The Dissenter's Voice

The ocassional comments, opinions, rambling and rants of a liberal dissenter in New Labour's Britain

Friday, May 04, 2007

Smiles for cameron, headaches for Brown and frowns for Campbell

A good result for the Tories - we are finally seeing them reach the kind of levels where they can feel confident of winning the next election but not yet of gaining an overall majority. 41% is good, winning Lincoln & Plymouth was good news but they should have won places like Bury & Crewe as well, and be pushing their overall vote up higher into the mid 40’s. None the less being 14% ahead of Labour is a genuine reason for Cameron to be smiling this morning. While in Scotland, the Tories have held their own well, gaining Roxbergh & holding Dumfries is an unexpected bonus for them.

As for Labour, the idea that winning just 27% of the national vote, their second worst ever vote, is some kind of triumph reveals just what bad shape they are in. This result is bloody awful for Labour, there have been virtually wiped out in the South, which means that Labour MPs such as Howard Stoate in Dartford who came in during the 97 landslide, should be polishing up their CVs. However, they have done well in some of the urban centres against the Lib Dems, for instance taking seats in Bristol and only losing 3 seats in Birmingham. Wales has been pretty hideous, a coalition beckons & they will probably have to find a new Leader before too long. While in Scotland whether they hang on as the largst party their stranglehold on the Scottish central belt appears to have been finally broken.

This is a poor result for the LibDems, my party must recognise the warning signs. As expected the party has been pushed back by Tory gains in the South, less expected was the failure to make any real headway against Labour in the cities, though there were some bright exceptions such as winning control of Rochdalle and Hull. Overall though 26%, a 1% fall from last year is no disaster, it genuinely was a mixed bag for the party, but we should have done better.

Overall there is little % change in the vote of the big 3 parties - 41% (+1%) for the Tories, 27% (+1%) for Labour, 26% for the Lib Dems (-1%). I’ve thought for some time that the Tories were heading for largest party status at the next general election, making agins from both Labour & the Lib Dems. That looks increasingly likely to me.

These results make me think that the Lib Dems will have to fight harder than we currently think to make gains from Labour in order to make up for the losses to the Tories.


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