Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Collapse of the LIb Dems

Continuing on the theme of Lib Dem bashing, since it appears to be a popular topic at the moment on various blogs. Of course, they have just held their conference.

A quick look around the Internet shows that there are approximately 160 Lib Dem councillors in Scotland. A few councils have them in the double figures, but most average about 3 or 4.

Recent polls and election results have shown that support for the Lib Dems has collapsed. If this trend continues, which is highly likely, then expect a slaughter come next year when the Scottih council elections are held.

My betting is that they will lose over 100 seats. That is almost two-thirds of what they presently hold.

Now, council elections can be a little different to parliamentary elections, in that local issues tend to be more at the forefront of the electorate's mind. And yes, you will get councillors who are popular in their wards and would get elected regardless what party they serve. But the bottom line is that the Lib Dems have jumped into bed (so to speak) with the Conservative Party. Not only that, but their current leader does not have any common ground with the average Scottish voter (or any average voter come to think of it). Nick Clegg is no different to Cameron, perhaps not as shiny but the same mould nevertheless.

The Lib Dems can't use the Leader Factor, something the SNP excel in. They can roll out Alex and can be confident of securing a few dozen votes. Roll Clegg out, and you are more likely to scare your voters away.

Losing two-thirds of your seats is a disaster. Losing that many in a parliamentary election would almost certainly force a change in leadership. But can the Lib Dems actually risk that?

My view is that they will be forced to do so. The few MPs who hold parliamentary seats may argue against such a move, but the rank and file members may demand a change.

I cannot see how the Lib Dems are going to survive in their present form until the next Westminster elections, not unless they do something drastic. And even then it is debatable as to whether such action would have any impact.

The Lib Dems have now started to slowly collapse. And let's be honest, it's been long overdue ever since Charlie Kennedy left the room.


  1. Well not being one to want to intrude on the Lib Dems' private grief I bow to your superior knoweldge on the subject.

    But since the NE area of Fife - where anything other than a Lib Dem councillor has been a rarity in the last couple of decades - is the one part of municipal Scotland which I know anything like Dundee then I can't wait to see what happens next May.

    Of course, the SNP usurped the Lib Dem for the area's Holyrood seat, and that was before the RAF Leuchars closure and the recent Madras college debacle.

    On the other hand, the Tories have always been strong in the area as well, and as regards Fife Council as a whole the Lib Dems are in coalition with the SNP.

    Of course, there's poor old Sir Ming at Westminster, who had his fingers well and truly burnt over the RAF Leuchars affair, but at least he's safe for a couple of years yet.

    Barring an early Westminster election, of course!

  2. I wouldn't say I have superior knowledge, I've just looked at the statistics (being one who fudges figures , sorry analyses, for a living).

    The trends are scary for the Lib Dems, but of course numbers do not take into account the realities of local politics.