Saturday, January 28, 2006

Why the LibDems Should Smell the Coffee

To read some of the LibDem postings on this site, or PoliticalBetting.com or various LibDem Blogs you'd think it hadn't really been such an awful week for the yellow peril. They're acting like a businessman who knows he can't pay the bills, yet can't quite bring himself to put his company into liquidation. As Cilla Black used to say, let's have a quick reminder of the last seven days...

SATURDAY Lords Liberal leader Tom McNally confesses to having an alcoholic
SUNDAY Mark Oaten revealed in News of the World as a user of male prostitutes
MONDAY LibDem Dunfermline by-election plans leaked. They admit they may come third
WEDNESDAY LibDem PPC Adrian Graves defects to the Conservatives THURSDAY Simon Hughes 'outed' by The Sun
FRIDAY YouGov poll shows LibDem support down to 13%
FRIDAY Simon Hughes' campaign launch descends into farce when the lights out out, his campaign DVD won't play and he compares himself to Churchill & Lloyd George

SATURDAY Widely respected website Electoral Calculus predicts the LibDems will win 11 seats at the next election.

And who knows what tomorrow's newspapers might bring. Now believe it or not, I say this with no sense of Schadenfreude. It would just be nice, just for once, if the LibDems would admit to the world that they're in the brown stuff (with apologies to you know who) and stop acting as if it were, as Harold Macmillan might say, just a 'little local difficulties'. The only way to get over a problem is to recognise that it exists in the first place. Just as Charles Kennedy has recognised he has a drink problem and is doing something about it, his Party should follow his lead and have a collective reality check. Only then will they be able to move forward. I say this in the spirit of being helpful. Really.

UPDATE: Thanks to all those in the Comments section who pointed out the unintended error on SATURDAY above. I'll leave the mistake there as it's far more entertaining...

18 comments:

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Ha! And they STILL haven't sent me my membership card...

Antony Calvert said...

I tell you what really sums up the Lib Dems... their meticulous attention to detail.

If you look at Huhne's website you see that he adheres to this. He has a detailed list of committments... all of 87 words.

Hardly War and Peace is it?

http://www.chris2win.org.uk/

Anonymous said...

And the same site predicts that the Labour majority will fall by all of 2 to 64 at the next election - after what all must agree is the best month's coverage the Conservative Party has had since you first heard the name "Antonia DeSancha".

Maybe a few others should also be looking for a source of caffine?

Daniel Vince-Archer said...

If you enter the YouGov figures into Electoral Calculus, the Liberal Demoprats are down to just two seats - both in the darkest corners of Scotland. Their two MPs would be Alistair Carmichael, oh, and some nobody called Kennedy.

Neil Craig said...

Really? Well thanks.

I would have said that the reason they got in this fankle in the first place is by panicing when Mr Cameron appeared & started walking on water.

I make no bones of the fact that I would like to see the Lib Dems occupying the anti-statist side of the centre ground while Cameron & Brown fight over who is most committed to state socialism, but you don't get there panicing.

I also think your reference to Political Calculus is misleading - they make quite clear that their polls are a snapshot of recent polls not a serious prediction of an election years away - at various times all 3 parties have, on this measure, been heading for wipe-out &/or 80% a a 300 seat majority. Perhaps the fact that they time after time show a Labour majority, even on the occasions the Tories get more votes should be of more concern.

Nuke Labour said...

> Tom McNally confesses to having an alcoholic <

Shurely shome mistake?

Then again, after this week...

DFH said...

Lords Liberal leader Tom McNally confesses to having an alcoholic
Two scandals for the price of one?

Niles said...

Lords Liberal leader Tom McNally confesses to having an alcoholic

Oh, who hasn't had an alcoholic in their time?

Widely respected website Electoral Calculus predicts the LibDems will win 11 seats at the next election.

Is that our favourite uniform national swing back again so soon?

Presumably since you're happy with the prediction for the Libs, you're also able to believe unswervingly that Labour will trounce the Tories with an increased majority?

Anonymous said...

The only person who needs a 'reality check' is Iain Dale. The Lib Dems are more than aware of the seriousness of the situation, we just aren't about to fall apart.

Peter Black said...

"Tom McNally confesses to having an alcoholic"

Unless you are offering a new revelation about Charles Kennedy I suggest you mean to say that Tom McNally confesses to being a recovering alcholic.

Anonymous said...

IS that win or HOLD 11 seats? if last years decapitation startegy is any thing to go by it must be hold!

Iain Dale said...

Antony, more like jack and jill.
Thanks to all those who pointed out the Tom McNally typo. For all we know we did! I'll leave the mistake I think, as it's far more entertaining.anonymous, yes, it's HOLD 11 seats.

Anonymous said...

Daniel's figures also check out according to the BBC's swingometer, with a little fluctuation over the Tory and Labour figures. The swingometer is available on their election 2005 site.

Niles, we all know that due to our stupid electoral system (That we Tories insist on keeping, for no decent reason). Sadly its true that if an election was held tommorow we would most likely be trounced. If the swingometer is to believed Labour gets a huge overall majority with approx 35% of the vote, yet the Tories need to be at around 45% to get an overall majority of any size.

Anonymous said...

If you use the virtual map to highlight the changes the distinct lack of yellow over the country is very enjoyable.

Rob Knight said...

There's three years until the next election. Three years ago, IDS was Tory leader and they were polling around 30%. This should (though probably won't) demonstrate that there's little point in predicting things three years ahead of time in politics.

Paul Linford said...

Leaving the Lib Dems to one side for the moment....the really, really interesting thing about that electoral calculus figure is the fact that it gives Labour an overall majority of 64 on the basis of a lead over the Tories of less than 1pc.

When are the Tories going to realise that it would be in their interests to get rid of a constituency-based electoral system which rewards parties whose support is concentrated and penalises parties like theirs whose support is spread more thinly? In other words, when is Cameron going to back some form of proportional representation?

Iain Dale said...

Paul, the answer to your last question is, I hope, never.

Paul Linford said...

In that case, he has to explain why (based on the last election) it should take 26,843 votes to elect one Labour MP, 44,530 to elect a Conservative MP, and 96,484 to elect a Liberal Democrat MP.

What if the next election produced a situation where the Tories were ahead in share of the vote, but Labour still won overall majority of seats? It could happen. What price our precious electoral system then?!