Thursday, 27 September 2012

LibDems in a Paddy

As the Liberal Democrats face  a loss of 39 seats leaving them with 18 according to Electoral Calculus  they must be somewhat annoyed  that although their coalition partners would lose 80 seats . 16 of the LibDem losses will be to their coalition partners with the SNP  taking 9 in Scotland .

Things look worse in that 7 of the these losses to the Tories will need under a 3% swing compared with only 3 to Labour.

Of course its hard to predict individual seats especially for the LibDems who can often receive a high personal vote and they may not be hit so bad in Scotland.

But unless there's  a reversal of fortune  it looks s gloomy . The Tories can recover from a loss of 80 seats they will still be the opposition  party . But the LibDems will be reduced to their Pre-1997 position of the same number of just 18 seats.

So this may be why  Nick Clegg said in yesterdays speech thta Paddy Ashdown who oversaw a gain of 28 seats at that  election will lead the party's next election campaign.

But that was 15 years ago the game play has changed and the LidDems  will find her hard to attract the support of the Progressive left voters who distrusted Blair and saw Ashdown as supporting many of these issue they were concerned with..

The LibDem support tends to be dived by Social Liberals  who back the welfare state and re anti imperialist and anti nuclear. and economic liberals who what a free market. The former are giving up or drifting towards the Greens and other progressive parties or abandoning mainstream politics altogether and the latter are thinking why don't we back the Tories as long as they appear to have some social programme.

The LibDems spent their conference claiming to be different and appealing to those Social Liberals who have drifted away .

But when they were in opposition they could make any promise in the safe knowledge they  would not have to carry them out.

But they are in government now and need to show they can push through the Tax the Rich ideas they have been spouting. But with the Tories unlikely to back this and regarding their colleagues as little more than Lobby fodder which may be occasionally  given some indulgence . They are unlikely to push much of what came through Brighton in the UK government.

What's the bet on the LibDems cutting their losses ditching Nick Clegg and appointing Vince Cable as leader in order to salvage something from the wreckage.

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