Welcome to my day: 15 January 2024 – trying a little harder…

Today is, apparently Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. But not here at Liberal Democrat Voice. Whilst Christmas is just far enough behind us now to be becoming a distant memory, the shops are full of Valentines stuff and Easter eggs, and there are at least two more by-elections for the opposition parties to get their teeth into (with a double dip in Blackpool still to come?). The Conservatives continue to find ways of tripping over their own biases and the Telegraph (yes, really) seems determined to add to their woes with polling that suggest that Rishi Sunak and his gallant crew will suffer the worst defeat for a ruling party since 1906 (and remind me who won then?…). If you fancy some entertainment, hurry though, the article goes behind their paywall this evening.

But, to summarise, the survey of 14,000 voters by YouGov suggests that Labour will win 385 seats to the Conservatives 169. But you don’t care about them, do you? You want to know how many we’re going to get, right? And the answer is… 48. Now, a caveat. The poll does assume that Reform UK will run in every seat, and given that it was commissioned by a group of Conservative supporters backed by Lord Frost, you might assume that it was designed to pressure Richard Tice and his colleagues to think again. If Reform UK are persuaded to give the Conservatives a free hand, the predicted number of Liberal Democrats is reduced to 26. But, at this stage, it’s all just a bit of a laugh, and given that some of the seats that we’re predicted to win are seats that would surprise me, and some seats that I think we can win aren’t included, perhaps it’s best to stick to the gameplan.

Elsewhere, and I’m a bit late with this, the reality of the war in Ukraine was brought home to fellow European liberals when the apartment of Kira Rudik, leader of one of our sister parties there, was hit by a Russian missile.


In a show of solidarity, Sal Brinton and John Sweeney sent her a gift (WARNING: language)…


The US Presidential Election starts in earnest today, with the Iowa caucuses for the Republican nominee taking place across the state. And yes, Donald Trump will win but the big question will be, is there a credible alternative and who is it? I’ll be taking a look at what’s at stake later this morning, and I even take the risk of offering a prediction of the outcome. I’m wondering if we shouldn’t have a regular feature on the Presidential race, given the impact that the winner will likely have on all of us – whether we like it or not. Is there a volunteer or volunteers?

And finally, on this day in 1870, the donkey first appeared as a symbol of the US Democratic Party, 1919 saw the Great Molasses Flood (twenty-one people died) in Boston, Massachusetts, and, in 2001, Wikipedia became open for business. And what would we do without it?…

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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  • Neil Hickman 15th Jan '24 - 7:56am

    The Telegraph article doesn’t give percentage vote shares, and, as you say, ignores tactical voting even where it seems probable. Not only do they project Mogg clinging on, they project the Tories holding North Norfolk..
    Plugging some not implausible percentages into the Electoral Calculus site can offer the Tories dropping below 100.
    Personally I don’t think any of this allows sufficiently for voter suppression, the change in the rules to facilitate dirty money, and the deliberate failure to regulate internet deepfakes. While I think Labour will win, a big question for the future will be whether Starmer can be as ruthless with the Tories as he has been with anyone vaguely to the left of centre.

  • Peter Martin 15th Jan '24 - 9:58am

    I’d suggest that the result of the next election isn’t anywhere near as clear cut as the polls are suggesting.

    There have been rumours around of a new Corbyn led left party for a while, which will no doubt be dubbed “Real Labour”, which have resurfaced again in recent weeks – albeit only reported in the right wing press. The support for that in both levels of membership and voter support would easily surpass Reform and the Lib Dems.

    I don’t know if it will happen but if it does……..

  • Dear Mark, please excuse my hitching a ride, confessing or claiming incipient senility as my excuse! [d.o.b. 1938]

    I very much object to our allowing Commerce to impose or inflict its vulgar finger-prints upon all our correspondence. So I wonder if potential participants in our debates can pay a sub (say £50 p.a.?) to bypass all the b****ing Commerce, and have nowt but LDV to read and ponder, as of yore?

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