Category Archives: General Election

Top twenty tables from the election results: part 1

This is the first in a series of posts pulling out some of the constituency results which we’ll be running this week. The data is taken from Pippa Norris’s data set (for which thanks).

Twenty highest Liberal Democrat vote shares:


How general election vote shares have changed over the years

This graph shows the UK-wide vote shares for each of the three main parties, along with the total Conservative plus Labour share. As you can see, the proportion of people voting for one of the two largest parties dropped again this time, hitting another record post-war low.

The combination of this and our voting system means that the Conservative Party’s share of the vote was sufficient to make the party the largest, but at any previous election it would have been a vote share that would have sent the party to defeat rather than 10 Downing Street. The Liberal Democrat vote …


Coalition ahoy

News trickling in that the Conservatives have offered the Liberal Democrats a coalition. The Lib Dem parliamentary party and Federal Executives, without whom a coalition cannot be ratified, are currently meeting to consider it.

There’s even talk of an emergency Special Conference this weekend which will mean conference representatives across the country pricking their ears up.

But the rolling news media are considering it a done deal already.

Amongst the headlines are that Nick Clegg will serve as Deputy Prime Minister, Danny Alexander as Secretary of State for Scotland, along with three other Lib Dems in the cabinet and a further …

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What Lib Dem members think about talking to the Tories: LDV poll results

Lib Dem Voice has been conducting a survey today of party members registered on our members’ forum asking them for their views of the discussions that have been taking place between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. Here’s what you’ve told us …

  • 89% support Nick Clegg’s decision to let the party with the most votes and most seats try and form a government;
  • 90% support Nick Clegg’s decision to enter into discussions with the Conservative party on that basis;
  • 80% say that significant progress on electoral reform is a deal-breaker;
  • 98% rate Nick Clegg’s performance during the campaign as effective or very effective, with Vince Cable scoring 85%.

Full results below:

Also posted in LDV Members poll | Tagged | 91 Comments

Looks like Lord Ashcroft flopped again

Back in March I doubted how good Lord Ashcroft’s target seat operation for the Conservatives might actually be, pointing out:

Here’s his own account of his record supporting target seats at the 2005 general election:

The national swing from Labour to Conservatives was 3.2 per cent, yet the swing in the seats which we supported was 3.8 per cent.
Dirty Politics, Dirty Times by Michael Ashcroft, p.296

You read that right: by his own admission, all his expertise and money achieved was a paltry o.6 per cent extra swing.

Looks like my doubts were right because, as Anthony Wells points out:

The Conservatives performed

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Opinion: The linked vote shares of UKIP and the BNP

The 2010 General Election was a failure for Britain’s two openly xenophobic parties.

UKIP stood in 556 constituencies and lost their deposit in 459 (83%). Their vote share varied between 0.65 and Nigel Farage’s 17.3 in Buckingham where none of the three main parties contested the Speaker’s seat. No other UKIP candidate hit double digits.

The average vote share per UKIP candidate was 3.54.

The BNP stood in 338 constituencies and lost their deposit in 267 (80%). Their vote share varied between 0.4 and Nick Griffin’s 14.6 in Barking. Only two other BNP candidates hit double digits.

Eight out UKIP’s …

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 15 Comments

Lib Dems in 1st or 2nd place in almost 300 seats across UK

One of the least known facts about the last parliament, and which deserved to be more widely publicised, was that the Lib Dems were either in first or second place in 250 constituencies across the UK – which made the media’s tired and almost exclusive concentration on Labour and the Tories for most of the last five years all the more irritating.

Well, for all the disappointment of last Thursday’s election results, the party has by one measure at least made a big stride forward, as Anthony Wells’ UK Polling Report makes clear:

The notional 2005 figures had the Lib Dems

Also posted in News | Tagged | 7 Comments

Party President Ros Scott’s message to Lib Dem members

Lib Dem party president Baroness Ros Scott today emailed members with the following message to keep everyone updated on the progress of talks:

Dear Friend,

On Saturday we had a very positive discussion. The Parliamentary Party, Shadow Cabinet and the Federal Executive have fully endorsed the position set out by Nick Clegg.

We will continue to put the national interest first and play a constructive role in providing the stable and good government people deserve.

We have heard what the Labour Party and Gordon Brown are saying but in line with the position Nick Clegg outlined yesterday we are continuing discussions with the Conservative


Proportion matters – the diagram that shows the election result is balls



What do you make of David Cameron’s “offer”?

I’ve not seen a transcript yet, but here’s ConservativeHome’s paraphrase of David Cameron’s supposed “offer” to the Lib Dems:

I thank Nick Clegg for recognising that the Tories won most new seats and I will now talk to the Liberal Democrats about delivering the kind of government Britain needs.

I offer reassurances to the Liberal Democrats so that they support a minority Conservative government but I am also willing to discuss other possibilities.

There are some non-negotiables. No government can give more powers to Europe. We must be strong on immigration. It is reasonable that the bulk of the Tory manifesto is

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The morning after the night before: 10 questions we need to answer (but maybe not today)

Here’s a few to ponder … Or perhaps best to sleep on them.

1. What happened to the predicted Lib Dem surge? Did people change their mind at the last minute? Did young people not turn out? Did floating voters turn their back on us?

2. How did the opinion polls get the Lib Dem share of the vote so badly wrong? They were pretty accurate in terms of the Labour/Tory vote, but all nine of the final polls put the Lib Dems in the 26-29% range when in fact we scored 23%.

3. What happened to our targeting strategy? Given our share of the vote was higher than in 2005, how did we lose so many seats? Did we over-reach ourselves? Or did we underestimate the residual Labour/Tory vote?

4. Why were there such differences between results in individual Lib Dem seats, sometimes making gains against the Tories (eg, Wells, Eastbourne), sometimes suffering horrendous swings (eg, Oxford West & Abingdon, Montgomeryshire). Incumbency seems to have helped in some places, not in others: why?

5. Should Nick Clegg have ruled out any form of coalition before the election to avoid a week of the campaign getting bogged down in the usual hung parliament media process stories? Was it a mistake to state openly the party wouldn’t work with Gordon Brown if Labour came third?

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Seat we just missed / just won

Thanks to Duncan Brack of the Liberal Democrat History Group for pulling this list together so near wins / misses spotted so far and to various commenters who have added to it:


Ashfield 192 (0.4%)
Edinburgh South 316 (0.7%)
Hampstead & Kilburn 799 (1.6%)
Hull North 641 (1.9%)
Oldham East & Saddleworth 103 (0.2%)
Sheffield Central 165 (0.4%)
Swansea West 504 (1.4%)

Camborne & Redruth 66 (0.2%)
Chesterfield 549 (1.2%)
Oxford West & Abingdon 176 (0.3%)
Rochdale 889 (1.9%)
Truro & Falmouth 435 (0.9%)


Bradford East 365 (0.9%)
Mid Dorset & Poole North 269 (0.6%)
Norwich South 310 (0.7%)
Solihull 175 (0.3%)
Wells 800 (1.4%)


Opinion: Let’s challenge Cameron’s hype – this is NOT the Tories’ “best result for 80 years”!

“It looks like the Conservatives have won more seats that we have for 80 years.” – David Cameron

That clip may well be played again and again today, as his spin doctors would have hoped when they wrote the line. But what would those words mean to you if you were not one of the political cogniscenti?

When David Cameron stood up in his Oxfordshire constituency last night and said these words, he was surely attempting to spin the result as a great Conservative victory.

They were hoping that many ordinary people would think the Tories had ‘won more seats’ …

Also posted in Op-eds | 27 Comments

The LDV Election Night Live-Blog: 3.00 – 4.30 pm

4.23 am

Horrible news: Lib Dems’ Evan Harris LOSES seat of Oxford West & Abingdon to Tories on a 6.9% swing:

Conservative 23,906 42.3% (+9.6)
Evan Harris Liberal Democrat 23,730 42.0% (-4.1)
Labour 5,999 10.6% (-5.2)

Malcolm Bruce HOLDS Gordon.

4.19 am

Lib Dems’ Paul Holmes LOSES Chesterfield.

Bob Russell HOLDS Chesterfield, 6,982 majority.

4.14 am

Fantastic result for Tom Brake in Carshalton & Wallington, with a 4.3% swing from Tory to Lib Dem:

Tom Brake Liberal Democrat 22,180 48.3 +7.9
Conservative 16,920 36.8 -0.6
Labour 4,015 8.7 -8.6

More good news (this is all relative, I realise): Danny Alexander HOLDS Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.



The LDV Election Night Live-Blog: 10.30 pm – 12 midnight

11.55 pm

The BBC has – belatedly – recognised the story that’s been staring them in the face … thousands of voters disenfranchised:

Hundreds of voters across the country have been turned away from polling stations as long queues formed ahead of the 2200 BST voting deadline.

Turnout was predicted to be higher than recent elections, including 2005.

There were three-hour queues in Sheffield, voters were turned away in Manchester and police said one London polling station was open at 2230 BST.

The law says polling station doors must close at 2200 and no-one can be issued with a ballot paper after that time.


The Lib Dem 2010 general election campaign: punching above our weight

Much of the focus, understandably enough, has been on Nick Clegg’s TV debates performances boosting the party’s standing. But actually that’s not what has most impressed me about the Lib Dem campaign: it’s been the disciplined professionalism shown by Lib Dem HQ.

Let’s start off with the two key campaign themes … Change that works for you, and Building a fairer Britain. They received a fair amount of derision when they first appeared – and yet they worked, and worked well. (I wonder if we’ll read that in the next issue of Liberator?)

First, by recognising that this would be a …

Also posted in Op-eds | 6 Comments

The significance of May 27th

One of the tragedies of the general election campaign was the death of John Boakes, UKIP candidate for Thirsk & Malton. As a result polling in the general election there has been delayed until May 27th.

These sorts of delayed polls happen thankfully rarely and are not usually of wider political significance. However, if the election result is as close as the polls suggest it will be, May 27th could turn into one of the first significant political tests for whoever is Prime Minster and whatever arrangements they’ve made (or not made) to get that post.

The notional result in 2005 …

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One last polling prediction (and it shows Lib Dems with over 100 MPs)

Just two hours until the exit polls have their say, but if you can’t wait for that … Nate Silver’s site has run through pretty much every poll result permutation to come up with a range of projections as to how the House of Commons will look on 7th May.

Here’s their official final projection, which shows the Lib Dems in second place by the slimmest of margins (but of course with half the number of Labour MPs) – and the Tories likely to end up running …

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Just 3 hours left to make your predictions in LDV’s general election competition

You have until 9.55 pm this evening, Thursday 6th May, to make your predictions about the outcome of today’s general election.

All you have to do is offer up your best guesses for the following four questions:

    1. What will be the shares of the popular UK vote recorded by the three main parties in the general election?

    2. How many Lib Dem MPs will be elected?

    3. Who will be Prime Minister at 5pm on Friday, 7th May?

Comments Off on Just 3 hours left to make your predictions in LDV’s general election competition

Three very different endorsements for the Lib Dems

It’s not just been the public making up its mind over the last 24 hours – a number of political bloggers have also declared who they’ll be voting for in the last day. Mostly, this is along party lines, as you might expect. But some have stood out from the crowd – here are three which have caught my eye …

Why this ex-Tory Boy is voting Liberal Democrat (Jack of Kent)

Until this election I have always voted Conservative. … By background I am a tribal Tory, from generations of Birmingham working class Tories and Tory-Unionists dating back to when

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Why the Lib Dem surge was at just the right time

Okay, so the heady days of ‘Cleggmania’ – with the Lib Dems briefly in first place in the polls as high as 34% – did not last until election day itself.

Few of us expected it to, really, though it was delicious while it lasted. The fact that every single one of the nine final polls showed the Lib Dems in the 26-29% range, neck-and-neck with Labour, would have been beyond our wildest imaginations just one month ago.

But, still, there’s a percpetion in the media that the Lib Dems have somehow faded in the final week of the campaign …

Also posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments

Final poll of the campaign: Lib Dems at 27%

Lib Dem Voice reported eight of the final day polls yesterday – there was just one last polling company, Ipsos MORI, due, and their figures have now been published by the London Evening Standard:

    CON 36%(nc), LAB 29%(-1), LIB DEM 27%(+4)

The average of these nine final polls is reported by the Standard as follows, with changes from 2005 in brackets:

    CON 36%(+3), LAB 28%(-8), LIB DEM 27%(+5)

There were apparently 91 polls published during the 2010 general election campaign, compared with 30 five years ago.

Also posted in Polls | 4 Comments

The New York Times lauds Nick Clegg’s “central role” in election race

One of the most amazing – and welcome – aspects of this election campaign has been how Nick Clegg has completely stolen the show, as Jonathan Freedland noted in his Guardian article yesterday. But it’s not just at home that ‘Cleggmania’ has been in evidence: the foreign press in particular have been fascinated by his rise without trace.

Here, for example, is how a major feature in the New York Times begins:

LIVERPOOL, England — Chris Garlick arrived a skeptic, but departed a convert.

“I think he’s refreshing,” Mr. Garlick said of Nick Clegg, the earnest, fresh-faced leader of the newly

Also posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Boost for Tim Farron as former Labour candidate backs Lib Dems

The Westmoreland Gazette reports the good news for the very splendid Tim Farron’s re-election hopes:

TIM Farron’s campaign to retain Westmorland and Lonsdale has received an unlikely boost from his former Labour opponent in the 2005 General Election.

In an open letter to voters, John Reardon urged people not to support his old party but instead to cast their votes for the Liberal Democrats to ‘keep out the Conservatives’.

“I am writing to you asking you to support Tim and the Liberal Democrats at this election,” writes Mr Reardon.

“Labour cannot win in Westmorland, as I learned with only seven per cent of

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Nick: “Today’s the day we can deliver fairness for Britain.”

A ‘virtual’ Good Morning leaflet arrived in Lib Dem members’ email inboxes this morning from Nick Clegg:

Dear Friend,

Today’s the day we can deliver fairness for Britain.

But we need your help today to make it happen.

I know we’ve all worked so hard in this campaign already. You might already be out and about delivering “Good Morning” leaflets. If so – thank you!

But votes don’t count until they’re in the ballot box.

Everything you can do today will make a huge difference. Every door you can knock on or leaflet you can deliver will be vital.

And don’t forget to vote yourself!


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How to vote

A few key pieces of information for polling day:

  • Polling stations are open between 7am and 10pm today. No votes can be cast after 10pm; it’s not like the shops where being in the queue at closing time is enough.
  • You don’t need your polling card to vote.
  • You have to vote at your local polling station, which is indicated on the card. If you’ve lost your card and aren’t sure where to vote, you can contact your local council.
  • Postal ballots can be handed in at polling stations today. Make sure all the paperwork is completed and put inside the (outer) sealed envelope.


Pollwatch Day 30 #GE2010 – Lib Dems at 26-29%, neck-and-neck with Labour, in final polls (UPDATED)

Okay, well this is it – the final polls of the campaign are published tonight. Here’s what’s in so far:

    YouGov in The Sun … CON 35%(nc), LAB 28%(-2), LIB DEM 28%(+4)
    Opinium in the Express … CON 35%(+2), LAB 27%(-1), LIB DEM 26%(-1)
    TNS BMRB … CON 33%(-1), LAB 27%(nc), LIB DEM 29%(-1)
    Populus in The Times … CON 37%(+1), LAB 28%(+1), LIB DEM 27%(-1)
    Angus Reid for … CON 36%(+1), LAB 24%(+1), LIB DEM 29%(nc)
    Harris in the Daily Mail … CON 35%(-1), LAB 29%(+3), LIB DEM 27%(-1)
    ICM in the Guardian … CON 36%(+3), LAB 28%(nc), LIB DEM 26%(-2)
    ComRes for the Indy/ITV …

Also posted in Polls | 15 Comments

In case you need an incentive to keep working til the last possible minute …

Feet tired, aching, sore from so much delivery? Canvassed so much you’ve forgotten the candidate’s name (and you are the candidate)? Your home a tip, full of surplus leaflets and un-done housework?

In case you needed any further reason for keeping going til you drop for just one more day, here’s a reminder from polling firm ComRes’s Andrew Hawkins:

… some 38% of adults say that they may well change their mind before tomorrow. The party whose supporters are most fickle are the Lib Dems, making their impact especially hard to call.

Also of interest in this final poll is the


Ways to get in touch with Lib Dem Voice on polling day

Lib Dem Voice will be providing as comprehensive as possible a results service on the night of 6th May, right through into Friday.

We’ll bring you the latest news, tweets, photos, reaction etc as soon as we have it, and for as long as we’re awake. You can also follow us on Twitter or via Facebook.

Our best source of information about how the Lib Dems are faring up and down the country will be you, our readers. Please let us have your latest titbits and tips no matter where you are in the UK.

You can contact us in …

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Place your guesses now – the LDV General Election prediction competition

With just over 12 hours until polls open, it’s time to launch the LDV election prediction competition to our readers: enough of the speculating it’s time to pin your colours to the mast. What do you think will happen in the 2010 general election on 6th May?

All you have to do to be crowned LDV’s 2010 soothsayer is give your answers to the following four questions:

    1. What will be the shares of the popular UK vote recorded by the three main parties in the general election?

    2. How many Lib Dem MPs will be elected?

    3. Who will be Prime Minister at


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