ALDC’s by-election report – 22 January 2015

Just two principal council by-elections took place yesterday. In Fife (UA), SNP held their seat in Kirkcaldy East, winning 47.3% of the first preference votes, 372 ahead of Labour who had topped the poll in the ward’s previous election in 2012. The Liberal Democrats finished 6th out of 8 candidates with 1.3% of the vote.

In Wealden (DC), the two-candidate contest in Crowborough West saw the Conservatives hold one of their two seats in the ward by winning 58.7% of the vote in defeating the UKIP candidate by 138 votes.

* ALDC is the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners

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  • The Liberal Democrats finished 6th out of 8 candidates with 1.3% of the vote.

    I am trying to be positive and look on the bright side.
    This result in Fife is better than the result in the most recent Parliamentary By-election fought by the Liberal Democrats.
    If we continue to make progress at this rate we can be sure that by the time of the 2020 General Election we will be able to guarantee that we save some deposits in some constituencies.
    Well done to the genius strategists at the top of the party.
    Obviously this result will fill the SNP with false confidence and they will be hit by a surprise attack on 7th May.
    With just 9 more PMQs until the General Election we can be confident that the people in charge of these things at the top of the party have got a real grip on elections and how to achieve success and get people elected.

    It might just be forty votes in Fife to come sixth but it could have been worse.

  • David Faggiani 23rd Jan '15 - 5:01pm

    Very restrained, John Tilley! 😀

    My mum is from Fife and my grandparents still live near Kirkcaldy, so I tend to keep an eye on “The Kingdom”. What a dismal showing, what a shame. Will be interested to see what the first year of post-coalition Lib Dem results looks like, leading up to the Scottish Election. Here’s to a recovery….

  • Dan, probably 2, Charlie K’s and Orkney & Shetland.

  • johnmc 23rd Jan ’15 – 11:07pm
    Dan, probably 2, Charlie K’s and Orkney & Shetland.

    Yes, and possibly only one of those. The people at the top of the party seem incapable of doing the arithmetic that follows from that.

    If we start with 56 seats across England, Wales and Scotland but lose 10 in Scotland.
    Lose 10 in England because the Labour vote in 2015 will be much stronger than the Labour vote in 2010.
    How many of the remaining 36 seats can they confidently predict will remain Liberal Democrat in the face of an Ashcroft informed highly targeted Tory effort to wipe out those pesky Liberals?
    Half of the 36 ?
    With the opinion poll ratings of the last 3 years and particularly the last 3 months — how exactly are the SpAds at HQ going to conjure up more than twenty MPs from the debris of say 10% national poll ratings brought on by ten years of Orange Book Delusions?
    Which part of the electorate is going to vote for a Closet Conservative when they can vote for the real thing?

  • You could say that if the Liberal Democrats had kept out of the coalition and adopted the Syriza stance toward austerity we might well have won the General Election this year. I wonder what would have happened in 2020 when all those promises had been broken because there was no money to implement them ?

    The protest parties are on the up whether it is SNP, UKIP or Green. There is a feeling about that the country needs radical change, that the rich are getting richer and that the UK is not being run for the benefit of ordinary people but for an out of touch elite which includes not just the Conservatives but also the Labour and the Liberal Democrat parties. The Liberal Democrats are suffering most because their base support was smaller to start with and they attracted most of the protest vote because they did not upset too many people. Now the protesters are dividing into right (UKIP) and left (Green) because those parties have a distinctive message and the anger is much stronger than it was in the recent past. It is happening in Greece (Syriza v Golden Dawn), France (Front National v extreme left), Italy (Bepo Grillo ),Spain (Republicanism , Podemos etc) etc. Previously those parties had only tiny levels of support so it was not worth using them for your protest vote to be effective but the Liberals were more prominent. Now UKIP and the Greens are getting more publicity they are attracting more angry people. UKIP for the old and Green for the young, but not many of them vote anyway. Remember all those who promised to vote LD in 2010 and did not do so ?

    We could be approaching a similar change in the party structure as occurred in the 1920s but there will be the same disillusion when the new groupings do not deliver the promised nirvana and the traditional pattern could well reassert itself as left, right and centre are natural divisions of the political spectrum. Extremists are small minorities in normal times. People could soon tire of them.

  • False confidence is a huge problem for the lib dems. I hear people on this site talking about winning Gordon and how Gordon is going to be like a mini independence referendum and I hold my face in my hands and think my goodness, these people have well and truly lost the plot…

    I think the only places lib dems will do well are Tory facing wealthy areas as the lib dems are now a party that represent the upper middle classes who are too open minded to vote Tory. Out side those sorts of areas they’re gone. Even Charles Kennedy could lose his seat.

  • Tsar Nicolas 24th Jan '15 - 11:14am


    There will only be a shortage of money if policymakers stick to the idea that deficits and their elimination are of the utmost importance.

    In fact, I would go further and say that we need to abandon reliance on the bond market to fund deficits and go for an altogether different approach, and base an expansionist economic policy on the inherent credit creation powers of the Bank of England.

    I would begin by a £275 billion investment plan in the British economy to fund productive work, such as infrastructure maintenance and improvement, research and development, and so on. This already goes on under the BoE’s Quantitative Easing programme, but only the banks benefit. There is no gain to the wider economy because the banks are getting virtually free credit to invest speculatively in places like equities and derivatives.

    The only possible reason which might prevent a “QE for jobs programme” is that it might, apparently, be contrary to certain provisions in the Maastricht Treaty. If that is so, we need to challenge those provisions and get them amended in order to restore the productive capacity of the UK economy and benefit ordinary people.

  • If we ditch that damned Connect and go back to the old ways in might help

  • @mch. Heartily agree.
    Connect is not only useless and counter-intuitive it also encourages American style two-party targeting, precisely when the two-party system, even at constituency level is falling apart.

  • mch 24th Jan ’15 – 12:04pm
    If we ditch that damned Connect and go back to the old ways in might help

    How would it help to ditch that damned Connect?
    I am not an expert but my guess is that even if it was ditched tomorrow it would not make anyone vote for a Cameron Coalition containing Clegg’s Closet conservatives who are all fellow anchors in the Centre

  • nvelope2003 24th Jan '15 - 3:54pm

    Tsar Nicholas: Are there enough suitably trained people to man all those industries ? I suspect not as even existing ones find it hard to get good people. The recent mess ups on Network Rail were apparently the result of lack of suitable people according to the railway press.It will take years to train them up given the inadequacies of the present educational system and the attitudes it fosters.

  • nvelope2003 25th Jan '15 - 2:34pm

    If borrowing and printing money were the solution to getting the economy going why is it that Japan has been stagnant for the past 20 years except for its massive debt and despite expenditure on public works ?

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