PCC elections & Corby by-election results open thread…

Well, I think we can safely predict today won’t go down in the annals of Lib Dem history as our finest ever electoral performance… (Though the party has done much better in this week’s local elections, as Helen Duffett reports here.)

Police and Crime Commissioner elections:

Andrew Sparrow’s Guardian live-blog reports the national picture in England and Wales (but not London):

Labour is winning on the basis of the share of the votes counted. Labour is on 33.29%, according to the most recent figures, and the Conservatives are on 29.5%. Independent candidates have won 19.13%, Ukip 7.78% and the Lib Dems 7.73%. Ukip and the Lib Dems both only contested 24 of the 41 PPC seats up for election.

As the BBC’s Nick Robinson reports:

Corby by-election

The Corby by-election result has just been declared. The Lib Dems’ Jill Hope polled 1,770 votes, 14 votes shy of the party holding its deposit, and in fourth place behind Ukip. Here’s the full results breakdown:

    Andy Sawford (Lab) 17,267 (48.41%, +9.71%)
    Christine Emmett (C) 9,476 (26.57%, -15.63%)
    Margot Parker (UKIP) 5,108 (14.32%)
    Jill Hope (LD) 1,770 (4.96%, -9.48%)
    Gordon Riddell (BNP) 614 (1.72%, -2.93%)
    David Wickham (Eng Dem) 432 (1.21%)
    Jonathan Hornett (Green) 378 (1.06%)
    Ian Gillman (Ind) 212 (0.59%)
    Peter Reynolds (Cannabis) 137 (0.38%)
    David Bishop (Elvis) 99 (0.28%)
    Mr Mozzarella (Ind) 73 (0.20%)
    Dr Rohen Kapur (Young) 39 (0.11%)
    Adam Lotun (Dem 2015) 35 (0.10%)
    Chris Scotton (UPP) 25 (0.07%)
    Lab maj 7,791 (21.84%)
    12.67% swing C to Lab
    Electorate 79,879; Turnout 35,665 (44.65%, -24.61%)

Labour’s victory over the Tories in Corby followed their successful defences in Manchester Central and Cardiff South & Penarth.

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51 Comments

  • Peter Watson 16th Nov '12 - 4:13pm

    Apologies for the echo but just reposting something now that there is a Corby thread …
    A sentence on the BBC live news feed sums it up: “The Liberal Democrats lost their deposit at the Corby by-election despite demanding a recount.”
    Back in August on another thread (http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-can-corby-smelt-a-new-coalition-29782.html) I posited : “My hunch for the 2012 byelection – unless something significant happens between now and then – is that Labour could pick up anywhere between 45% and the 55% you mention. Worst case for the Lib Dems could be their own vote collapsing, the BNP vote holding up, UKIP standing against the tory candidate, and maybe the Greens or Respect putting up a candidate to grab disaffected left-leaning anti-labour voters: 4th or 5th place and a lost deposit starts sounding quite likely.” Was I prescient or just stating the bleeding obvious?

  • Well, my comment below paid instant dividends on a new thread!

    On the PCC elections and at the risk of being smug….”I told you so”. It seems likely that we will finish 4th and not take a single PCC. Also, the policy has been all over the place – when you look down the list, there are lots of places where we didn’t field a candidate at all (including places where the only options were Labour and Conservative!).

    So, it will be written up as a disaster for us despite the fact that the public actually agrees with most Liberal Democrats on the lack of necessity for these posts and would almost certainly support a return to Police Authorities. If we had organised a boycott, we would have got loads of positive free publicity and could claim a moral victory. Can we please salvage something and say that we have listened to the public and although we voted for this Tory policy because it was in the Coalition Agreement, we will not support a future PCC election.

  • Richard Church 16th Nov '12 - 4:29pm

    People who put their reads above the parapet for the party when things are difficult deserve our thanks and respect. Well done to Jill and all the PCC candidates.

  • Richard Church 16th Nov '12 - 4:30pm

    Sorry, ‘heads’ not ‘reads’

  • Andy Boddington 16th Nov '12 - 4:31pm

    I am pleased that Bill Longmore (independent) has got in on the second vote in West Mercia. My pleasure is not because I predicted this here on Lib Dem Voice http://ldv.org.uk/31282.

    I am happy because the Labour and Tory candidates did not get in. They spent their time denying that they were political candidates, even though they so obviously were. If they were fudging their political allegiance during election, how much more might they have fudged if they got elected?

    Honest Bill does not have a mandate at a lousy 14% turnout. But I suspect he may prove rather good at the job.

  • P.S. to my comment above. Independents are doing very well considering the handicaps which face them. That says a lot about the public mood and their view of these elections.

  • Per candidate, according to Nick Robinson’s first tweet, the Lib Dems are slightly ahead I think…

  • ..you can’t read anything into the police commissioner elections. Hardily anyone voted as hardily anyone is in favour of yet another layer of bureaucracy.. think you should pay more interest in Corby…

  • is it just a coincidence or can more be read into these results
    Labour increased their share of the vote by (9.71%) Liberal Democrats lost (-9.48%)

    Conservatives lost (-15.63%) of their share of the vote, whilst UKIP ran a new candidate and took (14.32%) of the votes.

    Seems to me that it suggests, this coalition is being hammered on both sides. Liberal Democrats are losing votes to Labour
    And the Tories to UKIP.
    If this is the picture in 2015, then it will be goodbye and good riddance to this coalition.

    Still, no doubt their will be no end of spins and guff coming from the faithful telling us that we can not pay to much attention to by-elections.
    Just like Cameron, who in one sentence plays down the Corby By-election results, then dribbles on about the success of the PCC results, claiming that they show that Labour can not win in the heartlands. lol talk about spin

  • A truly dreadful result: less than 5% and the candidate 14 votes short of retaining her deposit.

  • I have a great deal of respect for Lib Dems who wish to stand firm, and cling to certain policies , for what they think, are worthy principles. But equally, I’d hope that Lib Dems recognise, that the electorate clearly think otherwise. Jill Hope losing her deposit, is nothing, compared to the abyss facing the Lib Dem party in 2015.
    It’s time to wake up. As people crunch the numbers over the next few weeks, it will become clear to the Tories, (and Labour), that a guaranteed referendum on Europe, will assure an entry to Downing Street in 2015. And I suspect that it will be the Tories (who are under threat), that will pull in the UKIP vote. But possibly not with Cameron at the Tory helm.

  • Really???

    Given the scale of organised opposition to the coalition up to this stage of Parliament, the swings against the government are underwhelming, and amount to normal levels of mid-term blues. Labour really should’ve done much better if they hold hopes of a return to power in 2015. Miliband’s failure to ignite popular support places him under renewed scrutiny.

  • Underwhelming?
    I hardly think so, The Liberal Democrats and the Tories combined lost 25.11% share of the vote compared to the last general election.
    I would call it a lot of things, but it certainly would not be underwhelming lol.

  • It is quite embarrassing to request two recounts to try and avoid the embarrassment of a lost deposit. The Liberal Democrats vote collapsed and you have to take the result on the chin. The recount requests makes it appear a quite desperate clutching of straws.

    Any line that says ‘it is because we are in government’, is misguided, it is what the liberal democrats are doing in government that is causing the vote collapse and should not be ignored or expect more of the same in the next set of elections.

  • Just out of curiosity, if a reduction to 4.96% and a lost deposit is an underwhelming swing, at what point does the reduction cease to be underwhelming? 3% ? 2%? 1%?

    Equally, if Labour can gain a 48.41% share with a leader who fails “to ignite popular support” then do they really need to worry about said ignition?

  • The fact is that statistically the conservatives cannot win the next election. It’s rare that any government increases on its vote. This is not normal case of mid term blues because it isn’t a normal government
    The lib Dem’s need a proper exit strategy

  • I think the damage to the liberal democrats may have already run to deep to expect any sort of a meaningful recovery. 2014 would defiantly be far to late to try and distance itself from this government.

    By 2014, we would have already have this years autumn statement, which will no doubt see Osborne announcing further deeper cuts that will disproportionately hit the poorest the hardest.
    The full extent of Osborne’s 2010 budget cuts have not yet been fully implemented or felt, so further cuts and austerity is really going to hurt.
    We will see further redundancy in the Public sector.
    There is a massive shortage of {Full} time employment and we will see more and more companies hiring {part} time employee’s instead.
    This government will continue on with its assault on employee’s rights.
    As time goes on, more and more people are going to get very angry, especially when they feel they have no job security at all.
    The cost of housing is and will continue to sky rocket as wealthy property developers and landlords continue to exploit the lack of affordable and social housing.
    Child Poverty is and will continue to increase, no matter how this government will attempt to massage the figures.

    This government and it’s Ministers has already been plagued with scandals in their first 2 years of government, with goodness know’s how many more skeletons which are laying in the closet waiting to be exposed.

    The Chris Huhne trial will soon be upon us, which no doubt will cause a huge amount of embarrassment to the party.

    The Trials of Brooks and Coulson will be a huge media event with the spot light being shined yet again on the likes of Hunt, along with the complete failure of Liberal Democrats to support an enquiry into the behaviour of a Minister.

    All this before Osborne even gets to his 2013 budget.

    I really do not see how the Liberal Democrats could possibly come back from all of that. If they are party to all this as it happens, they will inevitably have take their share of the public’s anger when it comes to future elections. The electorate are giving the party a whacking now and this country has not yet even seen the worse of what is to come from the economy and right wing politics.

  • Matthew Huntbach 17th Nov '12 - 1:45am

    Oranjepan

    Given the scale of organised opposition to the coalition up to this stage of Parliament, the swings against the government are underwhelming, and amount to normal levels of mid-term blues

    The Liberal Democrats have managed to engineer things so they get the worst of it both ways. “Swings against the government” as if they are somehow as much the government as the Tories are, and yet a government which is overwhelmingly Tory and in which the Liberal Democrats have only a small influence.

    If we are going to get as much blame as the Tories for what the government is doing, we should demand half the government posts. Or, more realistically, as I keep saying, we should have anticipated in May 2010 just how unpopular this government would be, particularly with many people who voted for us (many long-term voters, not just votes “borrowed from Labour” as it was put by one of the people trying to wreck our party from the inside), and taken steps to make clear that the balance of power within this government means we have only a small influence in it, and much of what it is doing is not at all what we would be doing if we were the dominant voice in government.

  • Nick Clegg wants to reposition the Lib Dems as a center and a viable third party of power. The problem is is that the Lib Dems are unlikely to be the third party after the next election.

    If you want more votes why don’t you listen to your existing supporters?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/sep/25/secret-courts-lib-dem-conference

    Will no one rid me of this turbulent bill?

  • I’ve read the comments above and one or two posters aside there seems to be a massive denial of reality going on.

    It’s all very well to say you’ve been misunderstood, that you’re getting the blame unfairly and that Labour won’t win in 2015. The polls see it rather differently, and you should understand that Corby and the other byes on Thursday simply re-emphasised what’s been plain on sites like electoral calculus for nearly a year. It’s time that you dealt with the Orange Bookers that have all but wrecked your party and reduced it to a small rump in many areas. I live in Bury and on Thursday night in a ward bye, the LibDem candidate gained 35 votes – 1.23% of the vote – when the Tory and Labour candidates both gained over a thousand.

    A very grim foretaste of 2015.

  • matt,
    lost share of the vote is a meaningless comparison when calculated alongside lost turnout.

    bolano,
    I don’t expect turnout to be the same at the next GE, and I don’t expect the returning voters to be motivated to the same extent or in the same way.

    Additionally it is massively unreliable to extrapolate predictions for a general election from a single data point in a by-election with particular circumstances. The game has not changed.

    Matthew,
    no, society and the economy have experienced a massive crisis in which fortunes have polarised between the rich and poor, between right and left and every other which way imaginable.

    We are the moderating force counteracting the tendency towards extreme policy solutions within both the larger parties, and as LibDems we inevitably bear the brunt of their cumulative failures which result in the ‘squeezed middle’.

    The volume of the attacks on us are in direct proportion to the failure of other parties to moderate their extreme ideologues, and their catcalls tell us that we are the relevant party to finding the correct solutions.

    LibDems did not engineer the crisis – we are engineering the recovery.

  • @Oranjepan 17th Nov ’12 – 3:37pm
    matt,
    lost share of the vote is a meaningless comparison when calculated alongside lost turnout.

    Sorry, I totally disagree.

    Yes there was a loss of turn out compared to the 2010 General Election, but that loss of turn out affects ALL of the parties.

    But when you consider that Liberal Democrats strong points lays with it’s grass roots and it’s abilities to get out on the ground and encourage it’s supporters to get out and vote. What happened?

    What is your explanation then for only managing to get 1,770 (4.96%) of the votes in Corby to come out and vote?

    Liberal Democrats were short 6064 voters compared to the 2010 election, Were these people who voted in 2010 not real Libdem Voters?
    Did the Liberal Democrat canvassers fail to do a good enough job on the streets to encourage it’s supporters to come out and vote?

    And incidentally, I don’t think a 44.65% turn out is that bad for a By-election, some places only get those sort of turnouts in General elections.

    Liberal Democrats have performed badly in ALL the (parliamentary) by-elections since the general election.
    They did terrible in the local elections.

    Being woefully blind to all this is utter madness

  • “LibDems did not engineer the crisis – we are engineering the recovery.”

    What recovery?

    The engineering of this recovery has been about as successful as a chocolate teapot

  • Peter Watson 17th Nov '12 - 8:34pm

    @matt “Liberal Democrats have performed badly in ALL the (parliamentary) by-elections since the general election.”
    Actually the Lib Dem vote held up amazingly well in Oldham and Saddleworth. This appeared to be entirely thanks to former tory voters who did not quite make up for the number of former Lib Dem voters. Since our leaders ignored that warning, then I can’t see them losing sleep about a lost deposit in Corby.

  • matt,
    interesting change of tune from you.

    First you point to Corby as evidence supporting your case, and now when this is repudiated you point to all parliamentary by-elections since 2010.

    Let’s take a step back.

    In Corby, with 14 candidates, the traditional by-election case of voters collecting behind a front-runner, and only having lost the seat in 2010 on a 3.4% swing to a Conservative supporter of the coalition in an time of economic difficulty, it would have been a complete shock if Labour hadn’t returned a whopping majority.

    In the event turnout dropped by a quarter and a Labour-Coop candidate got 3,000 fewer votes. Hardly a resounding mandate. Nothing more than standard fare.

    Looking at other by-election results, we’ve seen 10.2%, 13.5%, 12.2%, 10.8%, -20.3% , 8.4% , 16.4% and 5% swings to Labour, on turnouts which fell from 69.2% to 44.8%, 46.7% to 18.2%, 60.2% to 25.3%, 64.9% to 50%, 59.9% to 28.8%, 61.1% to 45%, 56.5% to 36.5% and61.2% to 48% – all in their traditional ‘heartlands’ where they would expect to be unchallenged, as proved to be the case except in Bradford West where they were thrashed and in Oldham East and Saddleworth where LibDem Elwyn Watkins actually saw his vote rise by 0.3%.

    Perhaps most indicatively, in Inverclyde Labour suffered an 8.9% swing to SNP but held on as turnout fell from 63.4% to 45.4%.

    So the trend is weakening support for Labour’s opposition over this period, despite facing an apparently unpopular and divided coalition government!

    This must be almost certainly due to the growing acceptance that the previous government is largely to blame for the crisis and the current opposition is not acknowledging any responsiblity for their past actions – carry on like this and they will soon need to detoxify its brand as the date 8th October 2008 will go down in history symbolic of Labour’s failure in the same way as 16 September 1992 did for the tories.

    Only one of these seats ever held any prospect of a potential win for LibDems and only in four were we in second-place to start with, so given the circumstances saving our deposits was the bar to hit in all but the first. We saved 3/4 second-places and 5/9 deposits, and came within a whisker of saving 3 more deposits. That’s tough going, but not bad in the circumstances.

    Given the LibDems weakened campaigning base (ie vocally angry activists, loss of finance etc) consequent of being in coalition, it is exceptional how well LibDem support has held up. Some more partisan opponents also remain surprised that the party hasn’t imploded. This is all to our credit.

    While the headlines may make grim reading for LibDems, the state of public debate is shifting towards us and will continue to do so as we head towards 2015. As the state of the economy picks up we will be able to claim additional credit from which we will reap the rewards electorally.

    You say the economy isn’t recovering, I will say that the return to stability is a recovery of sorts, providing breathing space for, but masking the fact of, necessary rebalancing which is the first step to the return of real growth. You apparently want to reflate the economy, I suggest there are severe dangers in bringing back bubbles.

    Drawing conclusions about LibDem prospects from any individual by-election result, let alone from such an unrepresentative set, is like concluding from the Henley result in 2008 that Labour would return less MPs than the BNP!

    Time to start hedging.

  • I don’t see how the Oldham and Saddleworth vote held up for the Libdems at all, they polled 2923 fewer votes than what they did in the 2010 election.
    Their share of the vote went up by 0.3% admittedly, however, their coalition partners in the Tories polled 7292 fewer votes, which is the only reason for the 0.3% rise in share of the vote.

    But you are right, I can not see your leaders losing any sleep over it, the leadership is like a poor bunny stunned in the headlights. There is no sense of direction on which way to turn, so they opt for the standing still and getting splattered scenario.

  • @orangepan

    So I take it you are blaming the activists and lack of funding for the poor performance in Corby????

    As for the economy, what evidence can you point to that it is recovering, where is this stability you talk of?
    Please don’t tell me you are going to say the “unemployment figures are falling” when we have the highest rate of part time employment in recent history.
    Major high street chains are still going bankrupt, is that stability?
    Child poverty is on the increase and more and more families in the United Kingdom are relying on charities and foodbanks, is that stability?

    I do have to wonder sometimes if this coalition government hands out some kind of new technological glasses to all it’s supporters so they can see this country in a different perspective to the rest of the poor souls.

    And after 2 and half years of this government, I really think it is time to stop blaming Labour for everything in the past, whatever mistakes Labour made, they had 13 years to make them. This government is screwing everything up along with the constant scandals in 2 short years. No matter how much banging on you go on about Labour, at the next General Election, the electorate will be judging on your record in Government, not the previous Labour government.

    The Bank Of England, The IMF, all state that the world economy and the Euro area hangs on a thread still and will for years to come, and yet somehow Liberal Democrats still seem to think that there is going to be a huge change of fortunes and the economy will come good and they will reap the electoral rewards in 2015. lol.

    If there is a spare pair of these glasses going, please send this way, would be nice to try on, just out of curiosities sake

  • Peter Watson 17th Nov '12 - 10:24pm

    @Oranjepan
    Your conclusions seem to point to an optimism that I think is misplaced. I don’t see how any of the by-election results give the party anything to be relaxed about. Even the Inverclyde and Bradford West results to which you refer point to more swings away from the coalition: Labour is not its only opponent. And almost in the same breath you make contradictory references to swings away from the coalition and a growing acceptance that it’s all Labour’s fault. You believe we’ve done well considering our “weakened campaign base” – we should be more concerned about the reasons it is weakened.
    You are right that we should not read too much into an individual byelection. But what about several byelections. Local elections. The AV referendum. PCC elections. Two-and-a-half years of low polling figures. Losing votes to the party that we blame for creating the mess we’re fixing. Losing votes to other parties. Declining membership figures. A double-dip recession that we said wouldn’t happen. Enthusiastic support for policies we opposed until recently. Or in the case of boundary changes, opposing what we briefly recommended. None of this points to a healthy recovering political party, instead it suggests a declining party with no clear vision or position. And let’s not forget that after Corby the coalition is a little bit smaller.

  • Peter Watson 17th Nov '12 - 10:34pm

    @matt
    “somehow Liberal Democrats still seem to think that there is going to be a huge change of fortunes and the economy will come good and they will reap the electoral rewards in 2015″
    Apparently there’s a school of thought that believes the electorate is more likely to return a Labour government when positive about the economy. Now that would be ironic.

  • I think there will be a return of a Labour government.

    The next election will not be decided on by the state of the economy regardless of whether it is good or bad.

    The majority of the electorate will be furious about the changes to the NHS, especially when figures are revealed to show the enormous profits being made by private providers at the same time as there will be dwindling services and shocking care, just like we see now in many old peoples homes or those with special needs.

    There will be anger at people losing Job Security, which will result in less people taking on the risk of owning their own home and being exploited by inflated rents in the private sector.

    As those people at the bottom rungs of the ladder see their life chances ripped away from them, the cost of living sky rocketing and struggling to make ends meet, whilst at the same time being witness to the likes of those companies in the FTSE 100, utility companies, reporting huge profits and wage increases for their executives.

    Broken Promises from the Tories of no top down reorganisation of the NHS and broken promises from Liberal Democrats to clean up politics.

    Everything this party stood for, they have failed to deliver on, no matter how they attempt to spin it.

    I think the electorate after being on the receiving end of this coalition government and it’s complete failure, will well and truly be ready to give Labour another chance at the next election.
    The electorate know’s that a Labour government will still have to impose cuts and austerity, but they know that it will be done in a more fairer and equal manor.

  • Matthew Huntbach 17th Nov '12 - 11:47pm

    matt

    yet somehow Liberal Democrats still seem to think that there is going to be a huge change of fortunes and the economy will come good and they will reap the electoral rewards in 2015.

    When you say “Liberal Democrats”, who do you mean? I’m a Liberal Democrat, and I certainly don’t think that. Nick Clegg and a few surrounding him seem to think that, but we are not a Leninist party, we are not obliged to agree with our leader.

  • @Matthew Huntbach

    To be very fair to you Matthew, you are an exception to the rule.

    You do seem to be a very rare breed, especially on this forum.

    I have seen you being very critical of the party at times and the leadership. And to be honest, I think if their were more strong characters like yourself within the party, then there would be a lot more hope.

    I can’t say I have agreed with all your comments, especially with regards to AV, but then that’s because I do not believe in AV, quite simply because I think this coalition has shown that it can not really work, that’s just my opinion.

    But on other matters. I think you have been a breath of fresh air, a realist, and not someone who blindly comes out defending the coalition on each and every topic.

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Nov '12 - 12:12am

    matt

    I can’t say I have agreed with all your comments, especially with regards to AV, but then that’s because I do not believe in AV

    Huh? AV is an algorithm, not a statement. It’s not something that can be believed in or not believed in. Perhaps you mean something else like “believe AV is a good electoral system”.. I happen to believe that AV is a ridiculous flawed electoral system, I don’t support it at all, except that I feel the current First Past the Post system is even more ridiculously flawed, and so given a choice between it and AV, I’ll take AV. If you disagree, why do you think B should become MP even though more people prefer A to B, just because some of those who prefer A to B prefer C to A? Please, I am being serious – this is the core to the AV argument, so if you think AV is a worse system than the current system, please answer my point: why do you think B should be my MP even though more people in the constituency want A than want B?

  • “I live in Bury and on Thursday night in a ward bye, the LibDem candidate gained 35 votes – 1.23% of the vote – when the Tory and Labour candidates both gained over a thousand.”

    I must admit I don’t understand how nomination papers get completed in those circumstances. Does it rely on a gesture of generosity by supporters of other parties?

  • Jesus, I was trying to play you a compliment before, could that not be taken with my deepest sincerities and left at that lol.

    If you truly want me to answer your question I will, but I have expressed that view many times on previous threads lol

  • Peter Watson 18th Nov '12 - 1:31am

    @Matthew Huntbach
    Off-topic, but I do want electoral reform and a proportional system, but am uncertain about AV.
    For example,
    why do you think B should become MP even though more people prefer A to B, just because some of those who prefer A to B prefer C to A
    I may prefer C over A, and A over B, but should my second (or third or fourth) choice carry as much weight in a later round of counting as another person’s first choice?

    I think you sum up one of the major problems with the yes campaign in the AV referendum (Clegg himself being the biggest problem): it was about replacing a flawed system with a slightly less flawed one. Nobody could step forward to champion AV as a panacea for electoral unfairness: the best we could say was AV is okay and once you get used to it we’d like to change it again for something even better. In my mind it was not a big enough reform to justify a referendum and perhaps a Lib Dem victory in the coalition agreement would have been to simply have AV implemented. Or perhaps it would have been better to demonstrate successful coalition government ;-) and then make the case for an electoral system that would ensure more of it.

  • matt,
    your misreading of what has been written here is stunning, but should be no surprise. Blame culture is only for people who do not and cannot accept responsibility or reason, blame culture is for unreasoned and irresponsible opposition.

    In one breath you complain that the economy is weak, in the next you complain that private companies are growing profits which strengthen the economy.

    In one breath you complain that growth figures are dipping in between recession and growth, in the next you complain that you cannot see any stability compared to the 6% drop at the height of the crisis.

    In one breath you state the public will judge us on our record in government dealing with the economy, in the next you prejudge the next two years as a failure and state that Labour will win.

    In one breath you complain that major high street retailers are going bankrupt, in the next will you complain that global corporations like Starbucks only reported a profit once in 15 years to avoid tax?

    In one breath you complain that it is wrong to ask Labour to take responsibility for their massive errors, in the next will you hark back to the distant days of this week when Labour figures reminded us how divisive the Thatcher years were?

    In one breath you ask for evidence, in the next you state your opinion without any supporting evidence whatsoever and at complete variance with any to be found.

    Your comments are wholly inconsistent and completely unreliable, indicating it is a mistake to engage with you in this forum. I apologise for making the effort. I won’t apologise for refusing to be drawn by you into a race to the gutter.

    Speaking more frankly, listening to your incoherent and contradictory attacks makes me worry about what will happen should your unbalanced view hold sway. It doesn’t make me lose any sleep, it’s what gets me up in the morning.

    Will I see you on the doorstep?

  • Peter,
    not optimism, determination.

    Let’s not forget that after Corby the Conservative side of the coalition is that little bit smaller.

  • @orangepan.

    Please feel free to not engage with me at all. But I am pretty confident that I am not the one who is confusing issues or being inconsistent.

    “In one breath you complain that the economy is weak, in the next you complain that private companies are growing profits which strengthen the economy”
    But those companies are not strengthening the economy or paying their fair share of tax, they are using loop holes to pay their full share of the tax and instead of taking on full time employee’s, they are taking on more and more part time.

    “in one breath you complain that growth figures are dipping in between recession and growth, in the next you complain that you cannot see any stability compared to the 6% drop at the height of the crisis”

    Again, Please explain how you believe stability has been made, The IMF and the bank of England certainly do not think so, so what do you know different to the rest of us?

    “In one breath you state the public will judge us on our record in government dealing with the economy”

    Erm actually, no I didn’t, I listed many reasons why the public would judge the record in government, and as I said there are many more factors, other than the economy on why I think this coalition will be booted out at the next election.

    “In one breath you complain that major high street retailers are going bankrupt, in the next will you complain that global corporations like Starbucks only reported a profit once in 15 years to avoid tax?”
    Yes that’s right, and the likes of Amazon, what’s your point?

    “In one breath you complain that it is wrong to ask Labour to take responsibility for their massive errors, ”
    Actually, no I didn’t. I said Labour made many mistakes in their 13 years in government, what I said was the electorate will not be interesting in hearing you constantly hark on about the previous administration, they will be judging your record in government and the complete lack of direction and mistakes, broken promises made by your party and the Tories.

    I think my views have been very clear, I may not be able to put them across as eloquently as yourself, but they have certainly not been incoherent and contradictory.

    You may chose to Ignore my views on the forum, I never asked you to engage with them in the first place, this is a “democracy” and I have a right to form my opinions and views. I do find it childish to call genuine “criticism” {Attacks} which has not been the case at all. And such accusations goes to show how tribal some people from this party still are.

    As for will I be on the doorsteps- No, like I have said many times in previous threads, I am not affiliated with any Political Party and voted both Labour and Liberal Democrat in past elections. The only dead cert for me is that I would never vote Tory.

  • BTW if you want evidence of incoherent and contradictory, you need look no further than at your own MP’s
    Case in point Sarah Teather
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/nov/17/benefit-cap-immoral-sarah-teather
    Who was more than happy to go along with the governments policies and supporting them whilst she was a Minister. And now since being sacked, she comes out attacking the policies that she voted for and supported in government.

  • @orangepan

    “Blame culture is only for people who do not and cannot accept responsibility or reason, blame culture is for unreasoned and irresponsible opposition.”

    I do find that sentence rather amusing, especially as there is a constant blame culture within the coalition and this party to blame everything on the previous Labour Government.
    Where is the acceptance of liability or reasoning from this party? This government has got a lot of things wrong and a lot of things to be sorry for, we have had a double dip recession and looks like we might be heading for a triple dip recession, do you take any responsibility for that, or do you just continue to blame Labour?

    Many businesses are relying on December Christmas sales to keep their heads afloat, and yet the predictions are that the economy will probably shrink again in the final quarter. Is that going to be Labours fault?

    If you are going to make bold statements against the opposition, then you really should hold those same opinions and standards towards your own party.

  • matt

    Noone is listening……

    It will all come good before 2015, the polls and votes are just mid-term blues (although I struggle to see what data is used as a control for this seeing the last formal Coalition like this was in the the War years but there you go) and that all those ex-voters such as me will come flocking back when Clegg, Alexander and Laws start up an election campaign.

  • matt,
    you’re talking out of your hat.

    You’ve made assumptions, sweeping generalisations and stated headline opinions based on nothing more than vague impressions. You’re wide of all possible targets.

    That’s what Labour is appealing to. Good for them. Now is not the season for straw boaters.

  • @orangepan

    “You’ve made assumptions, sweeping generalisations and stated headline opinions ”

    Actually I have formed my own opinions formed from all the information that has been shown to us. opinions formed by listening to the IMF and the Bank of England, The ONS, Charities.
    Real stories from real people who are feeling the pain from this government.

    You say I am wide of all possible targets. If I am so wrong, then please, show us the evidence that tells us different.

  • Oranjepan

    and you haven’t done the same?

    Your post at 9.20 is all based on your interpretation of the results of by-elections and comments such as

    ‘While the headlines may make grim reading for LibDems, the state of public debate is shifting towards us and will continue to do so as we head towards 2015. As the state of the economy picks up we will be able to claim additional credit from which we will reap the rewards electorally.’

    and

    ‘ I will say that the return to stability is a recovery of sorts, providing breathing space for, but masking the fact of, necessary rebalancing which is the first step to the return of real growth. ‘

    which are based on a very generous interpretation of our economic conditions.

    At virtually every single test of opinion where people have cast their votes, the LD have done badly. This is basel up by polling. You can argue that this is normal for a party in Government and also for the LD to dip between elections (the Paul Barker excuse). My reply to this is that the fact you are in Coalition makes these assumptions extremely dangerous and so you should be listening strongly to the feedback from the polls etc. The message I see and here is that the LD are the most unpopular of the three parties and all sides are treating them as a bit of a joke, even the public. That video of Clegg during the conference season was not a positive message you know – when your party is being laughed at and ridiculed then you know you are in trouble.

    However, it is you party so I will let you get on with it and we will see what tomorrow brings…….whatever it is it will not include my vote!

  • Peter Watson 18th Nov '12 - 2:27pm

    Oranjepan says “stability”, Ed Balls says “flatlining”.
    I say potato, you say potahto.
    Let’s call the whole thing off. :-)

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Nov '12 - 2:26pm

    Peter Watson

    Off-topic, but I do want electoral reform and a proportional system, but am uncertain about AV.
    For example,
    “why do you think B should become MP even though more people prefer A to B, just because some of those who prefer A to B prefer C to A”
    I may prefer C over A, and A over B, but should my second (or third or fourth) choice carry as much weight in a later round of counting as another person’s first choice

    If C had not stood in the first place, you would have voted A anyway. If someone else came along, who was absolutely in agreement with everything you wanted, what was your first choice would be relegated to your second choice. If ten such people came along what was your first choice would be relegated to your eleventh choice. So why should the power of your vote depend on who else decides or does not decide to stand?

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Nov '12 - 2:39pm

    Peter Watson

    I think you sum up one of the major problems with the yes campaign in the AV referendum (Clegg himself being the biggest problem): it was about replacing a flawed system with a slightly less flawed one.

    Yes, because that was all we were offered.

    Clegg played the game he has played since the coalition was formed – of turning a difficulty situation into a disaster by making out the compromise we had to come from, which was far from our ideal, was suddenly the best thing there could ever be. It doesn’t work, this tactic, IT DOESN’T WORK!!! So why can’t we just get rid of disaster-man Clegg and all those people who have been advising him on this disastrously poor damaging presentation technique?

    The better tactic, both more honest and less damaging to us, is to admit, yes, the weak situation we were left in after the 2010 general election, thanks to the way people voted and the distortions of the electoral system, gave us only a weak influence, if people wanted more of us they should have voted for us and supported an electoral system which is not kept by our opponents to twist us out of our fair share of seats. However, we’ll do what we can to push things a little our way – AV, though a miserable little compromise, is just one small step towards our ideal, if it’s all we are offered we had better take it.

    If the result of the AV referendum had been interpreted as “the people rejected it because it was not a thorough enough reform”, then you would have a point. But NO-ONE prominent interpreted that way. Instead, every media commentator interpreted it as a rejection of any sort of electoral reform,as a firm endorsement for the current electoral system. That was the line of the “No to AV” campaign, they did not distribute literature calling for a “No” vote on the grounds we should have proper proportional representation, their literature called for a “No” vote with arguments that were actually argument against proportional representation.

  • Peter Watson 19th Nov '12 - 6:48pm

    @Matthew Huntbach
    Re. AV – I did vote Yes, but had many reservations about AV per se and felt let down that after 30+ years of hoping for electoral reform this was all we were offered and we fell at that small hurdle :-(
    Re. the referendum – I don’t agree entirely with the argument that the No campaign was about keeping the current system and rejecting all electoral reform. Much of the No campaign was personal (why have a system that would give a discredited Nick Clegg permanent balance of power) or pointing out that even supporters of electoral reform did not like the proposed measures (the legendary miserable little compromise). On the specifics of AV, its opponents also pointed out that it was little used around the world and could still lead to unproportional representation. It might be false hope on my part, but I prefer to see it as a rejection by the electorate of AV (and to a large extent Clegg himself) that still leaves the door open to better electoral reform in the future. Sadly, I believe the biggest obstacle to this is still Clegg et al who have been a terrible advertisement for coalition government.

  • Peter,
    in politics there is a difference between a potato and a potahto, it’s where you start from.

    Balls says the economy is flatlining compared to post-war trend growth of 2-3%, and is correct. I say 0% growth is much better than the 6% decline we saw while Balls was responsible for this policy area, and I challenge anyone to dispute this.

    Two contrasting perspectives, each perfectly consistent with the other, but with opposing implications.

    The difference between us is that Balls is an elected politician vying for one of the most senior jobs in the land, I am not. What he argues reflects directly back on his public decisions.

    Balls is trying to take credit for a 50 year period when he wasn’t in office, and he is doing so to mask the crisis he actually did oversee when he was. I want him to stop arguing in the abstract and take responsibility for his actions which dramatically impacted on every person in the country.

    Balls is restating simplistic technical positions, his idealism is at the expense of reality.

    bazzasc,
    I’m not plying for your vote. You are more than capable of making up your own mind and I defend your right to this.

    However, if you think my interpretation of events is unfairly generous then you must also accept the opposite is unfairly ungenerous.

  • Matthew Huntbach 20th Nov '12 - 2:56pm

    Peter Watson

    Re. the referendum – I don’t agree entirely with the argument that the No campaign was about keeping the current system and rejecting all electoral reform. Much of the No campaign was personal (why have a system that would give a discredited Nick Clegg permanent balance of power) or pointing out that even supporters of electoral reform did not like the proposed measures (the legendary miserable little compromise).

    You may not agree with the argument that the No campaign was about keeping the current system and rejecting all electoral reform, but it has almost universally been treated that way by media commentators. I do not remember seeing a single article anywhere with the argument “The No vote means we must press ahead for full proportional representation”, but there were plenty which concluded “the No vote means the case for full proportional representation has been killed off”. Of course, I accept the fact that it wasn’t ACTUALLY a vote against proportional representation will be helpful if we ever do want to try and revive it.

    The idea that AV was rejected because it “would give a discredited Nick Clegg permanent balance of power”, however, really IS a vote against proportional representation, because that would be even more so than under AV, which, as you say, isn’t proportional so wouldn’t necessarily end the distortion which under the current system generally gives all power to the party with the most votes even if those votes were well under half the total.

    Yes, I know many people voted “No” to AV for that reason, but it was such an illogical thing to do that I think it quite right that those who did so should have it brought to their attention what they actually did.

    Why did people feel that Nick Clegg was discredited? Because they feel he “let in the Tories”. So what did they do to protest about that? Support a referendum campaign whose MAIN case was that the current system is good because it weakens the representation of third parties and strengthens that of the biggest party. That is, a system which most times LETS IN THE TORIES. Now, where is the logic in that? To protest about something you vote in favour of the very thing you are protesting against? That is EXACTLY what those who voted “No” in the referendum in order to express their dislike of Nick Clegg did. It was as illogical as voting BNP as a protest against racism.

    The Liberal Democrats were put in an unfortunate position following the May 2010 general election because while the distortion of the first-past-the-post electoral system did not give an absolute majority to the party with the most votes, it twisted its representation upwards enough, and the representation of the third party downwards enough to rule out any coalition except the one we had. It did what the opponents of AV say is its best thing – it gave us a decisive single-party led government, the third party was weakened to the point where it could and can do little to stop that. The distortions mean there are not enough LibDem MPs to make a Labour-LibDem coalition viable, which also means the LibDems have little power in the Conservative-LibDem coalition because they are unable to employ the threat “If you don’t give in to us, we’ll switch sides”. Nick Clegg didn’t have a choice over whether to “let in the Tories”. The distortions of the electoral system took it away. That is why it needs to be made absolutely clear to anyone who voted “No” in the AV referendum that they voted IN SUPPORT OF THIS GOVERNMENT. The y voted for the system that gave it to us following a “No” campaign in which this distorting aspect of that system as put forward as the main thing in its favour.

    Had there been no serious LibDem campaign in May 2010, had the LibDem share of the vote been around what it is now in the polls – which is what those who say “After what they’ve done, I want to see the LibDems destroyed” want – we wold have had a Conservative government with a clear majority then. Most constituencies which returned Liberal Democrat MPs were constituencies whose demographics and history would generally mean they would return a Conservative MP, and that is what they would have done had there been no serious LibDem campaign, and that is what they are likely to do in the next election if the Clegg-haters get their way and there is no serious LibDem campaign.

    Just why it is that so many people who dislike Clegg for the government we have now suppose it would be so much better if we had a pure Conservative government in right now mystifies me.

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