Local Elections 2014: Friday afternoon roundup (updated)

Election count progressingSee overnight results here.

So far:l

Key Stats

Vote share so far:

Labour    33%

Conservative 27%

Liberal Democrat 16%

UKIP 15%

Green 7%

Others 2%

State of Play

Labour: UP 6 Councils and 174 councillors

Conservative: DOWN 10 councils and 149 councillors

Liberal Democrats: DOWN 2 Councils (Portsmouth to NOC and Kingston to Conservatives) and 169 councillors

Key headlines for the Liberal Democrats

Mixed results:

Another good result in a held seat – keeping control of the Council in South Lakeland, Tim Farron’s patch, with the only change being the Tories gaining an Independent seat.

We’ve also held control of Watford Council.

Almost total wipeout in Brent – just one out of our previous seventeen councillors remains.

6 seats lost in Sheffield

BBC predicting that Julian Huppert, Lynne Featherstone, Vince Cable and Lorely Burt’s seats are at risk. As if this should somehow be news to us. Safe seats are not common for Liberal Democrats.

We are certainly getting a bit of a hoofing in many parts of London.

Loss of three seats in Sefton.

Danny Alexander saying “it’s bad news for everybody” when hard working Liberal Democrat councillors lose their seats.

Things senior Liberal Democrats shouldn’t say:

Another for the list from Tom Brake –  the “we’re all in this together” riff that the party voted for the Coalition. Sure, we did, and most of us still support it. BUT, we sure as hell did not vote for certain things that were not in the Coalition Agreement. I’m thinking secret courts, NHS Reform and the Bedroom Tax, the latter two being things that really have got us into a lot of trouble.

Still awaiting results from several London Boroughs, including Southwark, Stockport and Three Rivers.

 Update 1 – Good news

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, but after fears that we might lose control of our stalwart Three Rivers Council in Hertfordshire, we in fact won 23 of the 39 seats under the new boundaries.

Also in Eric Pickles’ Brentwood, we took 2 seats off the Tories, helping to force the Council to NOC.

We’ve gained a seat to hold control of Cheltenham

Stockport remains NOC with a loss of one seat. to Labour.

In Leeds, though, we held 9 out of 10 seats and in Bradford we held all 8.

Bad news

We were wiped out in Manchester as our last 9 remaining seats on the Council were lost. This means that the 86 Labour councillors are opposed by 1 Independent Councillor. It’s to the best recipe for good governance I’ve ever seen.

In Liverpool, we are down to just 3 councillors, with 6 losses.

Across the Pennines in Calderdale, we lost 5 of our 11 seats.

Extrapolations

Our vote share has been revised downwards to 13% now and the BBC decided it would be fun  to work out what these results would mean in the Commons. Despite large parts of the country not having an election and the turnout for a general election being significantly higher. They calculated that we would win 45 seats which is in the ball park of where I always thought we’d be. Ed Miliband would be short of a majority by just 4.

However they then decided to assume that Scotland voted for independence. They took 8 seats off our total (we currently hold 11) and 45 from Labour and removed 6 nationalists. Labour would then have 277 seats, just short of the 296 needed for a majority in the revised Commons. This flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that there would always be a Tory majority in England following independence.

Update 2: It gets a lot worse

There’s a bit of me that just wants to go to London and give every single Liberal Democrat activist a big hug. I’m not suggesting for a second that this would be any comfort at all after the day they have had. 11 losses in Southwark, leaving a group of 13, was one of the better city results. Total wipeouts in Islington and Lambeth, a total loss of 25 really good councillors with further losses expected in Barnet and Camden. That’s to add on to the wipeout in Brent. It’s horrible to see a local government base wiped out like that. Having been through the Scottish result in 2011, I can only sympathise.

I am not going to even try to hazard a guess as to why because I don’t know anything about how it was on the ground. If I were guessing, I’d say that UKIP’s relatively poor showing might have been relevant, as it was in Manchester.

There are two big challenges ahead. The General Election next year is going to be very much a “get to your nearest key seat” type affair. Stephen Tall calls it the “survival” elect. It makes sense, because the more seats we have come May 8 next year the better, but there needs to be a plan in place to get us back into our bedrock of local government. It’s always been so important to our party. These are questions for the coming  days and weeks, though. Tonight, a few tears, beer and sleep are in order.

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

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60 Comments

  • Where are the vote shares from? I can find the other stats elsewhere, but I haven’t seen the actual vote share elsewhere.

  • Charles Rothwell 23rd May '14 - 3:35pm

    Well said, Helen. The sister liberal party in Germany, the FDP, tried to recast itself from being a left of centre reformist party in the 1960s/70s into being a Thatcherite mini-me party in the 1980s +. Result: they were wiped out in the Federal elections last year and are now not even represented at all in the Bundestag for the first time since 1949 (and also, according to the polls I had seen) unlikely to secure any places in the German Euro elections either. We (British Lib Dems) need to present our achievements in government (taxation changes (why has not more direct appeal been made to groups like pensioners and others on limited fixed incomes re this?), pupil premiums, scrapping draconian ‘hire and fire’ rules etc. as loudly as possible* PLUS add RADICAL policies which will attract voters back to us (primarily thoughtful, educated young voters who have defected to Labour). (In my view, the protect voters who supported the Party in the past have gone to the Kippers and we will not be getting them back any time soon, so why bother?) One thing for sure; the autumn conference is going to be a ‘lively’ affair, that’s for sure! (*The views I heard expressed in the lunchtime news that the Party should never have gone into coalition are just silly. No serious party is in the game not to gain, or share in, power so as to enact their policies. The speakers were obviously very tired and disappointed but the Party should get MORE credit for being prepared to join the government at a time of major national crisis not less (as a Financial Times leader recently acknowledged).

  • Caron

    “we sure as hell did not vote for certain things that were not in the Coalition Agreement. I’m thinking secret courts, NHS Reform and the Bedroom Tax, the latter two being things that really have got us into a lot of trouble.”

    I think you will find the ‘broken promises’ label will be hitting more. Two distinct promises made and pushed before the election and not followed (Tuition Fees and European Referendum). People can accept that something’s will be done they don’t like but broken promises go the heart of credibility, even if people don’t care much about the issue.

    NHS arguments will mater a lot to some people but to others they just look like an opaque mess of wonk speak.

  • Charles Rothwell

    “taxation changes (why has not more direct appeal been made to groups like pensioners and others on limited fixed incomes re this?)”

    The taxation threshold for older people has remained unchanged as they had a higher allowance. A legitimate policy but thge real benefit comes to thoise who are younger on low wages.

  • A friend of mine heard the lib dem spokesperson on the midday news and has said to me ” your people still don’t get it”
    He is a lifelong liberal voter who voted green yesterday.
    please will someone please realise unless we admit we lied and let people down on key issues n…and that whatever Clegg says people just won’t listen to him because of it…we are due for oblivion
    And please please stop the Westminster spinners and spokesmen …it’s driving even more people away

  • Peter Hayes 23rd May '14 - 4:00pm

    Cheltenham, held all our contested seats and gained one from Tories. So a strong local team and a good MP can beat the trend in other places.

  • Paul In Twickenham 23rd May '14 - 4:13pm

    Update to national figures from the BBC (at 3.42pm):

    Labour: 31%
    Conservatives: 29%
    Ukip: 17%
    Lib Dems: 13%

  • Matt (Bristol) 23rd May '14 - 4:33pm

    What is interesting is that these figures for councils may be more lilkely to be representative of next year’s GE results than the Euro’s will … is 17% for UKIP an ‘earthquake’? Is 13% for us a ‘disaster’? I don’t know, but I do know that we are looking at a good 40% of the vote being for parties outside the former big 2 (particularly when you factor in the other parts of the UK).

    Even though the UKIP rise is disheartening, it gives more and more weight to the argument for PR.

  • Until the voters are allowed to forget Clegg and all his works it will continue to get worse for Liberal Democrats.

    No amount of spin and twisting of the facts can obscure the disaster that Clegg has been for this party.

    Liberal Democrats will only begin to rise again when Clegg has gone.

    Clegg should look at the facts and resign.
    Those close to Clegg, like Paddy Ashdown, should stop shielding Clegg ,
    If Clegg will not jump – he must be pushed.

  • The leader may not resign off his own back but others have to tell him to go. The voters have, now that has to be translated to the party notaries to tell him.. No amount of spinning from HQ can alter the fact the over the last 4 years this party has been decimated, a process that will continue into and through the general election unless we replace the leader most disliked by the electorate. Probably not his fault, he has been in the wrong place at the wrong time so far as the party itself is concerned,

  • Let’s wait till Monday.

  • @JohnTilley
    “Until the voters are allowed to forget Clegg and all his works”

    I would caution against this focus on Clegg the person. Personally I am more interested in the party restoring its credibility. This can be done with Clegg still in place. The Tories in the past have responded to policy being unpopular by sacking the person most associated with the policy, but without actually changing the policy!

    For me, the important point is that the Lib Dems change direction, and no longer do things like the NHS reforms

  • Curiously Caron doesn’t say anything about overall numbers of seats on councils. Currently the BBC is showing that of 657 seats defended, 264 were lost – that is about 40%.

  • Yes the party needs to change direction and jettison Orange Bookerism but they still have the wrong messenger who is deeply unpopular not only with activists but also the voters. You just have to have listened to LBC last night to hear the wrath of former Lib Dem voters all of whom dislike Clegg. The analogy I use is a failing football team replaces its Manager and one who takes it down to the Conference league of politics when it was Championship material has to go. My letter requesting his resignation with immediate effect goes off today and I urge all left of centre Liberal Democrats who care about the future of the party and want to reclaim it back from the OBs to do the same.

  • Paul In Twickenham 23rd May '14 - 6:50pm

    So when will those “Lib Dem Press Office” tweets on the right of the screen announce this result:

    Islington Council : 47 Lab. 1 Green.

    So where exactly does the buck stop?

  • Ian Stewart 23rd May '14 - 6:52pm

    in South Lakeland we lost on to the Tories and won one from Indy, not as stated above. In Kendal: Lab nowhere; Cons nowhere; UKIP nowhere…………solid LibDem, with Tim being a really positive force for good (and “Winning Here”!)

  • Voter: I agree, that the focus on Clegg is part of wishful thinking for a simple or even simplistic solution. True Clegg has been demonised. Successfully so by those who previously dismissed him as not worth a mention. It was always likely to be the case that the Party would take a hammering as a result of being in coalition and as a result of being part of a government at the time of economic recession. That said it would have been good to have had in place someone with more gravitas. Ming Campbell who has some gravitas was hounded out by and large by media pressure. Succumbing to media pressure is not a good habit for a party to adopt.

    If there was an obvious capable replacement, I might entertain the idea of a change. But a change now is likely to be more harmful for Lib Dems in the medium term. The odds must be on a change of leader after the 2015 election. In a way, I hope this will happen as a further coalition, with fewer MPs would be likely to be very damaging whether with Conservatives or Labour. I do not see that a further coalition with Conservatives is possible if it means going along with a quixotic EU renegotiation and a referendum in 2017. The last thing Lib Dems need is to be is the hand maiden to an exit from the EU.

    Peter Hayes: how encouraging is the news from Cheltenham? To what extent have Conservatives been affected by UKIP? I hope the success can be maintained in 2015.

  • Jonnysaintsfan 23rd May '14 - 7:21pm

    Surprisingly, taking the top vote in each ward, the Lib Dems got 10,710 in Bermondsey and Old Southwark whereas Labour got 12,486. I didn’t seriously think Simon Hughes would be in trouble next year but he may well be given a higher turnout in 2015 and the fact that Labour now has 16 councillors on the ground in the constituency compared to 11 for the Lib Dems.

  • @Martin
    So you are not pushing Simon Hughes to take a lead and change the direction of the party?

  • Just before Clegg became leader we were achieving 28% support in council elections.
    We had more than 4,700 Liberal Democrat elected councillors on principle local authorities.
    There are now less than 2,500.

    When wil people here stop making excuses for Clegg and his strategy of repeated failure?

    It is not just the personality of the man, it is everything that has come to be associated with Clegg.
    Clegg is shorthand for failure, decline, wrongheaded amateurism.

  • “I am not going to even try to hazard a guess as to why [poor result in London] because I don’t know anything about how it was on the ground. If I were guessing, I’d say that UKIP’s relatively poor showing might have been relevant, as it was in Manchester.”

    Agreed. From the ground at Lewisham (results not declared yet, but I expect to lose pretty much everything) – Turnout is up and anecdotal telling reports yesterday suggest the increase was younger people. My pure speculation is that they were motivated to turn out and vote against UKIP,: being there, they voted Labour for council. It suggests the ‘party of in’ campaign not only didn’t work, but may have been counterproductive.

  • Tony Greaves 23rd May '14 - 7:56pm

    Caron – your figures for some of the Mets look much better than they are because you are forgetting that they elect by thirds so 2/3 of the seats are not up this year.

    These results are not just bad, they are a disaster. As Dan says, the party’s base in the big cities including London has been destroyed. Not weakened, damaged or even hollowed out. It has been destroyed. The work of a generation of Liberals building a progressive alternative to the rottenness of urban Labour Party politics has gone. It will take another generation to rebuild it, if such a new generation appears. Councils that we ran only recently now have no LD members or just a paltry few.. London has now caught up with the other big Cities that poll by thirds. Annihilation.

    And all we get from the party leadership is pathetic stuff about “what we expect for a government party in mid-term”. Well actually we are not in mid-term, we are just 12 months from a General Election.

    Well the party leadership (broadly defined) has got what it deserves. The lack of appreciation for, respect for, proper communication with, understanding of the party’s bases in Councils and in Europe has been breath-taking and dispiriting. And now they are reaping what they have sown. Most of our Councillors in the big urban areas (and many others) blown away, and most of the MEPs to follow on Sunday. If we get 13% in the Council elections I dread to think what it will be in the Euros where a lot of our local voters have voted for that nice Mr Farage.

    I don’t even know whether some of the care too much (certainly not the more clueless amongst advisers and PR people) since their idea of party activists is just going out and “selling the message” devised at the top. Well it’s time they understood it is not sellable.

    The failure of Liberal Democrats in the coalition to stop Mr Pickles and his friends imposing cuts on local authorities, particularly in the big cities and the north of England, far greater than in any other field, has been a real betrayal. Fair? Belly-laughter is the only rational response.

    The bare truth is this – what happened yesterday was self-inflicted.

    Tony Greaves

    PS – just in case you think this is personal. In my own ward yesterday where I was agent for one of my colleagues, an old Lancashire cotton town with “inner city characteristics”, we held the seat with 61% of the vote in a 3-party contest, our best result for many years. (But we did not feature on our leaflets words such as “strong”, “economy”, “fair” or “society”)

    PS(2). For the benefit of doubt, this posting has not been approved in the Wheelhouse.

  • Tony Greaves 23rd May '14 - 8:00pm

    Am not allowed to post anything on this site? Why should I bother even looking at it?

    Tony Greaves

  • Peter Hayes 23rd May '14 - 8:20pm

    Martin

    Not seen all the results but in general UKIP was irrelevant in Cheltenham. It is a strange town, the last Tory MP was very close to being a Liberal, since then the Tory MP candidates have been Thatcherite and/or out of town, one was a black lawyer from Birmingham I think they want to loose! Even the council estates vote Liberal.

  • Tony Greaves 23rd May '14 - 8:23pm

    Cheltenham – it helps a lot when the Labour Party don’t turn up.

    Tony

  • @ Tony Greaves

    “Am not allowed to post anything on this site? Why should I bother even looking at it?”

    Surely a well respected Liberal Democrat and member of the house of lords is not having his comments sanctioned?

    I guess that’s what happens when you are in breach of the “party” program

  • Tony don’t let the Orange Bookers stifle your views. How many more seats do the Lib Dems need to lose then before it becomes a total disaster in your utilitarian view of the world. We’ve lost 284 seats so far, more than the tories on -201. Another few hundred perhaps, I’d be interested in your figure.

  • Eddie Sammon 23rd May '14 - 9:49pm

    Lib Dems win six out of seven seats in Southport! And someone asked me if Lib Dems were a wasted vote. However, on a more serious message, I think we need to abandon squeeze tactics unless we also want to be squeezed.

    http://www.otsnews.co.uk/lib-dems-win-six-out-of-seven-in-southport-again/

  • Eddie Sammon 23rd May '14 - 9:59pm

    I mean, some voters like a squeeze message, so it is not always bad. I just can’t say to friends in one place there’s no such thing as a wasted vote and friends in another area there is such thing lol. The subtleties that are often missing at national level.

  • Peter Hayes: thanks, although it is where I have my postal vote, I am not very in touch with developments. I do remember from when Liberals were in third place. It is obvious that Labour does not turn up – perhaps they go to Gloucester to campaign. Actually my council vote has been deferred 6 weeks and I think the ward is currently Tory.

  • Voter said:

    “I would caution against this focus on Clegg the person. Personally I am more interested in the party restoring its credibility. This can be done with Clegg still in place. The Tories in the past have responded to policy being unpopular by sacking the person most associated with the policy, but without actually changing the policy! For me, the important point is that the Lib Dems change direction, and no longer do things like the NHS reforms.”

    Well, you’re right to warn against the kind of tokenistic sacrifice which major party politicians have recently made fashionable, such as the temporary “penance” for misdeeds that is represented by resignation followed by reinstatement, or the cosmetic change of leadership as a means of concealing failure to change direction.

    However, the counter-argument is that when a leader is unwilling or unable to accept the need for change, then the leader must go. Clegg, despite posing as less of an idelogue than (for example) Laws, has shown an iron inflexibility in his devotion to the Tory coalition, Tory policies, and rejection of the Lib Dems’ historic centre-left programme.

    Further, the leadership change must itself demonstrate that policy will change. Otherwise, Voter’s concerns that the change could be cosmetic would be borne out. So, a change to elect Danny Alexander would clearly be no more than a cosmetic change, a final wasted opportunity which would finish our party for good. A change to elect a more neutral figure such as Norman Lamb could equally be seen as cosmetic unless a clear and major policy reversal was implemented very quickly. What we need is a leader who clearly never accepted Cleggism, and who can credibly demonstrate that the Lib Dems are now set on an entirely new direction. There are two good options, one older, one younger, and everybody knows who they are.

  • David Allen – “and everyone knows who they are”

    I don’t – do tell!

  • Richard Dean 23rd May '14 - 10:59pm

    It seems to me that a Lord-led revolt, against a democratically elected Commonser, is the very opposite of what this party stands for. How far away from the principles of liberal democracy are people willing to go?

  • David Allen – are you suggesting we bring back Captain John Jeremy Durham Ashdown?

  • Or even Captain Jeremy John Durham Ashdown (!)

  • David, I, too, would be interested to know – unless you are stating you should be leader? Haha.

  • Islington is now 47/48 Labour. The 48th is Green, elected in the only ward the Lib Dems truly contested. This is a borough that was a serious target four years ago.

    Shambles. I feel sorry for the likes of Tracy Ismael who have been hung out to dry.

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th May '14 - 8:50am

    Peter Hayes

    Even the council estates vote Liberal.

    What do you mean “even the council estates vote Liberal?”. The council estates used to be the bedrock of our support in those places where we had supplanted Labour as the main opposition to the Tories. In so many places in the south, the Liberals built up their presence by working and winning the council estate wards and building outwards. We could do this because we had an image of ordinary people who understood real life, whereas what was left of Labour often came across as elitist and more interested in token striking a pose issues than the bread and butter issues that concern people in the lower half of the wealth scale.

    The fact that you write “even” here, Peter, as if this comes as something of a surprise, is an indication of how things have changed, another pointer to where we’re going wrong. We have a leadership which seems determined to smash all the things that used to win us votes. We’ve even been told that in speeches to the party conference by The Leader, where we’ve been told we’re now a different sort of party, not the old party of “protest”, instead this “party of governance”, we must throw away all we did in the past and start again.

    I’ve said so much in the past beforehand, so there’s nothing much to add now. All my criticism of The Leader and those surrounding him have not just been negative attacks, I’ve always said not just what they are doing wrong but also what they should be doing instead. To me the problem of our party now does come down to it being led by someone who has little feeling or understanding for its members and its history and how it works at grass roots level to win votes, and doesn’t seem to want or care about finding out, instead has deliberately surrounded himself by people like himself, not even considered consulting with wise old hands who got this party to where it is – correction was.

  • Jenny Barnes 24th May '14 - 8:52am

    In 2003 -7 LDs controlled our local council. in 2007 we lost control, but still had a substantial minority. In 2011 not one LD was elected. Not one. No County Councillors and few, if any parish councillors. Many party activists gave up; the remainder keep busy, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Oh, no PPC designated yet for the 2015 election – does it matter? this used to be an LD target seat!
    If someone had set out to destroy the LD party, I imagine they would have done much the same as Clegg and the rest of the leadership has. I saw him on the news yesterday, saying some crocodile tears about how sad about hard-working councillors losing their seats. Somehow I don’t believe it. As for the “good news” about the economy, it seems to only be good if you’re in the 1% elite. So LD parliamentarians (eg Simon Hughes) claiming the GE will come good because of the economy just sound like out of touch Tories.

  • Winchester had its last round of thirds since 2010. Held 7 (plus 2 in the Eastleigh Borough part of the Winchester constituency). Lost 1 to Labour. Lost 1 to Conservatives. Leading share of the vote across the Winchester Constituency.

    Winchester City Council now: 28 Conservative, 25 Lib Dem, 3 Labour, 1 Independent.

    Within the Winchester constituency area there are now 24 LD Councillors, 18 Conservative Councillors and 3 Labour Councillors.

    Details for the Winchester constituency area at http://maps.winld.org.uk/

  • Paul In Twickenham 24th May '14 - 9:08am

    @Matthew Huntbach – To me the problem of our party now does come down to it being led by someone who has little feeling or understanding for its members and its history and how it works at grass roots level to win votes

    Precisely: see as evidence the appalling email sent yesterday in the name of Annette Brooke with its excruciatingly patronizing on-message nonsense suggesting that a good night in Eastleigh offsets a complete wipeout in London.

    As a polyglot, Mr. Clegg will know the German word “mitleid”. It might be considered the reverse of schadenfreude – an empathic compassion for and response to the anguish of others. But I see none of it here. What I see is is the deliberate destruction of years of activism in our great cities to advance an agenda of remoulding the party as a small fringe movement of the centre-right.

  • One other major city formerly led by the Lib Dems which got wiped out – Southampton.

    http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/11232414.Lib_Dem_boss_loses_seat_on_Southampton_City_Council/

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th May '14 - 10:19am

    Eduardo Goncalves

    I work in NGO campaigns and communications. If someone in my team was delivering similar results, I think our conversation at her/his next performance appraisal would be ‘interesting’!

    Yup. Mr Clegg needs to realise that it is OUR party, not his. He is an officer of the party appointed to that position by its members. We are his employers, not the other way round.

    It is incredibly arrogant, and against all the liberal and democratic principles that I believe in, for Mr Clegg to assume that whether or not he remains as Leader is up to him. At the very least he could have had the decency to apologise to all those who have lost their seats, all those who have out in so much effort and seen nothing come from it, and said that yes he realises things have not gone well, that he accepts he may have a part in that, and that he will LISTEN to those of his critics who have been saying where he has been going wrong.

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th May '14 - 11:49am

    Caracatus

    I agree with Lord Greaves. There is no accountability in the party. Clegg choose the UKIP debates, he choose the party of in campaign (did almost 3000 people sign up !) he agreed the bedroom tax, the NHS reforms, holding the AV referendum but blocking the one on the EU. He mucked up Lords Reform.

    Don’t forget the boasting about “tax cuts” as well, which I see is still going on from the national leadership. It made us look like Tory-minded people who only care about cutting taxes, never mind the consequent cuts in government services. Boasting about tax cuts undermines the line that we have to agree to a lot of other nasty thing in order to cut the budget deficit, because if deficit-cutting is the top priority, tax cuts have to be put aside.

    The tax cuts DO NOT help the lower paid as claimed. They help only those who already earn enough so that the increase in tax allowances makes a difference, they do not help those who earn less than that. And they help EVERYONE who earns above that, not just the lower paid, because everyone who pays more tax still gets just the same tax reduction as an amount from this increased tax allowance.

    The line that this was a manifesto promise was wrong. The manifesto put it quite clearly that the increase in income tax allowance would be balanced by rises in other forms of taxation. I was very happy to back it in on that basis, in particular I wanted to see a shift towards the sort of property tax which would help stop the house price boom. That did NOT mean I wanted just those tax cuts paid for instead by the “bedroom tax”, reduction in higher education subsidy etc, and I very much resent this “rejoice, we’ve cut taxes as we said we would” line being pushed as it is a distorted twist of my real position on the matter that I was supporting when I campaigned for the party in the 2010 general election.

    I don’t think Clegg and co had any mandate from the party to push these tax curs in the way they have been pushed and to twist what was in our manifesto out of context in this way.

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th May '14 - 11:54am

    Philip

    Agreed. From the ground at Lewisham (results not declared yet, but I expect to lose pretty much everything)

    Yup, I see. All that hard work we put into Lewisham over so many years, pushing ourselves up to be the main opposition to Labour across the borough, wiped out. Not a single councillor left. Not even in Downham where we started out.

  • Mack (Not a Lib Dem) 24th May '14 - 11:59am

    The Liberal Democrats can take their party back by getting rid of Clegg and leaving the Coalition. Now that really would be an Earthquake.

  • Peter Chegwyn 24th May '14 - 12:13pm

    Question: What have Gosport, Sutton, Brentwood & Rugby got in common?

    Answer: They were the only places in England where the Lib. Dems. actually GAINED council seats last Thursday.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/full-list-of-local-election-results-9422609.html

  • It a pity that a few more people did not vote for Hulme to be leader (I did). Where would we be now if they had done so?

  • “Huhne”

  • Umm trying to defend yet another scandal which will attract even more negative media interest, no thanks and he neither of the two came across as that well in their election addresses as leader.

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  • User AvatarPeter Black 28th May - 6:35pm
    Well, I volunteered to be part of this and never heard anything back. Who are these people you are training and how did you identify...
  • User AvatarThomas 28th May - 6:24pm
    A holistic reform package like this should be in our next manifesto.