+++We’re now up 75 seats and four councils!




From the BBC summary at 18:21 with 149 of 150 councils declared:
Labour 2296 up 55
Tories 1330 down 26
Lib Dems 536 up 75
Greens 39 up 8
UKIP 3 down 123
Others 142 up 11

We have gained control of Richmond, Kingston, Three Rivers and South Cambridgeshire and won the Mayoralty of Watford.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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17 Comments

  • We gained 77 seats, Labour gained 77 seats and the Tories lost 93 seats (even after taking 57 off UKIP)

    According to the BBC the Tories were the winners. Can anyone explain?

  • Neil Hickman 4th May '18 - 10:57pm

    Labour’s performance is even more mediocre than it looks, because it includes five gains from the Greens in Norwich. I get the impression sometimes that Norwich Labour Party would far rather spend time attacking the Greens than dirty their hands actually fighting the Tories.

  • Paul Walter..From the Guardian at 10.30 last night…Although it now says LD.75 Labour. 62

    Neil Hickman..From your post it appears that YOU are far more interested in attacking Labour than the Tories…Our result of 75 was fantastic but, if we had gained 62 seats, would that have been ‘mediocre’?

  • Expats
    I sort of agree. The reality is that, on these figures, if there was an election the Conservatives would not be able to form a government. Also younger people tend to be less likely to vote in council elections and that could have a distorting effect as well. Personally, I suspect the election system is hitting a bit of an impasse that might reshape policy as the realisation that a new consensus is taking shape sinks in. The result was encouraging for the Lib Dems.

  • John Roffey 5th May '18 - 9:37am

    @expats: I don’t really want to rain on anyone’s parade – but at about 3.am on Friday [when the Party had gained around 40 seats] somebody calculated that should the same percentage of gains continue – it would take 60 years for the same number of seats to be accumulated as was held prior to 2010 [4500 or 4800?].

    There is no doubt that the Party did the best of all parties in terms of numbers [although I suspect the biggest sighs of relief will be from senior Tories – given the mess that Brexit has become and the Windrush scandal] – however, I am not sure that these gains should be over exaggerated since this could lead to a belief that the Party is truly on its way back.

    Whereas losses, or even just a handful of gains, would have caused some doubt as to whether the Party could be of any significance at parliamentary level in the foreseeable future – it seems to me that the existing strategy [which some might believe has been validated by these results] requires some serious reflection.

  • update….Labour, it seems have gained 77 seats to our 75…We are either both winners or, to use Neil Hickman’s reasoning, both mediocre..

  • Peter Watson 5th May '18 - 9:46am

    expats “According to the BBC the Tories were the winners. Can anyone explain?”
    Given that the outcome was largely about maintaining the status quo then I suppose that is good news for the party in government, especially after 8 years and Brexit. After all, compare that with what being in government did for this party’s support!
    (Status quo might seem a bit odd given the Lib Dems’ significant recovery, but it is from a low base, accounting for 536 councillors out of more than 4000 and is apparently a smaller vote share than when different seats were fought a year ago.)

  • Peter Watson
    If there was an election today the Tories would not be able to form a government. Their losses more than cancel out any gains and nullify Unionist support. To an extent we are seeing Conservative Party spin. Put it this way if they were really that pleased with the result they would go for another general election.

  • Denis Loretto 5th May '18 - 12:02pm

    “According to the BBC the Tories were the winners. Can anyone explain?”

    This was all about expectation management. Labour sources were puffing themselves up beyond belief. In my borough of Southwark boasts were heard that they might take every seat and some bookies were giving odds on this (reality check – the 2 Conservatives were swept away but the Lib Dems held every one of the 11 seats under threat). The Tories had the wit to play down their prospects. The media bought it all. Simples!

  • Denis Loretto 5th May ’18 – 12:02pm…………..“According to the BBC the Tories were the winners. Can anyone explain?”…………………….This was all about expectation management. Labour sources were puffing themselves up beyond belief. In my borough of Southwark boasts were heard that they might take every seat and some bookies were giving odds on this (reality check – the 2 Conservatives were swept away but the Lib Dems held every one of the 11 seats under threat). The Tories had the wit to play down their prospects. The media bought it all. Simples!…………………….

    I don’t know who, in the Labour party, were boasting about massive gains….Every interview I heard from Corbyn, et al, they were playing down possible gains…
    It seemed to be the media that were ‘forecasting wonderful gains’..Mind you, in 2017, they all forecast a Labour ‘wipeout’ so they went all out in the opposite direction and got that wrong too…

  • Neil Hickman 5th May '18 - 4:34pm

    Expats: I think there is a difference between being a third party seeking to come back from the dead and being a party that projects itself as a Government in waiting. 75 gains for the Lib Dems is indeed excellent – I remember the caution on here before polling day about anticipating as many as 30 gains. But it seems to me that if the Labour Party is to be a credible Government in waiting it ought to be walloping what is unquestionably the worst government in my lifetime. And it really isn’t.
    (By the way, I am not more interested, let alone far more interested, in attacking Labour than in attacking the Tories. Not that it’s particularly relevant or interesting, but I am an ex-Liberal who thought the Coalition a disaster and while I now regard myself as a Labour supporter I still have the same dislike of Labour tribalism and illiberalism that took me into the Liberal Party nearly 50 years ago).

  • paul barker 5th May '18 - 5:50pm

    On the bright side, we had the best results for 15 Years. Also on the bright side, it would take another 5 Years of performances like that to get back all the losses we made in Coalition, that 4 Years more than I would like but lots of Party activists have been talking about us needing Decades.
    Still on the brightish side, we made some dent in The Media hostility/dismissal.
    The BBC estimate of 16% for our NEV was dissapointing but frankly I would advise waiting for the estimate from Rallings & Thrasher. The BBC were desperate to get a figure quickly, before whatever interest there was drained away, understandable but haste & accuracy dont mix.
    On good news away from Thursdays results, an average of the last 5 Polls gives us 8.4%, about 1% up on our performance since last Summer. 5 Polls is a lot for a statistical blip so maybe we have broken out at last.

  • Neil Hickman 5th May ’18 – 4:34pm………………..Expats: I think there is a difference between being a third party seeking to come back from the dead and being a party that projects itself as a Government in waiting………….
    I agree about the ‘difference’, just not with your interpretation…The first surge in ‘coming back from the death’ will be a deep breath…The Tory Windrush/Brexit disasters and Labour’s ‘anti-semitism’ problem have been headline news; we have had no such bad publicity…In addition, our local councillors are usually well regarded; it is the national party that is the problem…
    Labour’s strength is the ‘young vote’and they are not noted for turning out in local elections which are dominated by householders.

    I take as much notice of local elections, as a guide to a GE, as I do of polls…

  • Peter Watson 5th May '18 - 10:52pm

    @Glenn “If there was an election today the Tories would not be able to form a government.”
    They didn’t really manage that in 2010 or 2017 either, yet we’ve had a Tory PM for 8 years and could have one for another 4. 🙁

  • Allan Brame 6th May '18 - 7:41am

    There were obviously some encouraging signs and results to give us something to celebrate, but we should be cautious in extrapolating too much from these local elections.
    I held a Lib Dem seat on Wirral. Canvassing was positive, but many people said they were voting for us locally though they had no intention of doing so at a general election.
    I was also the candidate in Birkenhead at last year’s general election. I got twice as many votes in one ward last Thursday as I did in the whole constituency a year ago.

  • Peter Watson.
    They were able to form coalitions. On these figure they wouldn’t be able to. I don’t think even a fully revived Lib Dems would go for another one, the SNP certainly wouldn’t, the Unionist aren’t big enough and deadkip are, well, they’re dead.

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