The Lib Dem path is for Blair to be defeated

Is it surprising that once 10 Downing St. invited a bunch of DC-based Democratic consultants over, that Labour/Blair started showing up more poorly in the polls? And sure enough, Labour has been fading, and the Tories are gaining:
                  Latest   Previous    2001            
Labour            36       (37)        45%
Conservatives     35       (34)        35%
Liberal Democrat  21       (22)        20%
The US consultants probably told Labour that they had to bring down the Liberal Democrats, in order to beat back the Conservatives. Let's face it. If Tony Blair is inviting the Kerry consultants over to give him advice, he's halfway home to being ousted. And in fact, the best thing for the Lib Dems (which is whom most of us here are rooting for) is for the Conservatives to do surprisingly, even shockingly well at beating Labour.

Will the Tories regain power only with the help of the Lib Dems? I doubt that, but having the Liberal Democrats be the kingmaker would be, among other beneficial actions, a great way for the UK to get out of Iraq.

Tags: Foreign Elections (all tags)

Comments

37 Comments

bad advice
I just want to post a public shout-out, if the Liberal Democrats are looking for some help, please contact me. I don't fuck around.
by blogswarm 2005-04-07 06:57PM | 0 recs
Being forced to form a coalition
government with the Lib Dems, might be actually a shot in the arm for Old Labour who are really tired of Tony's Tory-lite policies.
by nanorich 2005-04-07 07:24PM | 0 recs
I reiterate
for those of you looking for some data on the election, may I offer this site:

http://www.ukelect.co.uk/LatestForecast/Forecast.htm

here is their latest forecast on the results:

The percentages used were Lab 36%, Con 33%, Lib Dem 22%, Nationalists 2.5%.

The main change over the last year in our forecasts is a slow reduction in the anticipated total share of the vote won by the two main parties, especially the Labour Party,  and an increase (partly reversed) in the projected Liberal Democrat vote, coupled with an increasing belief that there is a significant possibility of anti-Labour tactical voting in some seats. This is in reaction to the after-effects (and continuing effects) of the Iraq War and a series of unpopular policies such as tuition fees. The combination of these and other factors, in our judgement, created enough anger in a small proportion of the electorate to persuade them to vote for anyone who can defeat the local Labour MP. In this election simulation we again assume that a maximum of 20% of people would be prepared to vote tactically against Labour in the right circumstances. This is a little higher than we have generally previously assumed before this year, but still within what we judge to be a realistic range (and it should also be emphasised that this figure is not the number that we think will vote tactically, simply those who would be prepared to do so if they lived in a constituency where the circumstances were right.)

Party         Seats     Change from 2001 election
Labour           345       -67
Conservative  209       +43
Lib Dems      60        +8
SNP           7         +3
Ulster Un     6         -
DUP           5         -
Plaid Cymru   5         +1
Sinn Fein     4         -
SDLP          3         -
Ind           1         -
Speaker       1         -
Labour Maj    46        -71

They also have different predictions for various turnout rates (imagine that!)...check it out. They also have detailed maps of the current district control and how they would change by putting in different numbers....

Just for differnet scenarios:

Conservative surge:

Turnout = Con 36%, Lab 35%, Lib Dem 20%, Nats. 2.5%

Labour Majority = 42 seats

Lib Dem surge:

Turnout = Lab 33%, Con 29%, Lib Dem 27%, Nats. 2.5%

Labour Majority = 72 seats

Labour vote Slump:

Turnout = Con 37%, Lab 32%, Lib Dem 24%, Nats. 2.5%

Hung Parliament, Labour short 26 seats but still largest party.

Conservatives get 40%:

Turnout = Con 40%, Lab 32%, Lib Dem 20%, Nats. 2.5%

Hung Parliament, Labour short by 35 seats but still the largest party.

Welcome to the world of First-past-the-post electoral laws folks!!!

by Nazgul35 2005-04-07 07:54PM | 0 recs
Ya
and that just makes it clear how the stupidity of first past the post is even further magnified in a parliamentary system.
by Valatan 2005-04-07 09:31PM | 0 recs
Sigh
Labour's gone down 1 point, 5 weeks before the election.  This is not the Apocalypse.  Sigh.  Sigh.  Sigh.  
by mattgabe 2005-04-07 08:45PM | 0 recs
Dare I?
Dare I get my hopes up?  The only soundbytes to make it through the Corporate Filter are not, shall we say, inspiring.
by goplies 2005-04-07 08:58PM | 0 recs
Closer than we All Think
Blair's dumb comment about not running for a fourth term was how this all got started. Once you put a qualification on your potential, the birds start to circle.

Still, there is no electoral college in Britain so Labor is likely to triumph even with the McNader factor of Charles Kennedy.

by risenmessiah 2005-04-07 10:29PM | 0 recs
BBC Swing-o-Meter
The BBC has a cool tool called Swing-o-Meter where you can simulate any % swing from one party to the next. It also has historical figures for past elections - Liberal Dems and Consevatives are both a few percentage points below historical averages.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/vote2005/swingometer/html/labcon.stm

by joejoejoe 2005-04-08 01:48AM | 0 recs
Don't get your hopes up
There are several reasons why all this is a pipe dream -

1. The Conservatives and the Lib Dems have no ideological connection on any of the major issues in UK politics - any coalition in the Commons between the two would seem impossible. Labour has tacked hard enough to the right so as to become almost identical to the Tories on issues such as the war, crime, asylum etc. The Lib Dems are left holding the left/liberal line, completely alien to the Tories, on all these issues - their natural constuency for any kind of parlimentiary coalition would be left-leaning Labour rebels, not conservatives. The idea of them allying with the Tories on any issue of substance would be akin to a new political party somewhere to the left of the Democrats appearing in Congress - then assuming that the Rebublicans would seek to ally with them on major ideological issues. Ain't gonna happen.

And that's not even looking at the major red meat Tory issues like Europe (the single reason why the party is a shadow of its former self) or public spending.

2. The second reason is that the Lib Dems are tactically useless. They have insipid leadership and very little political acumen - they quite simply don't have the stomach for the kind oif fight that would seriously elevate them into being a second party. It's a pity - their previous leader PAddy Ashdown might well have been up to seizing the kind of opportunities that the current situation offers but the present leader, Charles Kennedy doesn't the will or ability - simple as that. Think about it - they have in front of them the kind of political opportunity that only comes once in a political lifetime. There's massive and serious public dissaffection with both the ruling party and the principal party of opposition - with some smart campaigning and some balls, this must be an opportunity for the taking and yet... the Lib Dems still can't make it over a projected 60 seats. I'm sorry but if you're sitting in pole position, staking out popular/populist claims on eveything from Iraq to Europe that the other parties have swung right on then  - and you still can't make that kind of opportunity work for you, you don't deserve to do well.

by ollyb 2005-04-08 03:19AM | 0 recs
DC consultants
Before you start lumping all DC consultants together (and kicking the admittedly disappointing Tony Blair around) isn't Karen Hicks, former high level Dean for America staffer, over in London working for Blair?  
by nascardem 2005-04-08 04:17AM | 0 recs
Karen Hicks was Dean's NH Staff Director
and the difference between NH and Iowa was night and day...

She became Field Director for Kerry, but she was so far down the organizational chart, I doubt if she had much clout.

by nanorich 2005-04-08 04:44AM | 0 recs
Re: DC consultants
Yea, so what?
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-04-08 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: DC consultants
Not every consultant is evil, nor do you have to be anti-Labor Party to be a progressive.  The answers aren't always as clear cut as we like to make them out to be.  Unless you are George W. Bush, and look at what his "moral clarity" has done to the country.  
by nascardem 2005-04-08 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: DC consultants
Not every consultant is evil

Thanks!

by Jerome Armstrong 2005-04-08 05:36PM | 0 recs
left-right-centre
Hmmm. Well, the Tories are far more solidly pro-war than Labour, so I don't see how helping them gets the UK out of Iraq.
by mirandola 2005-04-08 04:46AM | 0 recs
Re: left-right-centre
Tories won't gain a majority, but a hung body would mean Labour has to deal with the Lib Dems.
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-04-08 06:20AM | 0 recs
Gah
We don't actually want the Torries to actually win!  We want Labour to almost lose, so there is internal party pressure to remove Blair and replace him with somebody anti-war.

Now, best case scenerio would be for the Liberal Democrats to actually win, but that doesn't seem even remotely possible.

by Geotpf 2005-04-08 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Gah
There's not a chance that the Cons would win, that's right.
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-04-08 06:19AM | 0 recs
True
I thought about this more, and I think I changed my mind.

What we want is a hung parliament, where no party has a majority.  That will force Labour to work with the Liberal Dems to form a government.  Of course there's a chance that they will decide instead to work with the Torries, but I don't think Labour has gone that far to the right.

by Geotpf 2005-04-08 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: True
Right, hung is good.
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-04-08 08:52AM | 0 recs
If the LIbs . . .
rendered Blair irrelevant, and ran against Bush, they may make more inroads. A vote for Blair is a vote for Bush. Many Brits believe that Tony is not his own man.
by Rigel 2005-04-08 07:47AM | 0 recs
Jerome - Stick to US politics
As a Brit nd now an American, just about everything you write makes me nod so hard my neck hurts, but after reading this, really, you need to stick to US politics.

first the polls, come on buddy, it's within the MoE. Labor is still in the driving seat, and unlike US polls, these kindsof polls are much less revealing, since Blair is elected based on the number of MP's elected, so you really need to look at the numbers for the swing seats, and not the overall temperature.

Rooting for the LibDems is like rooting for, well, Arizona Cardinals to win the SB 3 times in a row. It aint EVER going to happen, EVER. The british simply dont take them seriously at the national level.

hung parliament, wit hthe LibDems forming a coalition. sure it could happen, i very much doubt it will, but if it's THAT close, there is NO WAY IN HELL that the LibDems would form a coalition with the Conservatives, that would be like the Greens here helping out the republicans. No, they would put Labour back in power and the government wouldnt last a year. Because there is no way either the Cons or Laboour would EVER agree to election reform leading to proportional representation.

So a fun post, and bashing the Dem consulatants is always good stuff, but for the rest of it, I hope folks who read this dont take it all that seriously.

by Pounder 2005-04-08 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome - Stick to US politics
I missed a serious point. Blair has already ordered the rebasing of over half the Brish troops in Iraq to go to Afghanistan. The British withdrawal is already underway, regardless of the election.
by Pounder 2005-04-08 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome - Stick to US politics
there is NO WAY IN HELL that the LibDems would form a coalition with the Conservatives,

Stick to reading what I wrote. If you'd clicked through on the link, you'd notice that was the title of the article that was in the UK, and that I doubted it would ever happen.

Other than that, you rant nonsensical about saying I don't know a lot, while saying not a lot.

by Jerome Armstrong 2005-04-08 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome - Stick to US politics
Actually pounder, you had one other point that was wrong as well. I provided the last two poll numbers, but anyone that's followed the race knows that it's become quite a bit tighter over the past two months (I guess my expecations of the readers fore-knowledge came in too high in this case). Labour had an advantage over the Tories of 38-32 in the Telegraph(Feb) and a 37-32 in the Sunday Times(March).
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-04-08 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome - Stick to US politics
It is still pretty much within the MoE, with a highly volatile electorate, and again, these national polls are of little value in judging the actual outcome, for that one has to look at the swing seat numbers.

Another interesting aspect of British Politics which makes it harder to gauge is the level of tactical voting that goes on.

Folks have no problem voting for their second choice party if their own party is running third, if it means potentially beating the real oppostion. Indeed this is where much of the LbDem support comes from, torries and labour voters tactically voting.

by Pounder 2005-04-08 09:09PM | 0 recs
The coalition would be...
...with the Lib Dems and Labour-and maybe the Lib Dems could insist on somebody other than Blair, or insist on pulling out British troops to do so.  The chances of the Torries getting a majority of seats seems near zero.
by Geotpf 2005-04-08 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The coalition would be...
Agreed. But the LibDems have wanted PR for so long and it would certainly be a pre condition for forming a government, a condition neither main party would accept.

and as i mentioned, the troops are already leaving, this will be a non issue by the end of the year.

not wanting Blair, i dont know about that, politically having a weak blair makes their position stronger, having Gordon Brown take over would reduce the libdems to also rans again.

by Pounder 2005-04-08 10:18AM | 0 recs
If there is no majority...
...two parties would have to form a coalition.  It's not going to be Lib Dems and the Torries.  Therefore, it will be Labour and somebody.  Depending on how close to a majority, Labour could possibly connect with a few of the minor parties, but that seems unlikely.  It will either be with Labour and either the Liberal Dems or the Torries.  If they form with the Torries, Labour will cease to become a major party as everybody will defect to the Lib Dems.  So, it will be with the Lib Dems, which gives the Lib Dems a lot of power in this situation.
by Geotpf 2005-04-08 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: If there is no majority...
Well that has been the wet dream of the lib dems since they started.

but there is simply no way that coalition of Labour and LibDems could work. The Labour party are not about to give away future election victories and settle for permanent power sharing that the libdems want through proportional representation.

they also are never going to sign onto some of the more left wing ideas of the LibDems such as drug legalization etc, that would be the road to future conservative majorities.

I think if Labour is close enough to a majority, you are quite right that some of the smaller parties might work with them, such as plaid cumri (sp?) scot nats etc, as they would only be looking for their regional influence to be extended.

Its been a VERY long time since Britain has even remotely been in this kind of situation, and i am not sure it would work having such a weak government.

In the end i predict labour to win with a majority of around 50 seats, Libdems to pick up half a dozen or so and the rest go to the torries.

blair clinging ot power is running the very real risk for labour of seeing election defeat before the end of the decade, when not so long ago they looked set for a long run as the ruling party ala the conservatives did from 79 to 97.

by Pounder 2005-04-08 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: If there is no majority...
The Labour party are not about to give away future election victories and settle for permanent power sharing that the libdems want through proportional representation.

Of course they aren't, that's plain to see. The point is though, if the Conservatives take 40% of the vote (and that's a stretch), it doesn't matter a rats ass what the Labour Party's POV is from it's current position-- in a hung, they'll have little choice but to sit at the table wit the Liberal Democrats. But who knows, maybe they won't, then it would really get interesting.

by Jerome Armstrong 2005-04-08 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: If there is no majority...
sure they could try to patch something together on taxation and maybe drug liberalization, throw a few extra pounds at the cause du jour, but i dont think it is a coalition that could or would last.

how would they reconcile Iraq ?

I dont know how many of the party cabinet ministers would react ot being replaced by a bunch of libdems either, which is why blair would be pitched over the side.

blair would be gone pretty quickly, and with a new leader my guess is that another election would quickly follow.

4th parties, or minor parties will draw between 8 and 10% of the vote. so the 3 main parties are fighting over the 90% of the rest of the vote.

See the 2001 results for an idea

Lib Dems will trade in the 15 to 20% range, probably around 19% is my guess, that leaves the big 2 fighting over 70%

the last couple of times out it roughly split 40-30. If the orries get 40% of the vote, they win, and win big.

by Pounder 2005-04-08 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: If there is no majority...
how would they reconcile Iraq ?

It'd be over, a complete and immediate pull-out. Forget about Blair's timetables and whatnot, it'd be done. Labour would know that message. As for other minor 3rd parties, it really depends on how many seats we are talking about. If it's less than 10, or better, less than 5, yea sure, it's doable. But each one of those is like herding a loner cat that's like that way for a reason, and will likely not work in the long-term.

I'll post later on a preiction, but 2001, this ain't. No way that Labour gets anywhere near what they got in 2001, and I really think it's doubtful that Lib Dems will underperform in '05 from '01-- as of the elections over the past couple of years, they've consistently overperformed the poll expectation, while Labor has underperformed.

by Jerome Armstrong 2005-04-10 09:01AM | 0 recs
Why would we want that to happen?
The Liberal democrat Party is a center right party when it comes to the European politics that is closer to the Libertarian Party than to anything else.

In the European Parliament, it is allied with other center right parties, such as UDF (France), FDP (Germany), ...

http://eld.europarl.eu.int/content/default.asp?PageID=32

I certainly disagree with Blair's foreign policy, but the political life in England would have to have become really different for a liberal populist Democrat to prefer the Liberal Democrats to the Labour Party (can somebody from England tell us more on that).

by Mass 2005-04-08 12:05PM | 0 recs
Great!
I am a "Libertarian Democrat".  This means I think the government should provide a wide safety net, ensure fairness, stay out as many foreign conflicts as possible-and then get the heck out of the way.  That means I am for drug legalization, burecratic reduction, and socialized medicine (the last of which actual Libertarians are very against).  This also means I think a lot of Democratic diehards are too anti-corporate-but I am not a DLC weenie-I think there should be logical regulations, especially for health and safety, but otherwise there should be minimal government involvement in business.  I am against government bailouts of businesses (the LibDem statements about the Rover collapse pleased me).  I am for raising the minimum wage (this is in the "safety net" portion, IMHO).  I am for public transit and pollution controls (health).  I think Dem activists bash Walmart way too much.
by Geotpf 2005-04-08 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Great!
I was asking a simple question because I was comparing to the other parties in the same block in the European Parliament, that I know better, and I was doing that in an European perspective, not an American one.

Half of the right wing parties in France are to the left of the DLC.  This does not mean they are good compared to what exists in France, same thing in Germany and in Spain.

So my question was to know where the two parties stands and luckily, BenP gave an excellent answer in his thread later.

by Mass 2005-04-08 03:52PM | 0 recs
by hpvv 2005-12-19 10:12PM | 0 recs

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