Election results open thread – Lib Dems biggest winners in England

As Andy has already said, it’s been a good night for the Liberal Democrats so far, regaining control of Hull after 11 years and gaining from the Conservatives in places like Colchester and West Oxfordshire.

ALDC has done a great job in getting many of its staff members elected. Its Chief Exec Tim Pickstone has left Bury and won a seat on the new Cumberland Council. Frankie Singleton, Chris Twells, Alex Warren and Tim Verboven are among others who have won.

Today we wait for results from Scotland and Wales, English councils and the rest of London.  And we are off to a healthy start:

The Tories are expected to suffer substantial casualties in Scotland. They won many of their seats under STV on the first count last time. They might struggle to pick up a lot of transfers if their vote falls. If it falls by as much as it did in Tweeddale West in the Borders, 16%, they are in trouble.

Lib Dems held that seat with a new Councillor, Dr Drummond Begg.

Former Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins is clear that Conservative misfortunes in Scotland are on Douglas Ross, not Boris Johnson.

10:25: Daisy Cooper on BBC saying that we are optimistic of more gains as we see a Lib Dem revival in rural areas – talking about gains in places like Somerset and North Yorkshire. “Liberal Democrats have shown in places like Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire that we don’t need electoral pacts as we establish ourselves as the key challengers to the Conservatives.”

Daisy says that public are scared about the increases in their bills and Liberal Democrats are focused on putting forward ideas to help while Conservative Government sits on its hand and does nothing.

She’s been pushed hard on the issue of electoral pacts and is deftly bringing it back to Lib Dems playing a significant role in helping to remove Boris Johnson and the Conservatives from office.

Daisy says that in a General Election the Greens can’t win from the Conservatives but the Liberal Democrats can and are the key challengers to them in many places around the country.

And so it continues throughout the day.

We’ve won control of new councils in Westmorland and Somerset, taken Gosport from the Tories and Ed has been all over the place.

In Kingston, we had control of the Council before the morning session of the count was over.

Professor John Curtice has had to concede how well we’ve done.

In fact, the Conservative decline has helped the Liberal Democrats even more than Labour. Coupled with the modest three point increase to 19% in the party’s projected national share since 2018, the party has so far enjoyed a net gain of 79 seats and gained control of Kingston-upon-Hull from Labour and of Somerset from the Conservatives.

Of particular note is the average increase of eight points in the Liberal Democrat vote in places where the party started off in second place to the Conservatives, a performance that the party will hope augurs well for winning so-called blue wall parliamentary seats, where the party is breathing down the Conservatives’ neck.

Overall, other than the 2019 local elections when the party also scored 19% in the projected share, the result represents its best performance in local elections since it entered into coalition with the Conservatives after the 2010 general election.


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  • I’ve always thought that over the last 10 or 15 years the political leaders in Scotland (all parties) have been fairly impressive. However, all good things come to an end. Douglas Ross seems fairly hopeless at his job and Sturgeon is looking past her sell by date. It could be a good night for Labour in Scotland and the LibDems should do OK at least.

  • Paul Barker 6th May '22 - 12:35pm

    Congratulations to all but The Greens continue to catch us up in England. On results so far we have gone from outnumbering The Greens twelve to one to only seven to one. That would suggest that the Greens could equal our numbers of Councillors in a Decade.

    We should be having a National conversation within The Party over Local Deals with The Greens – should we continue to just leave this matter to Local Parties ? Are we in danger of repeating the mistakes of Liberals in the 1890s when they nurtured the developing roots of what would become Labour ?

  • David Blake 6th May '22 - 2:45pm

    Somerset won. Lib Dems have 56 so far, which gives them control. At the moment the Tories on 31. More to come.

  • Kyle Harrison 6th May '22 - 2:55pm

    The Lib Dems are partially doing well because of discontented middle class/ Remain voters (I live in Richmond upon Thames so I know all about that, Lib Dems now utterly dominate the council). But it seems the Lib Dems are beginning to get back to their old position of winning disgruntled Tory and Labour voters (including Leave voters) hence their success in Hull and in Somerset etc… I imagine the lack of a UKIP/ Farage led party is helping the Lib Dems. Of course, Farage and Lib Dems are poles apart ideologically but many voters don’t vote ideologically. Quite a few Lib Dem voters in the past became UKIP voters. Now without a UKIP I reckon the Lib Dems can start picking up some Leave type voters that are no longer voting on the issue of Brexit but are voting on good old fashioned bread and butter issues. The funny thing about all this however, is that it creates a disincentive for the Lib Dems to ever make Brexit/ EU an issue. The same for Labour as they expand in Leave Britain. The more Leavers start voting for Lab and Lib Dems the more those parties will not want to reopen Pandora’s box or otherwise lose their voters all over again.

    My prediction for the next GE is one Hell of mess. I can picture no party being able to form a majority government. And creating a coalition of any kind practically and politically very difficult. Maybe another election within 12 months.

  • Mick Taylor 6th May '22 - 4:00pm

    Kyle Harrison. No problem with a second election after 12 months as long as we get PR (by STV) out of the mess.

  • David Sheppard 6th May '22 - 6:16pm

    Paul Barker…The Greens are to the Left of the Liberal Democrats but we should get used to them being around, after all under PR we will have to work with all types. We have to be the UK middle ground party. I am a vegetarian, business owner, ex local councilor who feels safer with a UK nuclear weapon and believe Brexit was economic suicide. I could only be a Liberal Democrat. Proud to have helped get a Liberal Democrat to 2nd place in a Dudley ward yesterday first time we have been close for years. Will win it next year for sure.

  • Tristan Ward 6th May '22 - 8:39pm

    Totally agree with Paul Barker. There is a serious risk to us in the Greens bwco.ing the default protest vote, especially for the young. Once liberalism was the default: now environment is the easy sell and the Green”s message is a simple one.

    We can also expect the Toris to tell the world that we are the same as Labour. This may be somewhere where adiscrwte reference to the 2010-15 coalition may be useful…….

  • Labour canvasser kicked off at me in my front garden on Thursday about the 2010 coalition. They’ve not forgotten, for sure!

  • Paul Barker: yes indeed, the Green Party is our enemy, and is a real danger.
    But for now forward to Tiverton and Honiton and maybe Somerton and Frome.

  • Nonconformistradical 7th May '22 - 11:56am

    Hopefully you kept him talking for a good while (i.e. wasted their time…?

  • Barry Lofty 7th May '22 - 12:55pm

    Perhaps you could have asked the Labour canvasser why his party stuck with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of their party at the last election thereby handing victory to Boris Johnson on a plate?

  • Theakes is right. We should all be focusing right now on Tiverton & Honiton. I make no apology for posting this again: https://tivandhonlibdems.org.uk/en/donate
    “£10 funds 30 minutes phone canvassing.” Be a hero. Send them some money (Now!) And then share the page with others who might do the same.

  • Excellent. I now have a LibDem councillor for the first time. David Hingley for Bodicote, Bloxham and Adderbury in Cherwell DC. He put out 6 leaflets to the Tory’s 1 terrible one and nearly doubled the Tory vote.

  • The SNP position in a hung parliament will be played and played by the Tories and their press. But voters won’t hold off a change of government forever to avoid that question and the high point of separation may have been reached. Scots will be less keen to Leave the UK after a change of government.

  • The Tories and SNP do well out of bigging each other up as the bogey-man.

    In reality, so long as Labour & LibDem MPs outnumber the Tories (and DUP) then the SNP would be under extreme pressure to support the kind of policies that would be agreed. They might want to complain a bit, and could threaten to abstain, but if they are too awkward then they would be punished at the next election. They’re good at spin, but even they’d struggle to explain voting with the Tories to bring down a Labour-led government.

  • Brad Barrows 8th May '22 - 11:34pm

    I think a change of UK government will make little difference to the half of Scotland that believes the country should be independent. Even a temporary break from Tory rule will not change the fact that the Tories have not won a General Election in Scotland since 1959 but, despite this, the country has still had to endure Tory governments for most of the years since then. Plus, Scotland is pro-EU and independence may be the fastest way for Scotland to rejoin.

  • Alex Macfie 9th May '22 - 8:52am

    @Cassie: Yes, many Labour and 57-varieties activists are still obsessed with the Coalition. Whether ordinary voters remember or care about it anymore is another matter. In this campain I only got it once on the doorstep, from a self-confessed Corbynista who was voting Labour in the knowledge that it was a Con~Lib Dem battleground locally.
    Worth asking any Labour activist who mentions the C-word why Labour MPs voted for Johnson’s disastrous Brexit deal.

  • @Brad – it’s not true that half of Scotland wants independence. Poll after poll shows only a minority of those who have a view one way or another support it and a good chunk of them just like the idea of an independent Scotland, with only a fraction actively desperate for it to happen soon. The really important thing that polling shows is that the vast majority do not want another referendum on independence in the near future.

    The SNP go to great lengths to remind people we have a Tory government and they do so because that’s a vote winner for them.

    Beware of overplaying the pro-EU card too. If you scratch the surface of those campaigning for independence on the grounds of joining the EU, you soon realise they have no understanding of the process for an iScot to join the EU. Instead they come out with David Davies style rhetoric about how they’d love to have us. It’s also apparent that most of the SNP/EU lovers were willing to leave the EU with the UK when they voted in 2014.

    The reality is that most Scots voted to stay in the EU for the same reasons we voted to stay in the UK.

  • @Alex – from what I can gather, beyond a certain sort of hard-core Labour activists who believe half the Labour party aren’t proper Labour, the only people who seem determined to bring up the ‘disastrous coalition’ are those who want to keep the Tories in power. Arguably, that group includes those in Labour who favour political purity over actually helping people, but a lot of the time it’s actual Conservatives who want to keep people talking about it.

  • Sorry, posted too soon. I meant to agree with you Alex that if the Labour purists want to bang on about coalition, it’s is worth mentioning that Labour voted with the Tories on a number of things, including the Brexit deal. More recently the Labour lords let us all down by failing to use the power available to them to stop dodgy Tory legislation from passing.

    I don’t think it’s an angle we should push too hard, as that’s us falling into the same trap, but there are times when it’s worth reminding Labour activists that they don’t have the moral high ground on everything.

  • Martin – do you know the requirements for joining the EU to know that I am ‘exaggerating’? If you are talking about goodwill, then it suggests you don’t.

    A poll released today, from surveying last week, shows has 58% of voters wanting to stay in the UK and 42% want to leave. 29% want another referendum in the timeline proposed by the SNP. When asked what should be the Scottish Government’s top three priorities, just one in ten mentioned independence.

    I understand why hardcore nationalists want to spin everything to be about how everyone in Scotland wants independence or that joining the EU would be easy. I don’t know how many of them believe it, or just see these dodgy claims as a means to boost their cause. But we need to be honest with ourselves. Us Scots self determined in 2014 and our politics still hasn’t recovered. Sturgeon said she wouldn’t push for another referendum until opinion polls showed support for separation to be consistently about 60%

    It’s the SNP that’s similar to the Tories on this one. Scexit, like Brexit is motivated by a vain sense of nationalistic exceptionalism with a side order of blaming our neighbours. If you lived through nastiness of the last referendum you wouldn’t be so relaxed about suggesting another one.

  • I repeat, goodwill is not the issue and concerns like a possible Spanish veto are raised only as a red herring to distract from the meaningful challenge – meeting the economic requirements.

    The EU rules require a structural deficit of less than 3% and our own currency, which are requirements that (pre-pandemic) the UK met, but Scotland didn’t. Aspects of this were discussed in the SNP’s “Growth Commission” report, which was swiftly swept under the carpet by nationalists and rejected at SNP conference because it laid out some hard truths. It was very clear that severe austerity measures would be required – more severe than those imposed after the financial crash – year on year for at least ten years. That’s without attempting to put aside the money for a central bank to allow us to have an independent currency or economic independence.

    Has your relative read the Growth Commission report or any analysis of it? Is she independently wealthy and OK with Scotland’s public services being decimated? Does she have a view on what currency an iScot would use? Does she understand the economic implications of that choice? Would she leave us to it if the economy tanked?

    Consider that independence is the number one life-long political ambition of most members of the SNP, yet they’ve still not got round to working out what currency we’d use? Why do you think that is?

  • Tristan Ward 10th May '22 - 2:43pm

    One of the big lessons of the coalition for us Lib Dems is that the smaller party gets stuffed at the subsequent election. I see no reason why that should not happen following a coalition with Labour. The price of any coalition must be immediate PR across the country at every level. Ideally there should be no coalition unless and until a PR Act is passed and law.

  • re the Labour canvasser… he went from a cheery ‘have you voted?’ through ‘moral high ground’ disdain, to frosty/slightly huffy. Then gave up and walked off. To my disappointment, as there were plenty more (perfectly polite) points I’d have been very happy to make!

  • Peter Watson 10th May '22 - 3:58pm

    @Tristan Ward “The price of any coalition must be immediate PR across the country at every level.”
    But given the parties’ present positions on electoral reform, and current polling, projected vote share, predicted seats, etc., would that be representative and democratic, even if it is what many of us want?

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