ICYMI: Complain to BBC about coverage of Lib Dem local election win

There are two elements of the BBC’s coverage of the local elections that are simply ridiculous and need to be complained about.

The first is their oft expressed line that the message the voters were giving to the Conservative and Labour parties is that they wanted them to get on with Brexit.

So that would be why they voted in huge numbers for the party whose aim is to stop Brexit, then, is it?

The Liberal Democrats gained over 700 seats, a spectacular feat by any standards. We put in our best ever performance in terms of seat gain in a local election. The message is clear – a significant proportion of the electorate want this Brexit nonsense to be stopped.

The second

Seriously. The BBC’s flagship political programme has no guest from the Liberal Democrats on the weekend after we won a national election.

That has to be disgraceful by any standards.

Things will only change if enough of us complain about it. The BBC may churn out rubbish responses to complaints but they will take notice of what people are complaining about. So, before you head out of the day, complain away. 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Bill le Breton 4th May '19 - 9:34am
  • I agree with Caron that the Marr show should have a representative from a party that clearly had a excellent result in the local elections. I would also have liked to hear from some of the many successful independent candidates. However, the BBC and others seem to be concentrating on the mess in the Tory and Labour parties. It’s a shame because it would have been an enjoyable change to hear from happy winners rather than depressed losers. I suppose viewers enjoy a good disaster story. As for Brexit I think we need to wait for the EU elections before we can decide how the voters feel about that. My guess is they will show a country still divided down the middle.

  • nigel hunter 4th May '19 - 10:27am

    Yes complain to the BBC.
    We must rapidly get the thank you letters out stating WE are the party of remain,stop Brexit. We have no high profile media people like Change UK have. Our strength lies on the ground and should be organised not just for the Euro’s but for the general election that will be approaching if May goes or is not untill 2022.
    Change UK blanked out Jo. in one of their media articles.All parties will be ganging up on us. We need to campaign for PR as the parties that do not come on top of the pile . An ‘unholy alliance’ could bring forth PR.will feel cheated

  • Seriously…. Starting to sound like the tories and Labour and snp… Oh oh the BBC is biased against us. They have a tory, a Labour, a Welsh nationalist and the green.. Yay green well done. This was probably lined up weeks ago. Yet we cannot argue that the majority of people want brexit stopped as you could argue that in the North we didn’t do as well. This is the brexit heart lands. So perhaps less preaching and screeching at them and that they are wrong and a little more listening to their concerns. I for one do not like what the EU has become, been very vocal about it on this site several times. I do not believe in the federal Europe in no manner shape or form or a united States, what I believe in is a cooperative Europe. So lets make it clear what we believe in… And. Y the way the EURO… Loathe that as well

  • “The BBC’s flagship political programme has no guest from the Liberal Democrats on the weekend after we won a national election.” that’s not true. It’s right to say we got the most gains, but the Conservatives won the election, with the most Councillors and control of the most Councils.

  • Dan, I recognise your concern that it does all sound like the Tories/Labour/SNP complaining, and they often do complain unfairly, but you know what else? They get substantially more media coverage than us and in the case of the SNP they got a fraction of our votes. And the SNP have no shame in complaining about their UK-wide coverage on weeks when it’s English/Northern Irish elections (along with every other week) when they always get the most air-time in Scotland only news all year round.

    So yes, complaining can feel a bit cringy, but unfortunately we’re living in times when the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

  • nigel hunter 4th May '19 - 10:48am

    You can argue that the countries of the EU are going ‘right wing’ ie Italy but non wish to leave the organisation. Their is a history of war disrupting the nations from Spanish civil war to the destruction of WW2. They know the EU is a unifying force in a hostile world. Unity is strength. Nations co-operating. If we are not ‘in it’ we must remain VERY close to it. We have Trump ready to devour us and China sneaking in thru the back door (Hunt has a Chinese wife, China buying up companies etc in the EU sphere). On our own we are nothing. Only the strong survive,unity is strength

  • Yeovil Yokel 4th May '19 - 10:59am

    Nigel Hunter – even if Jeremy Hunt’s wife was Chinese (she’s not, she’s from Japan) you’re stretching credibility by implying that a Chinese spouse of a British Cabinet Minister is a threat to national security.

  • Nigel Hunter, what you’re seeing is the rise of nationalism stoked by the fear of an over arching scheme that has not been accepted by the population. It is the disconnect between political and population. The eu is locking nationalism in… An artificial construct not an natural progression… Yugoslavia in a word. I have not been asked how much power the eu should have, I have little say in what direction it should go and I have e very little say in what impact it has on my life. So its a two fingers up from me. So what do I get from the Libdems a party I love… YOUR WRONG AND WE MUST DO IT. That’s your problem your telling people they are wrong, your shouting at them, telling they are stupid, misguided and your not getting to the route of the problem and accepting. There are two views… Within this party as well… I do not like the EU I do not like its construct and I voted remain but the carping on here is making me switch my vote if I had the chance… If eu was built on idea of cooperation and the sovereignity of an individual nation comes first but cooperation in fields.. Yay all for it. Freedom to work yay… Freedom to move Yay.. But no to a EU parliament and to a EU state. There are different types of unity… But forced unity is a no… It only leads to nationalism and that’s why anti eu parties are doing well. Because people wishes are concerns are being over ruled and scorned

  • John Marriott 4th May '19 - 11:14am

    Complain? What for? Yes, Thursday night brought the Lib Dems back to some extent where they belong when roughly one third of the electorate votes, at least where it has the chance to (no local elections, for example, in Wales, Scotland or London, for example).

    When ALL the electorate gets a chance to vote, the Lib Dems are still viewed as “one of the smaller parties”. As I have said many times before, to achieve a percentage nearer 20 than to 10 in most elections in Europe would probably make most ‘Liberal’ parties there think that all their Christmases had come at once.

    They might have been ‘local’ elections and, indeed a healthy proportion of people, including surprisingly none other than Peter Martin, the current ’bête noire’ of many LDV contributors, appear to have treated them as such. However, for many, including most of the media it would seem, something beginning with ‘B’ was really on their mind.

    Now, if we do vote for an MEP at the end of the month, what the Lib Dems need to do is, instead of throwing their toys out of the pram, as some would apparently have them do, to concentrate on persuading those remainers still around to choose them as the repository of their single vote and not, say Change UK or the Greens or indeed fence sitters such as Tory or Labour, whose traditional support may leech towards the new Brexit Party.

    Not long ago Mark Argent talked about Lib Dem “priorities” for the European Parliamentary Elections. I replied that Priority #1 should be to get more Lib Dem MEPs returned to Brussels/Strasbourg. I’ll stick with that, thank you very much. After all, Ms Bearder must have felt mighty lonely over there these past few years. Someone like my old friend, Bill Newton Dunn, for starters, would make an excellent addition and I bet there are a few more like him out there heading the Lib Dem Party List.

  • York Yokel she isn’t Japanese
    Hunt said: ‘My wife is Chinese and my children are half-Chinese and so we have Chinese grandparents who live in Xian and strong family connections in China’ and these comments could have threatened to offend officials after decades of Chinese-Japanese tensions. But who is Lucia Guo?

  • Reality is having a chilling effect on people. We can see as the realisation that times for most are getting worse, we see the flight instinct taking over. The problem is the flight instinct is driving people to delusion. We have many delusions, the delusion we can remake the EU as we like (Dan and Co, you can’t), the delusion we can retreat to a glourious past ( many a Brexiteers), the we must leave the world and to return to our little village (Glen and Co). The problem is reality cares not for delusion, yes you can do all of those things, but they come at a high cost. Many Brexiteers cry if only we have a real Brexiteer leader everything will be fine, it won’t it would come at a high cost, but again I fear for many the search for delusion would continue. Of cause the oppersite of the flight reaction is fight, so I’d urge people to fight for a better world and not to turn and run into the nightmare of delusion.

  • Yeovil Yokel 4th May '19 - 1:25pm

    Apologies, you’re quite correct frankie (& Nigel Hunter). Hunt speaks Japanese and mistakenly referred to his wife as Japanese during a visit to Beijing last year, so my fuzzy recollection was correct but based on a factual error. It doesn’t change my point, though, that she doesn’t pose a threat to national security.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 4th May '19 - 1:35pm

    This is a sensible piece. The BBC are a joke. The best of it anybody loves, is commercial, and could survive a complete privatisation of that side, Strictly come dancing, Doctor Who, dramatic detective stories, these could be on my suggestion , part of , a new venture, BBC Private /Commercial. Funded by adverts, sponsors, or subscribers.

    Current affairs, parliament, education, classical or rare or emerging arts, could be on, the other new venture, BBC Public/Cultural. Funded by a grant as received by the National Theatre, RSC, orchestras, theatres, from the DCMS.

    TV Licence, the reverse of liberalism in policy , but an example of statism in reality, abolished.

    As for the current set up, it is shameful, elitist undemocratic, we pay, but have no say. You can complain, but they do nothing, have been there done that. But do carry on doing it. Better to join my campaigns against this and influence our party to be liberal democrats on these issues not conservative nostalgists.

  • Dan,
    Do complain and you don’t get listened to. Perhaps the party should tell the BBC we are in favour of abolishing the licence fee, my how they’d fall over themselves to listen after that.

  • I did this two weeks ago over a similar, what I thought was an unfair failure to treat the Lib Dems on an equal basis. They said my concern had been passed up the management chain to editiorial level. Nothing much seems to have changed. Sky on the other hand have been much better, credit where credit is due.
    BBC seems to follow the Downing Street line.

  • Martin Land 4th May '19 - 6:52pm

    No, this NOT the right thing to do. We are about to issue millions of THANK YOU leaflets. Point out that the London elitist represented by the BBC, Labour and the Tories want to ignore you and the views you expressed through the Ballot Box on Thursday. Make them understand by voting Lib Dem on Thursday 23rd.

  • marcstevens 4th May '19 - 9:26pm

    I decided to complain too. I am sure another party’s members, supporters or voters even would’ve done exactly the same if they were ignored or not invited on this show after such a huge success.

  • @John Marriott

    I am not sure that your comment is logically consistent. The best way to get more MEPs elected including Bill Newton-Dunn is to make sure that we have a fair shake of the stick on television which BY LAW has to be “duly impartial”. That means putting pressure on the BBC as all the other parties do it – Alistair Campbell was always on the phone to them and David Cameron’s director of communications was a head honcho at BBC News. If it takes the Lib Dem supporters five minutes to do that then it is time well spent. We are the biggest political news story of the week and the BBC should therefore be covering us in their political news programmes. Complaining will mean more coverage in the future.

  • Once Dimbleby was allowed to get away with the daft “We’re out” declaration we should have known what to expect.

  • John Marriott 4th May '19 - 10:46pm

    @Michael 1
    Not “logically consistent”? Well, you are entitled to your view, which I clearly do not share. I’m not sure which part of my “comment” is logically inconsistent. I’m sure you will enlighten me. Did it really require exposure on BBC for people to be persuaded to vote Lib Dem last Thursday?

    “We are the biggest political story of the week”. As I said, you are entitled to your view; but I think that you may be in danger of overestimating the importance of the BBC in people’s lives. Come to think of it, I’m not really bothered what people like Alistair Campbell used to do either. His recent appearances have been far from convincing, in my opinion. He does appear to be becoming one of ‘yesterday’s men’.

    I’ve watched and listened to a fair number of news bulletins recently and not just on the BBC. I reckon that the Lib Dems have indeed received “a fair shake of the stick” on most of them.

  • Peter Watson 4th May '19 - 11:20pm

    @Michael Chandler “The vote WAS a resounding endorsement of the Liberal Democrats demands for there to be a second referendum”
    Sorry, but it is nonsense to claim that 19% of the vote is a “resounding endorsement” of anything while in the same breath dismissing the combined 56% for Labour + Conservatives.
    The Lib Dems have much to celebrate from this week’s results, but seem to be confusing making the most gains (which are still fewer than the combined losses of 2011 + 2015) with getting the most votes. Even the article makes the bizarre claim that “we won a national election”, when the party was in third place.
    Lib Dems used to consistently poll 25%-30% in local elections, matching or beating the other parties. That is hopefully what it can now build up to again, but it is not there yet and some of the hyperbole in this article and the thread is probably not helpful.

  • @Martin Land.
    It’s great that you are putting out Thankyou leaflets. Hopefully all local parties are doing the same. But surely we can ALSO complain to the BBC. It’s not a case of either/or.
    I’ve said this before in similar threads on here – I used to work in PR for the party, and I once asked a senior BBC producer bluntly, “Why do you give us such little coverage?” He shrugged and said, “Because you don’t complain enough. If we leave Labour out of a programme we get an avalanche of letters. Same with the SNP and the Tories, but we hardly ever hear complaints from LibDems, so we don’t feel any pressure to include you.”
    So it is absolutely true that they do listen to viewers complaints – and the more complaints they get, the more they listen. So let’s not let them get away with this. Here is that link again. http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

  • FWIW here’s what I’ve just sent them. Short and sweet.
    “After this week’s elections, in which the Liberal Democrats made significantly more gains than any other party, I think it is very wrong that the party is not to be represented on your Andrew Marr programme, although many other parties are. Since 2015 in particular you have consistently under-represented the LibDems, but this week in particular our success was remarkable and that deserves to be recognised in the political coverage.”
    It’s a bit of a faff, having to click through all their silly little questions, but it’s worth it to get your point recorded. PS After you’ve complained yourself please share the link with others. e.g. put it in your local party newsletter.

  • Is my clock wrong? Are you all complaining about the content of a TV programme before it has been broadcast, on the basis of a tweet?

    In any case, Section 5.5 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code states: “Due impartiality on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy must be preserved on the part of any person providing a service. This may be achieved within a programme or over a series of programmes taken as a whole.”

    The Andrew Marr programme is followed by Sunday Politics, which is regional. I expect that the different regional progammes will cover the local elections in their areas in some depth.

    Incidentally, Caron, I suspect that the vast majority of your fellow viewers in Scotland of the Andrew Marr show will be more interested in Ruth Davidson than local politics south of the border.

  • John Marriott 5th May '19 - 8:27am

    If, as you say, the BBC buckles to “an avalanche of letters”, more fool them. However, I HAVE complained following the local elections, namely to the Returning Officer for my area regarding a dubious practice I witnessed when going to vote (and spoiling my ballot paper as the choice in my ward was between a Conservative and a ‘Con dependent’.

    This ‘practice’ was allowing the winning candidate and her agent to sit next to the Polling clerk as the ballot papers were handed out, both sporting their ‘Lincolnshire Independent’ rosettes with distinctive logo and indeed allowing them to exchange pleasantries with me. According to my wife, who also spoiled her ballot paper earlier that day, the two had been there then as well! My protestations at the time were brushed aside.

    I wonder whether this was happening elsewhere in the District, especially as the Tories lost their overall majority and the two independent groups now have a majority between them (no Labour, Lib Dem, Green or UKIP members in North Kesteven).

  • chris moore 5th May '19 - 10:16am

    Simon Pike 5th May ’19 – 8:10am
    In any case, Section 5.5 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code states: “Due impartiality on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy must be preserved on the part of any person providing a service. This may be achieved within a programme or over a series of programmes taken as a whole.”

    Yes, you are right. Not only did the Lib Dem’s not have a representative on Andrew Marr, they have also been chronically under-represented on TV – BBC 1 included – since 2015.

    It’s high time Lib Dems were more assertive. I have complained about the Andrew Marr Show. Complacent and lazy to leave the Lib Dems out.

  • The Guardian are just as bad

    “The Liberal Democrats did well by comparison with the truly dreadful results they posted in 2015. But the biggest winners were the nation’s smallest parties. Independent councillors flourished and the political stalemate in Westminster found expression in the rise of local authorities where no party had overall control. If any one of the mainstream parties could say they won on Thursday it was the Greens”

    Really? We did well but the biggest winners were the independents and the only mainstream party who could say they won were the greens? How can you get that from the results? While the greens did well, how many councils did they win, and we gained over 3x the seats?!


  • Peter Watson 5th May '19 - 11:10am

    Last Sunday, one LDV article began with “Jo Swinson went on The Andrew Marr Show today to give an unequivocal message that a vote for the Liberal Democrats was a vote to stop Brexit.” and the next began with “Just after Jo was on Marr this morning, Vince popped up on Pienaar’s Politics.”. I would assume that sort of publicity immediately before the election is more valuable than appearing on this week’s show like the Greens and PC.

  • @John Marriott

    It is fair view that complaining to the BBC will do no good. BUT they are human beings and the managers monitor the complaints that they are getting. To get your friend Bill Newton-Dunn elected, we need reasonable coverage on the BBC. There is the inconsistency. If we have time to fill in a comment box on LDV we have time to do it on the BBC’s website.

    The point I was making – because we have historical documentary evidence from Campbell’s diaries – so we know that it happened (and is happening) that Labour were always complaining to the BBC. So if Labour and Tories are getting their supporters to complain, If we don’t do it we are letting down those standing as candidates and working hard like Bill Newton-Dunn – especially as the East Midlands is a tough region for us (esp. as it is a small region).

    But if you don’t want to spend five minutes doing something to support him that is up to you.

  • Coverage of Lib Dem election results has followed the same pattern for the past 40 years. If you look back you’ll see that – across all media – there appears to be a rule that any poor results for the Libs are parroted over and over to the point that the defeat and failure is inbedded in the electorate’s psyche. If there’s some good results, the rule seems to be to downplay and then drop very quickly from any headlines. This means the party rarely manages to build any momentum as a result of media coverage. It instead has to rely on ‘on the ground’ campaigning. It’s clear the media collectively is thinking mainly about the Euro Elections and would love to create a battle between the Brexit Party v Change UK. There’ll be plenty of talking up of Farage in the next few weeks. And you can bet your life, he’ll be on every chat show everywhere should his party gain the most seats/top the poll. But the issue is bigger than just one organisation, there appears to be a collective narrative when it comes to the Lib Dems.

  • John Marriott 5th May '19 - 1:46pm

    You need to check your famous statistics, old chap. The last time I looked, Bill N-D appeared to be standing in the South East, which, as far as I know, has always been his first home. In fact, last year, he actually got elected to his local council. You certainly can’t keep a good man (or woman for that matter) down!

    By the way, I’m glad to see that you’ve recognised what a tough area for Lib Dems the East Midlands have been over the years – and I reckon that Lincolnshire is the nation’s #1 Brexit area as well!

  • John Marriott 5th May '19 - 1:52pm

    Apologies, ‘Michael1’. Bill does appear to be standing again in the East Midlands. Funny, because I could have sworn that, when names were first announced, he appeared in the south east. I need to get out more.

    Having said that, I still don’t intend to complain to aunty.

  • You “won a national election”?

    Perhaps someone should make a complaint about factual accuracy. Are you regulated by anyone?

  • According to Wikipedia The Andrew Marr Show averages 2m viewers, 30% of the viewing audience. It seems that about 44m electors will not be watching that programme because most normal people have better things to do of a Sunday morning than obsess about politics.
    Lib Dems had a good night on Thursday so well done to you and congratulations to all the winners and commiserations to the losers. Why can’t you just bask in the success for a few days and enjoy the Bank Holiday break? You’ll be back soon enough to obsessing about Brexit and the Euro Elections. Until then, why not just chill?

  • David Becket 5th May '19 - 3:59pm

    @ Brett Jenkins
    Which is why I stopped my Guardian subscription after 60 years.
    Not much we can do about the BBC, but every Lib Dem needs to cancel their Guardian subscription and tell them why.
    The problem started when Katharine Viner became editor. She must be anti Lib Dem.

  • Dennis Wake 5th May '19 - 4:45pm

    John Marriott: Why did you spoil your ballot paper ? What good did it do ? If you felt so strongly about the lack of an alternative candidate why not stand yourself unless you are ill ? Or maybe there is little or no local support for anyone but Conservative type candidates in which case there is no point in standing.

    Has anyone looked into the political opinions or background of the “Independent” candidates who gained seats ? Many seem to be part of local groups, like the Ashfield Independents, rather than real independents, indeed one candidate described himself as a Real Independent to distinguish himself from the local group. I heard a spokesperson from Change UK talking up the independents in a way which could have implied that they were somehow cannected with The Independent Group – maybe some voters thought they were.

  • John Marriott 5th May '19 - 6:46pm

    @Dennis Wake
    Why did I spoil my ballot paper? Besides the fact that the choice was between a Con and and Independent, I also wanted to express my dissatisfaction with the present three tier system around here. SO… I wrote ‘neither’ underneath the two candidates’ names and, in addition, “Scrap DCs and CCs and bring in UAs’ and, you know, I felt a whole lot better!

    As for standing myself, you obviously don’t know my history, although I have talked about it many times in LDV. Well, here we go…..

    After working for the Liberal Party in Calderdale in the 1970s I joined the Lincoln Liberal Party in 1979, the SDP upon its foundation and was a founder member of the Social and Liberal Democrats. In addition to holding down a job and helping my long suffering wife raise two sons, I started producing and delivering FOCUS leaflets around my town in 1985. I was first elected to the local Town Council as an ‘Alliance’ candidate in 1987, a position I held for 24 years, and to the North Kesteven District Council on which I served, including a two year hiatus due to ill health, for 18 years, before retiring in 2007.

    From 2001 until I retired in 2017 I was also a member of the Lincolnshire County Council, holding various Chairmanships and, from 2001 to 2009, I was one of the Councillor representatives on the Lincolnshire Police Authority (R.I.P.). Oh, and I nearly forgot, in 1997 I was the Lib Dem candidate in the first election for the Sleaford & North Hykeham Parliamentary Constituency.

    I reckon that I’ve done my bit over the years not only for the party but also for local democracy. If I had had a pound for every FOCUS leaflet I have produced and helped to deliver over a 35 year period – and certainly not just at election time – I reckon I would be quite a rich man by now! So please don’t talk to me about standing myself. My conscience is perfectly clear. One of the reasons I did not renew my membership last year was the inability of the local party to understand how to fight, win and maintain a campaign at local level. To succeed as a Lib Dem in ‘true blue’ Lincolnshire often means that you have to run just to stand still and then some.

  • Nicholas PS Horne 5th May '19 - 7:43pm

    I agree with Yeovil Yokel’s observation re Jeremy Hunt’s wife (10.59 above).
    The danger we have to face is from her husband, now Foreign Secretary, who in June 2016 pronounced that our leaving the EU would cause “our enemies to rejoice” and that it would be our worst mistake since Suez.
    Yet NOW he purports to believe not just in brexit, but a hard one! Can our Foreign Secretary be trusted?

  • Stephen Harbron 5th May '19 - 8:59pm

    On Friday evening I complained about the lack of Lib Dem speaker on Any Questions.

  • Dennis Wake 6th May '19 - 2:43pm

    John Marriott: Thank you for your reply. Yes I can see that you have done your best.
    I agree that Unitary Authorities are probably the way forward though I have heard that the smaller places can get left out in the cold where there is one dominant town. In some areas the whole county becomes the Unitary Authority because the former districts would not be viable in rural reas for example. Not sure that spoiling your ballot paper will bring it on though.

    Despite a long interview with I think Ed Davey, after talking about the success of the Greens the BBC were saying that the Liberal Democrats also did well ! Already back to form I suppose.

  • Mike Jay – you say few of the electorate will be watching Andrew Marr. But are you not aware how that show sets the news agenda for every other news programme and bulletin that follows on a Sunday – everywhere!? Our news world is very lazy and relies on that one show and the Sunday papers to set the weather for the rest of the day and on into Monday. So the concern of lib Dems here is legitimate. There’s no excuse for the BBC or any other org – If you’re reviewing the local election results you should have the victor on, end of! I bet Farage will be on the weekend after the Euro results!!

  • Ashley,
    Yes, I am aware that other news programmes recycle Andrew Marr’s stories but, especially on a bank holiday Sunday, I doubt that they make any more of an impact than the original. Most people aren’t interested; only activists and political anoraks follow these things closely. Jo Swinson was on the previous Sunday, before the election. If you think the Marr Show matters, that was surely more beneficial than being on afterwards.
    The other point is that the Lib Dems were not the victors: you came third in terms of vote share and were the party with the largest number of gains recouping some of your significant losses in previous elections. Tories and Labour still hold far more seats and councils. Also, starting from much lower bases, both the Greens and the Independents made proportionately greater gains than Lib Dems

  • Peter Watson 6th May '19 - 5:46pm

    @Ashley “If you’re reviewing the local election results you should have the victor on, end of!”
    With a 28% share of the vote each and 3564 & 2021 councillors respectively, wouldn’t that be the Conservatives and Labour, rather than the Lib Dems who were in third place with 19% of the vote and 1351 councillors?
    Then we have the Greens celebrating a record high and representation in new areas for them.
    And up until 2010, if Labour and the Conservatives polled 28% each we’d be expecting to see the Lib Dems as winners on 35%+ rather than in third place on half that, so the performance of the smaller parties and independent candidates is particularly newsworthy.
    It is very significant that Lib Dems are moving towards the levels of support they enjoyed before Coalition (but still with a long way to go), but that is only one of the stories of these local elections, and to most of England, let alone the rest of the UK, it is probably not the most important.

  • There WAS an excellent video on Sky News with Vince – well worth tweeting, sticking on facebook etc. and may be LDV doing a separate post of

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