council seats altogether. 8 of them are single member districts where councilmembers are elected FPTP (or wards). 1 seat is the Council Chair who’s elected citywide on FPTP. That leaves 4 at large seats. The electoral law requires that two of these at large seats must belong to a political party that is not the majority party.

    The majority party is of course the Democratic Party (there’s never been a Ward or Council Chair seat that’s not been won by a Democrat). And of these four seats, they’re staggered so you have two at-large council seats up every two years. So what this means is, Democrats are automatically barred from two at large council seats and in every election, one non-Democrat is guaranteed election even if though they’re not the chocice of a plurality or majority of voters. This is how Republicans have been elected to the D.C. City Council. Some have termed it “electoral welfare.” The top-up list is a cousin to it. It forces elections to reflect not what voters want but what others think the voters should want. In this case, the Republicans wanted to make sure that Republicans were always elected to Council (which hasn’t always happenned).

  9. I wonder how much of the unexpectedly good Tory performance is down to the high (relative to 2007) turnout. I imagine Clegg hoped the referendum would bring out the LibDem supporters of electoral reform but instead it allowed Cameron to get out the conservative Conservative vote.

  10. Best political play of the night goes to Cameron.

    While many short-sighted Tories are now clamouring for a new General Election, Cameron knows not to kick his coalition partners while they’re down.

    Cameron has realised something that the ‘Labour Grandees’ (Really showing their worth!) haven’t.

    If the Tory party engineers a split, which is quite possible, and we go back to a hung parliament situation, which is also quite possible (considering the soft Labour vote), then Cameron can go back to Nick and say, ‘Labour kicked you while you were down, we’ll go back in to coalition’.

    Labour (not all, I’ll admit – just the guys in charge), on the other hand, continue to operate under the arrogant idea that they’re the only voice for the left.
    The Scottish elections proved that wrong.

    But while Labour kicks them while they’re down and Cameron picks them up, the Tories will remain the natural political partner for the LibDems.

    If another left-wing party emerges (the Greens have made some nice gains here and there), then Cameron has just walked the Tories in to being the ‘natural leaders’ for the UK.
    He’ll go from somewhere between an IDS and a Blair to a full-out Thatcher (as far as electoral victories).

    So Cameron (or his advisers) deserve kudos.

  11. @The Last Fandango –
    “Can I have some of what you’re smoking?This is a bloody awful night for Labour.”

    Is it? Certainly it’s not as good as they had hoped, but a year on from failing to get a majority under the best circumstances for an opposition party it is possible to imagine, the Tory vote hasn’t budged and Labour’s went up by 10%, despite London not voting. On these scores, Labour wins Westminster.

    Go have your general election if you really think Labour had a terrible night.

  12. “There is a deeper disappointment for some. One wing of the Tory party and the Liberal Democrats had been harbouring hopes that Cameron could actually have embraced the alternative vote, as Michael Gove, his education secretary, intended to do. In 1911, the Tory party had split on Lords reform between the hedgers and ditchers. There was optimistic talk in some circles that Cameron would prove to be a hedger.

    “If AV went through, it would have been possible for the Tories and Lib Dems to come to second preference arrangements at the next election. Cameron would then have achieved a realignment of politics. He chose to retain the existing divisions.”

    http://gu.com/p/2pvx8

  13. TINGEDFRINGE

    Sorry, I think your reasoning is wrong. I don’t think a hung parliament is at all likely if there was a snap election, a small majority for the reds or blues is more likely.

    And given the wipeout of the LibDems there is good reason to think they wouldn’t be needed to make up the numbers even if there was… The SNP would have an interest in securing a constitutional settlement for one.

    I also suspect that they just wouldn’t be dumb enough to do it again!

  14. “Cameron has just walked the Tories in to being the ‘natural leaders’ for the UK”

    ahem-

    …Less than 14% of the vote in Scotland; less than 25% of the vote in Wales- current vote share in English locals (as calculated by Curtice/ BBC) minus 5% on the equivalent elections in 2007…

    In the words of an esteemed and respected UKPR poster: “can I have some of what you are smoking” :D

  15. Freedland in the Guardian says this ‘moment of clarity’ strengthens the notion that UK politics is a place for/of personalities:

    “Defeated politicians always talk of “lessons learned” in such circumstances, so here’s one.

    Personalities matter, now more than ever. Voters may piously tell phone-in programmes they care only about the issues, but the last 24 hours have confirmed that that’s bunk. The SNP swept the board largely because Scots saw Salmond as a natural first minister, while his Labour opponent was anything but: Gray by name, grey by nature.

    In the 21st century, candidates for the biggest jobs need vivid, stand-out personalities.

    Labour take note: they can have as many policy reviews as they like, but if the British public don’t warm to Ed Miliband it will all be in vain. This personalisation of British politics cuts both ways. Few deny that the Lib Dem wipeout and the AV defeat were a repudiation of Clegg. The no campaign calculated that the mere sight of the Lib Dem leader’s face on their leaflets would turn millions off voting reform – and their calculation paid off.”

  16. Oldham East and Saddleworth/ Barnsley Central/ Leicester South

    Lab… +10.2%/ +13.5%/ +12.2
    LD…….. -0.3%/ -13.1%/ -4.4%
    Con…. -13.6%/ -9.0%/ -6.3%

    Any evidence that some under-the-radar informal electoral pact between Tories-LDs will re-emerge when it comes to by-elections?

  17. 100% agree with Rob. People may say that they vote “on the issues” but when polled in detail, often don’t even know what the parties’ stances on those issues are (and sometimes don’t even understand the issues themselves).

  18. @Rob Sheffield – ” …if the British public don’t warm to Ed Miliband”

    It is true that sections of the media are strenuously portaying him as a “loser” today.

    On perceptions of Labour, focus groupers must still be showing a big spike at every mention of the word “mess”,
    as it is still apprearing in nearly every sentence uttered by Tory/LD ministers.

    God forbid Osborne produces a “mess” all his own.

  19. Sinc UK pollsters have now overestimated the Lib Dems in the election, underestimated the SNP in this election and underestimated the margin of the No2AV victory by about 10pp… is there not a case to say that, in all three cases, pollsters are performing really quite badly at predicting voter behaviour on the day?

  20. TheSheep & Rob

    #Factor 1
    If the SNP take most Scottish westminster seats, at the expenses of the Tories, from a tactical point of view, it would be in their best interest to block an anti-Tory coalition government and let a Tory minority ‘wreak havoc’ in Scotland.
    Thus pushing more people in to supporting Scottish independence.

    #Factor 2
    If Labour cannot solidly unite the factions of the left (which it something repeatedly failed – from the fall of the First International onward), then the split-vote problem under FPTP will ensure Tory majorities.
    This is especially true in the South – Labour gains mean Tory wins.
    Labour cannot unite the left if it still labours (mind the pun) under the assumption that left-wingers will just flock to the party because it is the de facto home for the left.

    #Factor 3
    The North/South divide means that (as the Liberal Democrats have now found) it is very difficult for a party to play both sides – Left in the North and Right in the South – which makes Labour’s task of winning seats in all regions more difficult.
    This is made worse by the fact that, in parts of the south, Labour are culturally despised (just as the Tories are in the North).
    Labour may be making large national polling gains – but that is distorted by having 60+% (IIRC) in the North East.

    #Factor 4
    As both of these factors come in to play – if the LibDems die a death, then it’s likely that in the South, another left-wing party will ‘take over’ their position (most likely the Greens). Leading to more vote split and national left-wing splits.
    The Tory party don’t have to worry about the same from UKIP – if the Tories offered a referendum on the EU, Tory>UKIP deserters would flock back.

    #Factor 5
    The reduction in seats, coupled with the boundary changes, makes a Tory victory all the more likely – whether or not you believe this reduction is right or not, it is happening.

    #Factor 6
    If Labour shun the LibDems and the LibDems have a polling recovery, then the LibDems will not unite with Labour and are more likely to get ‘back in to bed’ with the Tories.

    So a split left with a major separatist party leading to slim majority or minority conservative governments.. hmm.. doesn’t sound at all likely.
    *cough*Canada*cough*

    So the decks are stacked against the Labour party (and more broadly, the left) from the start – everything is coming up Tory.

    The Tory media talking point is already that the Tories should either walk all over the LibDems or call for another GE.

    Perhaps I’m just a pessimist.

  21. “If the SNP take most Scottish westminster seats, at the expenses of the Tories,”
    Should read ‘at the expense of Labour’
    Proof read fail!

  22. @Alec

    Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not advocating a general election now. A futher hung parliament would probably result.

    I think that would be madness for the Tories.

    The boundary re-draw hasn’t been undertaken yet. Cameron can’t pull the plug until that is done if the Tories are to hope to obtain an overall majority.

    And he won’t pull the plug because he has made to many commitments about a 5 year fixed term etc. He would (rightly) be painted as being mendacious and untrustworthy.

    The only people who can really pull the plug are the Lib Dems. And they aren’t going to do that in a way that results in an election for obvious reasons.

    Michael Crick on Newsnight was I think closest to the mark when he said that the likely course of events was that at some time in 2013 or 2014 the Lib Dems would convert the Coalition to a minority Tory govt with confidence and supply support.

    But for Labour’s hopes of an overall majority in 2015 these are bad results. Scotland is now a very serious problem for them. And they needed to win more than 1000 council seats in England to seriously suggest that they were capable of winning the Westminster seats they need. They didn’t get there. They achieved only a slight permium on the number their PR people had said they expected to achieve – and the PR people always undersell what they really hope to achieve.

    It is true that most of the Tory gains were from the LDs. But then so were most of the Labour gains. But the boundary redraw means that in a general election this will likely benefit the Tories more than Labour.

  23. I agree that EdM has to up his game and by the end of 2012

    Plus I have always agreed with the notion that personality is the beginning of a winning electoral platform (and without it all the best gleaming policies in the world don’t amount to a hill of beans).

    But that post above was a paste in from Freedlands article it was not mine !!

    IMO EdM will resign end 2012/ early 2013- without being pushed- if he cannot ”make the grade’ between now and then.

    I think he is principled enough and a keen enough student of history (having been close by when most of Labours recent history was being made) to know how/ when to do the right thing.

    But last night was far from the ‘loser’ scenario that the usual suspects here and in the media are desperately trying to claim:

    * Less than a 1% loss of vote in constituency Scotland
    * 10% increase of vote in constituency Wales
    * An increased vote share of 10% in the English locals compared to the equivalent in 2007
    * as of a few seconds ago a NET increase of 866 seats with 9 councils still to publish results.

    So Blue media/ posters attempts are utterly transparent i.e. try and undermine EdM !!

    We can forgive our SNP brethren their spaced-out state of bliss: for them the hard times are just about to start :D

  24. Oh, and I forgot to say.

    I think these results suggest that the Lib Dems should seriously consider some sort of electoral pact with the Tories at the next election.

    The Tory head bangers would hate this. But it could make a huge amount of sense for both parties. Indeed it may be the Lib Dems only realistic lifeline to avoid going back to the days of Jeremy Thorpe.

  25. “Indeed it may be the Lib Dems only realistic lifeline”

    And why would the Tories want to give them a lifeline?

  26. @PeteB

    A fair question.

    Because the Tory position has weaknesses too.

    Cameron doesn’t want to be a hostage of the likes of Liam Fox and Bernard Jenkin.

    A Lib Dem pact would protect him there.

  27. @Billy Bob

    I agree.

    If we had a pound for every time the coalition ministers had said “sorting out Labour’s mess” in the last 24 hours, we’d have about £250 by now!

    So, for the reasons you have given that is what they say they will until 2015.

    If we accept the basic premise of “sorting out the mess”, then there is a big question of whether the Lib Dems would benefit from an improvement in the UK’s economic performance. Wouldn’t the Tories take the dividend in any case?

    Does the Lib Dem policy contribution to the coalition sufficiently differentiate them so that the left leaning voters they have lost will return?

    I would say not.

  28. I meant “that is what they will say”

  29. “I think these results suggest that the Lib Dems should seriously consider some sort of electoral pact with the Tories at the next election…..it may be the Lib Dems only realistic lifeline to avoid going back to the days of Jeremy Thorpe.”

    As @tingedfringe has already pointed out this is a total non-starter now: “The Tory media talking point is already that the Tories should either walk all over the LibDems or call for another GE.”

    Gove wanted the Tories to support AV and push for a formal pact: Cameron listened to Osborne. The Conservatives played the man not the ball and they have killed voting reform for 25 years. Nuff said on the idea of a ‘pact’ (its never going to happen)

    What Lib Dems need to do is twofold;

    1) Vote down any Tory/ anti-LD policy that was not explicitly in the coalition document i.e. as a starting point the NHS ‘reforms’ can be punted not just into the long grass but over the stadium roof to never be seen of or heard from again;

    2) reach out to the party of the centre left. Joint sponsor Lib Dem proposals that the paleo-Conservative rightists won’t stand for but that tick boxes for Labour i.e. push a centre left agenda in government rather than the orange book rightist agenda as has been the case of the last 12 months. Look where it got you!

    Basically the Lib Dems need to remind themselves (and this is something they have forgotten the last 12 months in their bliss) that the THE TORIES DON’T HAVE A MAJORITY…!! Cameron cannot govern without them and its time they started to remind him of that.

  30. TLfandango

    You might find this link in the DT interesting reading

    h ttp://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/julianastle/100086639/david-cameron-has-blown-his-chance-to%C2%A0realign-british-politics-for-good/

    “David Cameron has blown his chance to realign British politics for good”

  31. “We can forgive our SNP brethren their spaced-out state of bliss: for them the hard times are just about to start”

    All too true sadly. :-( Their leader is still going to be there for months as a lame duck until the autumn leadership contest. The rag tag of third graders who got in by the list will have to perform a root and branch reform of their entire party while dazzling talent of the likes of Jackie Baillie fight each other to the death for the right to face a leader who just achieved the previously unachievable with a majority.

    Wait a minute…. :-D

    Nobody thinks this will be a cake walk but I remember the same cries of “Salmond is doomed” from 2007. How did that turn out ?
    It was and is SLAB who have always been found time and again to be guilty of amazing complacency. The SNP will never make the same mistake so despite all of SLABS troubles they know perfectly well they have to deliver.

  32. http://goo.gl/7htsL
    Electoral Reform may be deader than you know.
    Looks like Cameron is going to go back on the promise (and coalition agreement) over House of Lords reform.
    And why wouldn’t he?

    A fully proportional HoL would replace the commons as the dominant chamber and allow the risk of ‘progressive majority’.
    Being able to stack the HoL with partisans and a commons majority would be Cameron’s obvious preference.

    Perhaps this will be the engineered split – with Cable & Huhne talking about the No result not being ‘an end to electoral reform’.

  33. We need to wait a while yet, but at least the Coalition leaders have both reaffirmed their committment to it.

    It now remains to be seen what pressure NC receives/responds to for upping the LD price-and what pressure DC receives/responds to for saying that it’s high enough allready.

    I don’t understand why LD MPs & Grey Beards think that causing more rows within the coalition will retrieve any of their support in the country.

    With Electoral Reform , and their long years of political virginity , and half their voters gone ,LDs really need to do some basic thinking about what & who they are for.

    Just putting their bover boots & coming over all macho isn’t going to appeal to anyone.

  34. I feel pity for LDs today. The real effect/message of these elections and the ref will be recognised in the next few weeks.

    The LDs will continue to suffer at the polls even if the economy improves.

    The party’s fundamental aim of electoral reform (ie PR) has been rejected across the UK.

    Whither or wither the LDs?

    The notion that the LDs can adopt a business like approach in gov is nonsense. Firstly, they are not the Opposition ! they are (part of) the gov. On what grounds now do LDs think they have any support to be in gov?

    DC and the Cons will walk all over the LDs.

    IMO, there is only one realistic option open to the LDs…enter an electoral pact with Lab.

  35. @iananthonyjames – ‘If we accept the basic premise of “sorting out the mess”’

    Perhaps the public are not ready for it yet… Caroline Flint made a good fist at setting out the promising outlook that had been brought about by A Darling, and which persisted into the Autumn of last year, (during election coverage on the Beeb, but she was shoulted down by Baroness Warsi and Ming Campbell).

    Labour needs to counter this premise in good time.

  36. MIKEN

    “IMO, there is only one realistic option open to the LDs…enter an electoral pact with Lab.”

    THats because , like most Labour supporters, you see them as left wing Labour Lite.

    But we all know there is another strand in there.

    I might as well say -IMO, there is only one realistic option open to the LDs…enter a political pact with Cons”

    But we would both be saying the same thing-the LD party must split. THe left wing must follow its voters & join the Labour Party. The Orange Bookers must continue to support the Coalition, pushing Liberal values & appealing to the core Liberal vote.

  37. Colin

    I agree with your posts at 9.59 and 10.15.

  38. Colin

    I should have added however that Lab potentially can offer electoral reform whereas the Cons (seemingly) cannot. Hence, my comment about LDs entering electoral pact with Lab.

  39. Colin,
    Perhaps it would be better for the LibDems to split in to Liberal and SDP again (under new names, since SDP and Liberals still exist).
    With Labour’s unpopularity in the South, New SDP could retain SW voters and have a formal pact with Labour.
    With Tory unpopularity in the North, New Liberal could retain some NE/NW voters and have a formal pact with the Tories.

  40. @ Stuart Dickson

    “Donald Dewar chose the list system BECAUSE it is silly and undemocratic.

    You will never understand Scottish politics until you understand how Scottish Labourites think. Good luck.”

    And so the re-writing begins.

    Meanwhile, the truth is that the electoral system for the Scottish Parliament is that drawn up by the Scottish Constitutional Convention, a broadly-based group which proceeded on the basis of consensus.

    It was not, therefore, chosen by one man and it is not silly or undemocratic – it introduces proportionality while preserving the constituency link.

    However this does serve as a good illustration of the nationalist mindset.

  41. the results show one thing clearly: you can’t play both sides and try to win. The LibDems’ north/south game has clearly been found out.

    The Labour Party has to learn from this, because it is in danger of being caught by a similar pincer movement – SNP/anti-Tory Scotland vs Tory south of England.

    Milliband has to make one big decision: appeal to the Tory south of England (ie, become more Tory), or cut the South loose and maximise its vote in England from Watford up/Wales/Scotland (ie shift left). He can’t have it both ways – as Clegg has found out.

    If he gets it right, Labour’s in, if not it’s bye bye time.

    ps – if there is independence in Scotland, how long before there’s an outbreak of tartan in Newcastle?

  42. I actually love elections and the aftermath, the talk up, and talk downs of why, and rose tinted bias as each side make the case against the other… even on here it seems as we cannot get away from that.

    Regarding red and blue in England if you cannot see the reasons why it is not a bad day for both, then I am sorry, the collapse of Lib Dem vote is not over, 2012 will see more loses, and if we do not see a GE until 2015 then 2014 will be the final readjustment of the Lib Dem vote locally, without this local base there will follow the readjustment of Lib Dem national GE vote.

    Scotland is a little disappointing for reds, most of what was left of the Lib Dem vote I do believe switched to SNP and good luck to them and well done, if Scotland want a referendum then give it to them, no bribes or deals from Westminster to delay or stop it, if the people of Scotland want to leave the union then so be it, for better or worse let the people speak.
    I would ask if any referendum on independence would be for just those who live in Scotland or those who are Scottish blood and live elsewhere such as in England because I think that would be an important issue, being married to a scot who would like a say in union matters. Even using parentage rules like a country would do with football, those descendants living in the union should have a right to have their say, don’t you think?

  43. LibDems also making noise on NHS reforms (not just HoL reforms) saying they want to go back to coalition agreement and not the current Tory policy.

    Tories seem to be saying that the ‘pause’ is over and that the Tory policy will be pushed full force.

    Another issue that could cause a split.

  44. @Colin (10.15 am)

    “But we would both be saying the same thing-the LD party must split. THe left wing must follow its voters & join the Labour Party. The Orange Bookers must continue to support the Coalition, pushing Liberal values & appealing to the core Liberal vote.”

    Why should the left wingers join the Labour party. Together with many other LDs, I left the Labour party many years ago because we were not happy in the party. Although Labour has changed in some ways I still have no affinity for their party. IMO, most of the LD party want to return to the party as it was before the Orange Bookers made their appearance.

    Jenny Tongue has just said on TV that the LDs should remain in the Coallition re the economy but refrain from supporting the Cons in other aeas, eg NHS, education & police reform. IMO that is where most of the rank and file stand and don’t forget, the LDs are essentially a bottom up party, not ruled from the top.

  45. @Rob Sheffield

    Interesting link, thanks.

    Have to say I disagree with your strategy. As did Olly Grender on Newsnight last night.

    Trying to be some sort of Labour Lite is not going to bring back those voters who have left to vote Labour this week.

    Why vote Labour Lite when you can vote for the real thing and without the risk of inadvertently voting for a Conservative PM?

    And I msu admit a dgeree of confusion on the health reforms. A good chunk of Lansley’s bill is drawn from the Lib Dem manifesto on health! The only material difference between Lansley’s bill and the Lib Dem manifesto is that Lansely gives the power to GPs where the Lib Dems would give it to locally elected Health Boards.

    Now I hold no candle for Lansley’s reforms – indeed they seem to me (and now Cameron too by all accounts!) to be potentially political dynamite – but the Lib Dem attitude to them is puzzling. Is this just opportunism in that having seen how potentially unpopular this all could be, the Lib Dems are now quietly burying their manifesto ideas?

    @Mike N

    Fascinated as to how you think Labour can offer electoral reform. Do you mean the House of Lords? If you do, the record of New Labour is not encouraging!

    Or do you mean HoC voting reform? WIn which case I am really confused as AV is the proverbial dead parrot and Miliband has expressly ruled PR out (on Today on Wednesday) as the unions, party grandees and the NEC will never, ever wear it.

  46. Also LibDem Peer Jenny Tonge has called for the LibDems to pull out of the coalition and go with a confidence and supply, even if that results in a general election.

    So much for the ‘everybody is united’ Liberal Democrat talking point.

  47. @Tinged

    “This is made worse by the fact that, in parts of the south, Labour are culturally despised (just as the Tories are in the North).”

    This is only plausibly true in those areas which are rock-solid Tory, and which are therefore of no electoral significance. However, in many supposedly Labour-free zones there is a lot of evidence from yeaterday for substantial latent Labour support. For instance, in the seat I fought, we nearly trebled the Labour vote from the previous two elections. And that was without running much in the way of a campaign other than delevring leaflets.

    @Colin

    “Thats because , like most Labour supporters, you see them as left wing Labour Lite.”

    People keep trotting this out, and I have never seen any reason for saying it. It’s quite obvious that a large element within the LDs is left leaning, just as it is equally obvious that some are right-leaning. It is no less plausible for them to align with Labour than it is for them to align with the Tories. And given that aligning with the Tories has worked out really badly for them, changing sides is something they should at least consider.

    Whether that means an electoral pact is another question altogether.

  48. Mick P,

    That is not a quote from Brown himself boasting about ‘light touch regulation’. Do you have one?

  49. MIKEN

    Thanks

    TINGED FRINGE

    I agree

    PETER BELL
    ” most of the LD party want to return to the party as it was before the Orange Bookers made their appearance”

    That’s easy then-pull the plug & return to opposition.

    It’s much more comfortable there-no decisions of substance ever required :-)

  50. “Looks like Cameron is going to go back on the promise (and coalition agreement) over House of Lords reform. And why wouldn’t he?”

    Because it’s a manifesto commitment?

    ‘We will work to build a consensus for a mainly-elected second chamber to replace the current house of Lords, recognising that an efficient and effective second chamber should play an important role in our democracy and requires both legitimacy and public confidence.’

1 5 6 7 8