Tuesday, October 09, 2007

LD's 11% - and falling.

The Liberal Democrats are facing meltdown at the moment in polling and in surveys across the country.

The latest Populus poll for the Times is out this morning and the shares are, compared with the last survey from the firm last week CON 38%(+2): LAB 40%(+1): LD12%(-3).

This confirms a run of polls that have sent the Lib Dems into freefall. Compared to the near 23% of votes they won at the last General Election they have been averaging around 13% in the last few months.

There is a website specialising in predicting the outcome of the next election from current polling data (go here for more) which is currently suggesting that at these levels of support the Lib Dems would lose all their MP's. This has inevitably led to another bout of soul-searching about their leader Menzies Campbell - with many in the party unfairly suggesting that his age is a problem for what has always tried to be seen as a young party.

I have been saying for some time that the Lib Dems poll problems will not be solved by a new leader. They are the only main party left that has not had a root-and-branch review of exactly what they want to stand for in the 21st century.

A patchwork of cobbled together ‘niche’ policies in most cases left over from the days when Mrs Thatcher was in No 10 is simply not enough to protect their support in a closely fought general election, they need a unique selling point which at the moment they haven’t got.

Simply banging on about breaking the two party ‘consensus’ which is about it from them at the moment really isn’t inspiring anyone - partly because the idea of the two main parties having a consensus about anything at the moment is risible.

The Lib Dems need to be about a lot more and against a lot less if they are to survive.


Steven B said...

Who cares about the National picture? Torbay is where it counts and our MP is doing a great job. Look at how he's made an impact for us. Straight talking, honest politics, that's what we vote for in the bay.

Ken Crane said...

Obviously you are a fan of Mr Sanders Stephen, I would love to know exactly how our MP has "made an impact for us" because I can't think of much that he has won for the Bay since he got in. That is not to say he has been bad as an MP it's just that he hasn't any influence. Labour don't listen to Lib dem MP's and neither do the Tories.

If you look at Exeter or Plymouth or Weymouth as examples we would have been much better off with a Labour MP than a Lib Dem since 1997. Those places - marginal Labour seats- have had more investment and more interest from the Government than we ever had.

Putting party politics aside, the best outcome for Torbay in real terms would either be as a marginal Conservative seat if the Conservatives win or a marginal Labour seat in a Labour run Government.

stephen b said...

Dear Ken,

You're obviously not much interested in Politics. We don't vote for a Prime Minister or indeed a party, but actually our MP. He then represents his constituency. "Putting aside part politics" you would do well to remember that fact and accept the in being re-elected the good people of Torbay gave an endorsement to their sitting MP!

Ken said...

I am interested in politics - at elections! A general election should be about who runs the country and it won't ever be the Lib dems.

What is the point of an MP who nobody in London listens to?

Sanders is a good local councillor type who obviously cares a lot for the bay but having him as our representative hasn't helped the people here IMO.

A Labour MP would have been much better, that is all I am saying, because a Labour MP would have had influence with the ministers and the government.

Windsor Tripehound said...

Steven b is making the usual LibDem mistake of confusing an MP with a County Councillor.

Of the many negative contributions that the LibDems have made to political life in Britain, this has been the most damaging.

It's to their shame that the main parties have lamely followed the LibDems and expect MPs to concern themselves with dustbin collections and public lavatories

Anonymous said...

Well if the Liberals are really doing so badly, why did two Tory council seats fall to them yesterday – one in a key marginal.

Windsor Tripehound said...

It's more instructive to look at the results of the May local elections, where the Conservatives won more seats than all other parties combined.

If you are interested in council by-elections you might like to look at the result in the Datchet ward of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead on 4th October. The LibDems were wiped out (for the second time in 2007)