The 2021 elections are over. How was it for you? Open thread for comments

I write this shortly after the polls close. Many of you be hoping for a lie in. Some will be at work. Others will be too stressed to sleep much until the results are in and for many, that will not be until the weekend.

Lib Dems have been battling for seats in the Scottish Parliament and the Senedd. We have high hopes in many local councils. We have candidates in the mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. You can’t have missed that there has been a by-election in Hartlepool.

Our candidates and supporters have made supreme efforts on Super Thursday.

Lib Dem Voice will of course be publishing comment and analysis as the results come in. In the meanwhile, this blog is a space for you comment and tell anecdotes of the day. No nastiness please. This is a space for reflection not any attacks on campaigning or people. Such comments would not be fair on candidates anxiously awaiting their count. There will be space for analysis when the results are in.

Here in Shropshire, counting begins at 7.30pm Friday and finishes after a break in the early hours around 9pm on Saturday night. It is later than usual due to coronavirus restrictions. There will be no buzz of candidates in the counting house, a huge gym in Shrewsbury Sports Village. We will have to wait in the car park until called on a digital screen. There will be refreshments. We will not even to be allowed to take a bottle of water into the venue. Many wannabe councillors might want something stronger than water after the count.

Everyone campaigns differently. Some will have rushed around like the proverbial fly knocking people up and dragging them to the polling stations. A couple of elections ago, I remember escorting an inebriated publican to the polling booth minutes before closing. As I guided his unsteady bulk back to the pub, he confessed: “Andy. I couldn’t see the ballot paper but I think I voted for you.” He later admitted he probably voted for Bevington (Tory) and not Boddington (Lib Dem).

This year, nursing a bad knee, I have been online and on the phone. I will not know my fate until around 8pm on Saturday. It’s a long wait and I expect a couple of sleepless nights to add to the several I have had already.

One of our local weekly newspapers gave over a column today to the local Tory MP to allow him to promote his candidates for Shropshire Council. I supply dozens of stories and briefings to the newspaper’s chief reporter every year, many used without attribution. That was fine. It is not fine now. He will probably ring on Sunday or early Monday as usual. Although I think the MP column would have been too late to have much impact, he will know my relationship with the newspaper is at an end.

Now over to you for your experiences and expectations, the hurdles you have spaced and the hopes you have.

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem councillor in Shropshire. He blogs at He is Thursday editor of Lib Dem Voice.

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  • Andy Boddington 7th May '21 - 5:37am

    The Hartlepool Mail has this quote from the by-election count:

    Lord Dick Newbury said: “We think we have fought a good fight and we’re looking forward to making gains in local council seats across the region and to have a positive night.”

  • John Roffey 7th May '21 - 7:16am

    The Tory victory in Hartlepool has been confirmed by the BBC.

    No details as yet.

  • David Blake 7th May '21 - 7:19am

    7th place, 1.17%, behind Con, Lab, Independent, Heritage, Reform and Green

  • Quite a mixed bag

  • Where I live we had London elections, plus a hard fought local Council election – the latter famous for a ballot paper containing 19 names, 13 of which were for the Monster Raving Loonies. Mind you the list of candidates for the London Mayor contest was even longer, although none of them openly called themselves loonies.

    Around here the tellers are (usually) friendly across the parties and share numbers. But at one polling station I arrived to find the candidate for a minority party demanding that our teller hand over a whole sheet of numbers so she could photo them, as they hadn’t had a teller present for the past hour. As it happens I had already collected the sheet, so told her she couldn’t have them. “But we have been sharing numbers” she said. “Only when you are here” I replied.

    It was strange not having committee rooms where we could grab a snack, use the loo and share stories. We have a good number of members, many of them new to campaigning, who will shortly be competing for selection as Council candidates for 2022, so we wanted them to learn and build their experience this time round. In the absence of face-to-face contact for much of the campaign we had to build up teams, encourage camaraderie and develop trust. And the platform that came into its own was WhatsApp.

    I can claim no credit for that – our Campaign Manager used it brilliantly, setting up groups in each ward and across different functions. These were buzzing throughout the campaign, and especially yesterday, sharing photos and jokes, and asking for help. By yesterday evening the fittest were sharing shots of their step rates. For me, it was the WhatsApp election.

  • Arthur Graves 7th May '21 - 7:40am

    I wish people would stop calling the Conservatives, Tories. I know if one is in the know, that the two are the same, but your average voter does not. Just think of all those leaflets, letters, etc. Delivered by hand or post, talking about ‘evil’ tories. That are in effect wasted time, money, and effort.

  • It’s remarkable how many journalists, even political journalists, are talking about the result in Hartlepool as if votes for the Brexit party in 2019 didn’t exist, or weren’t likely to transfer directly to the Tories. The obsession with two-party politics and accepting a FPTP result as reflective of mood is depressing. I hope that PR activists within Labour will use this to remind the party that FPTP is not their friend.

    Nevertheless, it’s a big thing that Hartlepool is finally lost to Labour, even if the damage had happened by 2019, and the phrase someone said about Labour taking the constituency for granted for years is probably the underlying cause of their problems (and the area’s love of Brexit).

    In other news, we are so far up in the council elections, including at least one very massive swing from next to nothing, so well done to everyone involved there.

  • Sad for Harlepool. Remember going there in 1975 on a project for British Steel when the North and South Steelworks were still running. They went by 1980 and the town was hard hit. I guess not much was ever done to restore the solid working class employment that a steelworks represented particularly in the Thatcher years. So farewell Hartlepool was said long ago.

  • Seems to be a bit of a tussle between the Greens and the Libdems…

  • John Marriott 7th May '21 - 9:17am

    ‘Tellers’, Mary, what are they? Nobody has bothered with tellers around here for YEARS! Mind you this IS lincolnshire, where, it was claimed, some voters used to reckon that their local squire knew how they voted, even after the secret ballot was introduced!

    I can remember a few years ago when I visited a local Polling Station as the Agent for our candidate to be confronted by the UKIP candidate and her Agent inside the entrance handing out leaflets. When I asked them what they thought they were doing, their reply was; “How else are we supposed to get our message across?” (Try delivering a few leaflets.) But again, it WAS Lincolnshire! I complained to the officials inside, who soon put a stop to that. The last time I voted* in the District Council elections of 2019 I saw an Independent candidate and, I presume, her Agent, both wearing rosettes, sitting next to the official ‘greeting’ voters. Despite my complaints, they were allowed to remain, a decision backed up later by the Acting Returning Officer!

    Telling can be a lonely pursuit. I remember some years ago being ‘on duty’ outside a Polling Station in deepest rural Lincolnshire during a District Council by election and having a long conversation with a Labour Party teller, who just happened, like me to be a fellow County Councillor putting the world to rights. During the course of several hours, our pens were troubled about twice. Democracy, ain’t it great!

    *I actually spoiled my ballot, as I have done in several occasions in the past few years. This year, I just stayed at home.

  • Lloyd Harris 7th May '21 - 9:22am

    In my patch, Hemel Hempstead – we didn’t tell but targeted more areas than we have ever done. It meant knocking up was not complete but we did knock on 1,000 doors on the day.
    Ran a virtual committee room with the candidates wholesaling the knock-up leaflets to volunteers and I running the laptop from home.
    Very hard to see what is going on without telling data, but turnout is up and our campaign was winning over new votes.
    Count on Saturday so will have to wait and keep biting nails until then.

  • John Barrett 7th May '21 - 9:23am

    From the very early results, it is starting to look like, for a variety of reasons, that the Conservatives have managed to establish a much stronger link with traditional working class voters and those who voted for Brexit.

    This will no doubt result in Labour turning much more of their attention in the future towards those groups that have been Lib-Dem voters in recent years, or the target for the party; better educated, pro European and younger voters.

    If this is the case, the party will need to up its game to resist that squeeze in the years ahead, or risk a further decline in its support.

  • Any word from the Shetlands yet or feel how it is going?

  • Peter Martin 7th May '21 - 9:54am

    Want to know why the Tories keep winning in working class areas?

    “Ever since the Brexit vote many ( not all ) on the Liberal / Left have displayed an open and sneering contempt for the (mainly) working class areas that had a majority for leave. Labelling whole communities as ignorant, stupid white trash which are hotbeds of racism, sexism and every phobia under the Sun. ”

    There’s a little more to it than this. The disconnect between the working class and the supposedly “Progressive Left” was starting to become apparent in the Blairite New Labour era. However, I would say that Carl Minns is very much on the right track.

  • Ruth Bright 7th May '21 - 10:07am

    Took my 18 year-old to vote for the first time and we were greeted by a burly security guard! Very odd.

  • In Hartlepool, the Don’t Knows won, with a turnout of only 42%. Sadly the Lib Dem was 7th, among the 13 candidates out of 16 who lost their deposits and scored fewer than 500 votes each, and just behind the Green.
    Most remarkable was the Independent who came 3rd with nearly 3,000 votes (9% share). Who is she?

  • Peter Martin 7th May '21 - 10:54am

    @ rphillips

    “In Hartlepool, the Don’t Knows won”

    You mean the Did-Not-Votes? They might include the Don’t Knows but there will be plenty of the None-Of-The Aboves too.

  • Lib Dem vote down 11% in Montgomeryshire. Which parts of our offer to the electorate are people finding so off putting ? Answers on a postcard.

  • George Thomas 7th May '21 - 2:29pm

    “The obsession with two-party politics and accepting a FPTP result as reflective of mood is depressing. I hope that PR activists within Labour will use this to remind the party that FPTP is not their friend.”

    Evidence of that from Wales with first seat declared:

    Montgomeryshire: Tory hold with increase in vote share of +6.3.
    Tories and Reform vote share: 50.3% (of which 48.1% is Tory).
    Plaid, Lib Dem and Labour vote share: 49%.

    We have Additional Member System instead of STV which surely needs to change. Oh for STV across the UK.

  • David Evans 7th May '21 - 2:53pm

    Chris Cory – Indeed. The result in Montgomeryshire is a catastrophe for the party in Wales and an indictment of the strategy of the leadership. Going into coalition is a disaster for the future of Liberal Democracy, unless you have a strategy more than do your best in government and hope people notice. A rock solid seat for 99 of the 103 years between 1880 to 2010 in Westminster has now been lost for good as Plaid is now in second place.

    It will now be a close run thing as to whether Jane will even get a regional Top Up seat. If we don’t there really is no way back for the party in Wales and, irrespective of that, many people at the top of the party should hang their heads in shame.

    If I were you I would look out for the postcards, because you won’t hear anything through official channels.

  • Peter Martin 7th May ’21 – 9:54am…………………….Want to know why the Tories keep winning in working class areas?…………………………..“Ever since the Brexit vote many ( not all ) on the Liberal / Left have displayed an open and sneering contempt for the (mainly) working class areas that had a majority for leave. Labelling whole communities as ignorant, stupid white trash which are hotbeds of racism, sexism and every phobia under the Sun. ”………………………..

    Which came first; the chicken or the egg?..It was ignorance, stupidity, racism, etc., etc. that drove many to vote ‘Leave’ (as a ‘drinking man’ i have been party to conversations that are reminiscent of pre-1960 US southern state values)…
    IMO it was the LibDems who, in the coalition, left their voters whilst it has been the traditional Labour voters who have left their party via UKip to Tory..

    I am still shocked at how, in a decade, “EU membership” went from a minor issue to THE issue…

  • David Evans 7th May '21 - 3:27pm

    Apologies for the typo. We held Montgomery for 126 of the 130 years form 1880 to 2010.

  • @expats Still shocked? Let me enlighten you.

    Each new treaty that handed more powers to the EU stoked up growing resentment and a growing democratic deficit. But UK voters had no opportunity to do anything about it, the main parties were happy with this situation and denied a referendum on each new treaty. Then in 2005 the EU Parliament approved the Treaty to Establish a Constitution for Europe. This was to be ratified by the nation states but the Netherlands and France voted against the Treaty. The UK should have had a referendum in 2006 but the treaty was abandoned.
    The lawyers re-drafted it as the Lisbon Treaty and UK critics of the EU expected to vote on this but politicians denied them a referendum yet again. The democratic deficit was now so great that UKIP was launched and became an immediate political threat. The rest, as they say, is history. Voters do not like having democracy denied so when they finally got a chance to vote they voted to leave the EU. But politicians never learn. They tried to deny democracy yet again by doing everything they could to prevent Brexit. The voters eventually got a chance to make their views known in 2019. Some political parties are still being punished.

  • Peter Watson 7th May '21 - 7:03pm

    @Peter “The UK should have had a referendum in 2006 but the treaty was abandoned. The lawyers re-drafted it as the Lisbon Treaty and UK critics of the EU expected to vote on this but politicians denied them a referendum yet again.”
    In their defence, in 2008 three Lib Dem MPs (including Tim Farron) stepped down from the front bench in order to defy party orders and vote for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. And the party policy they were going against was the demand for a wider referendum on whether or not Britain should remain in the EU. I think Lib Dem strategy under Clegg was a little confusing! 😉

  • I referred indirectly to the anger of the voters in 2019. When democracy is denied, this infuriates voters and they know how to punish politicians. Just pause to think of the senior Conservative Remainers who tried to prevent Brexit. Many of them were ministers and household names. Then there was the collection that flip-flopped between parties, including this one. Then the leaders of the Labour Party who prevaricated, obfuscated and finally betrayed their own supporters over Brexit. A huge number of politicians lost their political lives. The post referendum period was the most treacherous display of the trashing of democracy in living memory. All of the people I mentioned were kicked out of parliament and politics. It was swift and incisive.

    I mention this because it is clear that some people did not get the message. The cleansing continues today in some constituencies as the polling reveals. I would say that betrayal of voters matters more strongly than party loyalty. I may be wrong, but I sense that trying to deny Brexit led to the most powerful mobilisation of electorate rage that I have experienced in my lifetime. The Remainers of this party do not understand Brexit but I think that it is important for them to try to understand the emotions that trying to deny Brexit unleashed. Revoke is a good example, it will take a long time for some people to forgive that atrocity.

  • Helen Dudden 8th May '21 - 5:06am

    Could it be fear that’s causing the problems? We do have some issues at the head of government.
    I’ve just been commenting on the cladding and another fire. Also, the subject of housing for category 3, wheelchair users. This in itself produces a far from satisfactory situation.
    Confidence, needs to be achieved within the structure of a Party, confidence to achieve and I think we can see the outcome of lack of confidence in one Party at this time.
    I’m not knocking that Party, just questioning how a better outcome needs to be achieved.
    This present situation is allowing a very distorted view, perhaps First Past the Post is needing rethinking.
    I personally, feel politics is at a very low ebb.

  • Peter Martin 8th May '21 - 5:55am

    @ expats

    ” ….whilst it has been the traditional Labour voters who have left their party via UKip to Tory..”

    It’s not how they see it. It’s hard to imagine now but the Labour Party proposed leaving the EEC in the 1983 election manifesto. Then it was considered to be a left wing policy but now it is considered to be almost exclusively right wing.

    It’s neither. There has always been opposition to the EU right across the political spectrum. I’m old enough to remember Enoch Powell advocating a Labour vote for entirely the same reasons that some formerly Labour voters have now decided to switch to the Tories.

    As Tony Benn used to argue, democracy is more important than Socialism. Even Remainers weren’t prepared to argue for the core principles of the EU. They were only lukewarm EU-ropeans. They didn’t want the euro and they didn’t want Schengen. They didn’t want the “ever closer union”. We all agreed that we wanted the trade with the EU and the difference between us wasn’t that fundamental. It was about whether the price of giving up our democracy was worth paying.

    That’s not a left/right issue. In any case, most voters (most normal people?) don’t think in so much in terms of political left and right. It’s only the oddball politicos, like myself 🙂 , who have that sort of hang up!

  • John Roffey 8th May '21 - 7:37am

    Mail’s on line headline this morning:

    Ministers say Boris could rule longer than Thatcher’s 11 years: Results suggest Conservatives would take 36 MORE Westminster seats from Labour at next General Election – as triumphant Tories boast ‘WE’RE the true workers’ party now’

    It seems that Labour’s failings are seen as far greater than those of the Lib/Dems – which should offer the party hope for a major revival – if tough choices can be faced!

  • John Roffey 8th May '21 - 7:57am

    Labour’s failings are viewed as far greater than the Lib/Dems – because they are the main opposition. I don’t think Starmer has the ‘common touch’ that Johnson obviously has, but is unlikely to be replaced before the next GE.

    An opportunity for the Party?

  • For the first time I am actually encouraged by the level of conversation on here and there is finally hope. Where has it gone wrong for the party.
    1. Local matters, not seen a local Lib dem or heard anything from my area at all. The green party successfully been fighting a development, worked hard on community programmes and have been rewarded with three seats, turning blue to green.

    2. EU… Yepp been my bug bear. The insistence of this party in fighting past battles when people have had enough. The recent Vaccine shambles has not helped. Perhaps pledge cooperation with the EU on a broad range rather than rejoining.

    3. Be more supportive in regards to industry, have a proper industrial policy etc.

    4. Be more visionary in regards to the future of the UK, in Scotland especially. So say we want a federal government with powerful states likes the USA and Canada and Australia. Where full fiscal support and common currency etc. Be positive about this vision. Come on lib Dems… Dare to be different.

  • Peter Martin 8th May '21 - 9:21am

    @ Maggie Kellman

    “Hartlepool was the constituency where it was once said people could weigh the votes for Labour rather than count them, so overwhelming were the majorities. A traditional Labour heartland.”

    Not really. It’s a common Southern misconception that the North is, or at least once was, full of clothed capped industrial workers who drank tea out of a saucer and largely voted Labour.

    The history of the Hartlepool constituency and its predecessor, the Hartlepools, tells a different story. The contest in the late 19th century was between the Liberals and Liberal Unionists. In one election it was between two Liberals who still managed to push the Tories into third place. The Labour Party didn’t come anywhere near to winning until they did actually win in 1945 by the not-so-large margin of 275 votes.

    There was only a few percentage points in it after that until the Tories briefly won it back in 1959.

    But I do agree that the loss this time is highly significant and shows further evidence of a disconnect between the Labour Party and what should be its natural working class support base.

  • Hard to offer any comments until you get a a complete picture.

    But I dug into those defecting MPs to see what they were saying. From what I can see on Twitter, only two (Heidi Allen and Phillip Lee) have offered any supportive pro-LD comments and Heidi’s were post-polling day. In fairness some maybe limited by political restrictions on their job (quite possibly the case for Heidi).

    I’d like to be fair – it’s of course possible that they have offered support in other ways. And I may have missed some older tweets (I was looking around polling day).

    But it is disappointing to see such a limited ‘payback’ from those who wanted the party’s support in the past.

  • John Peters 8th May '21 - 10:56am

    The Labour Party has shifted, the people of Hartlepool are probably as they ever were. Labour think that the poorly educated churned out by our higher education system are the future. I don’t think they are.

  • Martin,
    More a case of Labour unsure of what direction it wants to go. Under the big tent of New Labour they could straddle the nth-sth divide. Best Labour returns to the heartlands and ethos of old. Rather than this yes but no.

  • Peter 7th May ’21 – 6:28pm…………[email protected] Still shocked? Let me enlighten you…….

    Hardly! How many of those in Hartlepool, and elsewhere, who voted remain are cognizant with ratified or unratified treaties? As for Ukip being launched post Lisbon??? It was launched in 1993..

    You ignore immigration yet it was Blair’s 2004 action on that that had the right wing media foaming at the mouth.. However, in the 2005 GE UKip got just 2% of the vote and only 3% in 2010 (so much for your “immediate political threat”….

    What actually happened was that with no overall majority in 2010, polls and elections showing a consistent Labour lead Cameron (a weak, weak PM) was worried about his more right wing MPs defecting to UKip and announced the referendum, if he won the next election, in Jan 2013…At PMQs Ed Miliband rightly said Mr Cameron was “running scared” of the UK Independence Party. Ed Miliband, who opposed holding an in/out referendum, said Mr Cameron was “going to put Britain through years of uncertainty, and take a huge gamble with our economy; how right he was…
    Instead of appeasing UKip it had the opposite effect with UKip rising to 15% and the Tory vote opinion falling to under 30%..Farage was the ‘must have’ on every TV programme and the rest is history

  • Alex Macfie 8th May '21 - 1:40pm


    “EU… The insistence of this party in fighting past battles when people have had enough.”

    For every person who says we’re banging on too much about rejoining the EU, there’s at least one other person saying we’re not talking about it enough. The literature we were delivering in London didn’t mention the EU. I doubt it figured much in voters’ minds; if they know anything about us at all they know we’re anti-Brexit, but these elections can’t affect it so there was no point in making a big issue of it.

    The idea that our “Revoke” stance at the 2019 GE led to the Tory victory then and the Tory gains now is rather ridiculous. These were mostly due to people switching directly from Labour to the Tories. We barely figured in the election campaigns there, so it’s most unlikely that those voters knew or cared what we were thinking or saying.

    We confirmed our position as an anti-Brexit party by voting against the Brexit deal. This probably didn’t have much of an effect in the immediate term, and we didn’t make an awful lot of noise about it at the time (mainly because we hardly got a voice in the media). But it will serve us well when the real-world consequences of Brexit sink into voters’ minds. If Labour move towards an anti-Brexit position as a response to these election results, they will have to explain having voted for the deal.

  • Alex Macfie,
    Libdems are now hobbled under two weights. One is the fact that Nick Clegg brought us into coalition with the Tories, which has tainted the party with the hues of austerity. Then we came across as sneering and demeaning in the 2019 election with our revoke point of view. As for literature, I would not know as none has been delivered and I have seen three posts on social media in regards to the elections. On this site there are several times a month of putting rejoin the EU as a central plank of our election campaign, and for what, all it does is make the wound fester.
    So why not concentrate on good governance, support local issues and show the faces of the party

  • Alex Macfie 8th May '21 - 4:26pm

    @Dan: Obviously whether there’s been our literature depends on whether there’s an election in your area, and on how hard we’re fighting. All I’m saying is that Brexit and the EU did not feature significantly in any of the campaign literature I’ve seen or delivered here in Kingston upon Thames, or in any social media posts from the party in this election in London. And LDV is not an official party platform. Posts on LDV represent the views of their authors, and only read anyway by a small group of people who are either committed Lib Dems or deeply interested in what the Party does. This group is not representative of the typical voter.

  • expats 8th May ’21 – 1:20pm: ….Instead of appeasing UKip it had the opposite effect with UKip rising to 15% and the Tory vote opinion falling to under 30%..Farage was the ‘must have’ on every TV programme and the rest is history”….

    My momory of that time was that the Tories were mocking and ignoring Farage. It was Nick Clegg wgo legitimised Farange and brought him into mainstream acceptability by agreeing to a TV debate. Until that time, Farage and UKIP did not have legitimacy to be on ‘every TV programme’ Clegg then lost the argument by saying he saw the EU being the same in the future. Which politician ever says, vote for me an nothing will change?

  • I am not sure these elections tell us anything that is not already known. We live in a country where Conservatives have held power for twice as long as labour over the course of the Queens reign and that remains the status quo.
    UK voters want a combination of free market economics that recognises the role of individual aspiration and social democratic policies that furnish a level of security. It is often a tricky balance to manage that perhaps only Tony Blair has successfully pulled off in recent times.
    The pandemic has afforded the Conservatives the opportunity of enacting social democratic policies in the form of both the vaccine rollout and economic support to firms and staff that sit well with the British public. It is not surprising then that the usual loss of support for a government mid-term has not been seen in these elections.
    We won’t be able to read too much into these elections until the pandemic and the state handouts have come to an end. As normality returns the longer term issues that drive voting intentions can be expected to return. Those issues centre around cultural values as much as economic management.
    Perhaps one thing we can say is that the identity politics of the USA does not transfer well to the UK. Most people are proud of their British heritage and remain optimistic for their own future and ambitious for their children. They will look to a party that reflects that optimism and ambition. The environmental agenda and how that can be successfully linked to economic revitalisation is likely to become increasingly important over this decade.

  • David Allen 9th May '21 - 4:00pm

    “Libdems are now hobbled under two weights. One is the fact that Nick Clegg brought us into coalition with the Tories, which has tainted the party with the hues of austerity. Then we came across as sneering and demeaning in the 2019 election with our revoke point of view.”

    Well put. When a business makes similar mistakes and irretrievably trashes its own brand, it shuts down, and its people make a fresh start elsewhere. There’s a lesson there.

  • Alex Macfie 11th May '21 - 7:05am

    Our former policy positions weren’t a factor in last week’s election results. There may be some voters who still bear a grudge against us over the Coalition, but voters are hardly going to care about our Brexit policy from the 2019GE. Brexit hardly featured in the election campaign. and Revoke was a policy specifically for the circumstances of the time so won’t be a major issue even if Brexit becomes an issue later (which it probably will). The current real-world consequences of having left the EU will be far more salient than a valiant but doomed and perhaps misguided attempt to stop that happening.

    Maybe a high-profile relaunch and rebranding would get us more coverage and improve our ratings. On the other hand, we might just end up arguing like ferrets in a sack over the name and logo, as in the late 1980s “What’s your name today” era. However dire our position is now, we were in a much worse state back then.

  • Alex Macfie 11th May '21 - 7:07am

    Just for clarity, in “Brexit hardly featured in the election campaign,” I mean last week’s elections. I do wish this forum had an edit feature for posts.

  • Peter Martin 12th May '21 - 7:27am

    @ Alex,

    “Brexit hardly featured in the election campaign”

    True. But you’re missing the point.

    The question of the border in Northern Ireland doesn’t get much discussion in election campaigns there either. But those who want the border will vote one way and those who don’t will vote the other. There’s not the same concept of left and right in NI politics.

    There’s been no left/right division in Scotland for some time now – because of the Nationalist issue. The situation in England and Wales is more mixed but the Tories have morphed into an English National Party and the politics of Brexit are very much tied in with that.

    So just as the Unionists in NI receive high levels of working class support there, so we’re starting to see the same phenomenon shift the balance in England too, with increased support for the English National Party!

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