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The annihilation of the Lib Dems

18 September 2012

10:12 AM

18 September 2012

10:12 AM

I see that Labour is now fifteen points ahead in the latest opinion poll, a Populus poll for the Times. While the Tories have dropped four points on the previous month, it still seems to me that the bulk of that Labour lead is rightly disaffected Liberal Democrats: they are down to ten per cent.

There was a meticulous Peter Kellner piece in Prospect recently which laid out a desperate scenario for the Lib Dems. It certainly looks as if they will be down to the sorts of numbers of MPs they had when Jo Grimond was their leader, and confined to far flung places where they may well still believe that Asquith is the leader. Good, frankly. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if on share of the vote they were eclipsed next time by UKIP.

There have been suggestions that Ed Miliband should make gentle overtures towards the acceptable Lib Dem, Vince Cable. I don’t see that there is much to be gained by this, other than for the Lib Dems. Let them swing in the breeze and disappear.

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Show comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/regvreynolds Reg Reynolds

    Cable has to go down as one of most unlikeable, selfish, self-aggrandizing, evil politicians ever. Who votes for that pratt ? I have no use for the triplets -Lib-Lab-Cons but “out, out damn Lib-Dems!” . Vote UKIP.

  • Eddie

    Yes, Rod – but in some parts of the country (where I live for example, unless there’s a boundary change) a vote for the LibDems is the only chance (in the present system) of unseating all those smug, self-righteous, safe seat Labour MPs, with massive majorities (and egos) who know full well that – at the very least – a large minority of people in their constituency will vote Labour because their parents and grandparents did, and it’s a big part of their identity.
    That creates a dreadful laziness in safe seat MPs – and ditto for all those Tory fucktards in the home counties.
    Where I live, a lump of coal with a red rosette would get well over 10,000 votes! The opposition is split between LiDems (2nd) and Tories (3rd) – and Plaid Cymru is so weak it doesn;t steal many Labour votes except in rural Welsh Wales.
    So a stronger LibDem vote may well be better for Tories (unless LibDems unseat some of their MPs dahn sowffff as the Lib Dems can unseat Labour safeseaters oop north).
    I think it’s politically healthier for all MPs to be kept on their toes: safe seats create lazy MPs; marginals create nervous MPs who want to bribe the public. Either way, we’re fucked really…
    Nothing is really binary politically these days anyway. What is left and right anyway? Labour and Tory voters are all the same: want more money, want to pay les tax, want their children to do better than other people’s.

  • William Reid Boyd

    I didn’t watch the first of those election debates last time because I can’t really be bothered with TV, but I did make an effort to watch the second one out of curiosity to find out why everyone was raving on about Clegg. I heard him justify the EU because it helped the struggle against paedophilia. He did seem like a thoroughly nice chap to me.

    Who could possibly have thought then that it would come to this?

  • Swanky Yanky

    Beethoven was asked to make ‘gentle overtures’ once, I believe. He told ’em to get duh-nuh-nuh-nahed.

  • Baron

    whatever happens in the years ahead to the confused lot, the Tories of Labour is of little consequence, the nature of the animal that elects them has morphed, after years, well decades really, of bribing, the unwashed are unlikely to be cured of the virus of entitlement any time soon, just look around, it’s still the Government must, the Government must, the Government must, and of course the Government does and will, any Government of whatever colour, but only after it taxed us more, or borrowed more at high cost. History shows that neither high taxes nor high borrowings are conducive or efficacious for wealth creation.

    At some point, this model of governance will have to implode and only then, as E Hart says, will we get an election based on true representation in which those sitting in the House will reflect the wishes of the country rather than the engineering dreams of the anointed few.

  • keeshond

    Yes, this is a sloppy piece which must have taken all of five minutes. It is the Liberal Party, of course, to which Mr. Fiddle should have been referring when he cites Asquith and Grimond.

  • keeshond

    Yes, this is a sloppy piece which must have taken all of five minutes. It is the Liberal Party, of course, to which Mr. Fiddle should have been referring when he cites Asquith and Grimond.

  • Douglas Carter

    I liked the article title . It filled me with hope and put a spring in my step for the day.
    Let’s see more like it please?

  • Douglas Carter

    I liked the article title . It filled me with hope and put a spring in my step for the day.
    Let’s see more like it please?

  • Tox66

    Excellent. I hope you are right, would cheer me up no end.

  • William Battersby

    No person called Asquith or Joe Grimond has ever led the Liberal Democrats.

  • Paulme

    The Liberal Democrat demise will come before the next election. It can’t be long before they start to jump ship, some to Labour some to the Conservatives.

  • E Hart

    They are a useless appendage to a debased non-representative ‘representative’ electoral system. They could have made PR a condition of participating in the Coalition but instead made a fatal and worthless compromise in AV. The electorate (and their supporters) won’t forgive them for compromising on this and everything else they were supposed to hold dear.

  • Robert Taggart

    Wishing that was so RoddyL, but, here uop nourf in Stocky (Cheadle constituency) – the LieDums still ‘rule the roost’ – albeit without an overall majority anymore.
    Indeed, the electorate here ousted the only Tory out of our three councillors earlier this year – to be replaced by another public sector apologist LieDum !
    Oneself did not vote – no UKIP candidate. Cameos Conservatives ‘ConDemned’ !
    Stopfordians / Cheadlers = Pusillanimous people !

  • LB

    There is a simple solution for the Lib Dems or tories

    1. make sure the true government debt is published.
    2. make sure everyone gets a personal statement as to their share.

    That means people won’t go with the borrow spend solution. They might go for the lynch a politician solution.

    Then enter an electoral pact with the Tories. In a Lib dem seat – tories don’t stand and vice versa.

    In a Labour seat, the party that came second stands and the other steps down.

    Boundaries get reorganised.

    • Daniel Maris

      If this was a real coalition your prescriptions might work. But it isn’t – it seems to be a union of convenience geared around greed for ministerial perks.

  • http://twitter.com/tommy5d Tommy Long

    This poll is likely to be anomalous. Not saying it can’t be true but it seems unlikely since all the other pollsters have been putting the lead around 6%.

    And predictions of the Lib Dems’ demise are constant and always over-rated. Yes, they’ll drop votes across the UK but support will remain strong in the bulk of their Southern seats.

    Peter Kellner said they’d drop to single-digits if their vote share drops uniformly but then went on to state that that’s incredibly likely.

    And UKIP are still unlikely to gain a single seat at the next election, perhaps they will get a few but it’ll almost certainly be less than the Lib Dems.

    But then again, don’t let the facts come before your prejudices, especially when the latter allow you to write a juicy article. Typical gutter journalism…

    • rod liddle

      That’s why I said “share of the vote”, you libtard half wit.

    • LB

      And UKIP are still unlikely to gain a single seat at the next election, perhaps they will get a few but it’ll almost certainly be less than the Lib Dems.

      ===============

      They don’t have to but they will still have a large impact. If UKIP takes lots of votes away from Tories, then the Tories lose, and Labour probably gain.

    • Hugh

      YouGov has been putting the lead at around 10% for more than a month. Its last two polls showed it at 12%. And you can count on one hand the number of polls putting the lead at 6% or less since the start of the summer. The Lib Dems meanwhile have been polling about 10% all year. It’s certainly not anomalous in that respect.

    • Eddie

      I am no expert, but my gut feeling – in observing opinion polls and elections since the 80s – is that polls usually overstate the Labour vote most of all.
      People say they’ll vote Labour to people and then either don’t vote at all – maybe can’t be arsed – or, and this happened a lot in the 80s and 1992, say they’ll vote Labour and actually vote Tory! (I think even Paul Weller – old red wedge himself – did this!)
      I suspect more people say they’ll vote LibDem than will vote for them too – however, with the perennial secon-placers the Liberals/LibDems/Whatever, it really is all location location location.
      If they can attract voters in certain areas, they’ll do OK.
      If not, they’re rubber ducked!
      I don’t suppose the Liberals would mind losing some seats to Labour oop north if they can edge their way into the home counties and the southern English seats. One day, when Wales and Scotland go totally solo politically, that will give them more power in England.

      • LB

        Simple solution. Send every one the bill for their share of all government debt, including the pensions that are illegally off balance sheet.

        A bill for 230,000 per taxpayer? That’ll do nicely

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