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Saturday, May 05, 2018

Lib Dems - not such a 'mini fight-back'

Labour may be claiming their best result in London in 1971, but elections are all about expectation management and the media this morning is full of talk about possible hung Parliaments, predicated on what was actually a very poor performance by the official opposition and a tenacious Conservative Party that cannot quite bring itself to self-destruct properly.

The real story of Thursday's local elections was the performance of the Liberal Democrats. Vote share is up 5%, we have 75 more Councillors than we did before and, not only did we hold all the councils we were defending but we gained four more, in some cases through some audacious swings from the Tories.

This net gain of course does not compensate for the 300 plus seats we lost in 2014, but the media narrative that we have just done well in remain areas does not stand up to scrutiny. We also gained seats off Labour in places such as Sunderland, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. This was the Liberal Democrats regaining old ground, breaking into new areas, but also making solid progress back to relevance.

And that is why the Guardian's claim of a mini-fightback does not do justice to what the party achieved. This is sustained progress not a short-lived rally. UKIP are effectively dead and buried, their only safe seat now is Nigel Farage's place on Question Time. The Liberal Democrats are once more established as the third party in British politics and from here-on-in we will be building on the success of Thursday night to relive past glories.
The tories will not self destruct. Do you really think that the Brexiteers like Mogg etc will split from their cosy seats to risk losing them?
As a party we are good at local elections, home owners etc accept us. However we have to get the young vote back (and others) to show we are a national party for ALL and we need to reclaim what has been lost since 2010
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