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Delighted at the failure of the LD's.I had thought they would gain as Labour voters switched to them but it hasn't really happened.A couple of things we should bear in mind though,they've had a bruising year and a few months ago they would have been delighted with 27%,and secondly their campaign was strangely disjointed and lacklustre.We can't rely on this happening again.

One we're sad about:
Gay councillor loses Hackney seat

"One we're sad about:
Gay councillor loses Hackney seat"

I look forward to the day when the sexuality of councillors is not an issue. I am disappointed because he is a Tory and didn't win.

The only way I could see us ever coming to terms with the Lib Dems is if they transformed themselves from a left-liberal into a libertarian party i.e return to their classical liberal roots. Can't see it happening soon though.

I'm sad that someone as able and committed as Andrew Boff should have lost; I am indifferent to the fact that a gay councillor should have lost.

Conservatives are up to 317 gains according to the BBC now.

Speaking as a floating voter, I had hoped that the Lib Dems would do better at the last general election. However their failure to capture seats was very disappointing. I was also particularly disappointed by the quality of the candidates they fielded at the general election and could not bring myself to vote for them.

To do so badly when riding on an Iraq war high, I thought they were very unlikely to do well in the wake of the bad news surrounding Charles Kennedy, Mark Oaten, and Ming's continuing lack of charisma.

Personally, I think the public has realised that the Liberal Democrats will not remove Labour from power.

I think the Conservatives should focus on Labour and not consider the Lib Dems a major threat.

Lastly, I believe Blair has said "Never underestimate the Tories and never overestimate the Lib Dems", and I think this will become increasingly true.

What I think this result shows is that it's becoming more difficult for the Lib Dems to claim they're a party for everyone - left or right. I think soon they're going to have to make a conscious decision - attempt to shift to the right to attempt to head off a Tory advance in the south, or focus on their left-wing credentials in order to score big in Labour protest votes in the Northern cities. In the short-term, the former might suit their anti-Tory agenda, but in the long-term the latter is probably the best option for them. But will they be able to comprehend that?

don't forget Sutton. Big in roads there - should be ours for the taking next time.

By the way, who are SALT?

Richard and Sean, you are being rude.

I suspect the reason that Mr Cohen from PinkNews is sad that an able gay candidate has not been elected, is because minorities cheer when one of their own does well, are sad when they don't, and irritated when they misbehave. I don't see why it requires a snide remark from either of you.

"I don't see why it requires a snide remark from either of you."

My remark was not intended to be snide. I just don't think highly of identity politics when it comes to elections. Elections ought to be about politics. Obviously people are entitled to vote based on other issues and I am entitled to disagree with them for doing so.

Sorry, that last post ought to include the word "issue" before the second use of the word "politics"

True Blue, I didn't read those comments are being snide or rude at all. I thought they were legitimate points about seeing everyone the same regardless of whether they are gay or not.

Without wanting to be negative, has anyone any idea what happened in Richmond. Seems bizarre that we lost so many seats to a party that bankrupted the council last time round.

When you've looked at all the results, when you've heard all the chat, it all boils down to this.

When a party wins three times in a row, the words s**t and fan are bound to come together. Then the same process starts: the cabinet reshuffle, the calls for the leaders head, the decapitation. Thats what happened to Mrs. T. thats what's happening to Tony Blair. Will Labour pull off the same trick as the Tories, a change of leader bringing a fourth election victory.

Which didn't remove the curse of the third term, it just made it worse in the long run.

Watch this space, for further episodes of 'THE CURSE OF THE THIRD TERM'

SALT = Socialist Alternative

I wasn't being snide at all, True Blue. I think Andrew Boff is an outstanding candidate, and I'm very disappointed he lost.

I was just trying to make the point (perhaps badly) that the important thing about him is that he's an excellent candidate - not that he's gay.

re: Richmond - And will probably bankrupt us again if they believe half of what they campaigned on. (all the stuff about the council building up reserves etc)

Any capable Tory leader should always be thinking about how to split apart the two irreconcilable factions that make up the Lib Dems. Oliver Letwin's silly project for merging with the Lib Dems is an unwelcome distraction and a sign of tactical weakness....not least because it gives them a credibility they do not deserve.

Delighted to see that Croydon is a Lib-Dem free zone.

Might be a Lib Dem controlled Council here in Warrington if deals are done, and am sure after a year of their administration there will be a substantial adverse effect on their vote next year, roll on 2007.

Don't want to be base, but I always see the Lib Dems as a blackhead that needs a squeeze from both sides, if you know what I mean.

In 2002-2004, the Iraq War was the issue on most people's minds, the Lib Dems seemed a credible protest vote.

In 2006, The July 7 and 21 Attacks and the Danish Cartoons, are the current issues and the Lib Dems have no solutions.

I think many of the votes we won were protest votes on these recent issues. We did very well but shouldn't be resting on our laurels just yet.

Small correction - Lambeth was a Lib Dem-Conservative joint administration.

I know the kind of person who joins/votes Lib Dem. They're not socialists, they hate paying taxes, they all aspire to be middle class but they feel big guilt pangs, see Iraq and environment for evidence of attempted compensation. Left to their own devices they elect Uncle Fluffy, and muddle on with 20% of the vote. The question nobody is asking is why in the hell everyone appears to just accept the existence of the Liberals in our political landscape? Why can't a collapse in their vote be our way back into power, or at least a big leg up? Ultimately, what are the Lib Dems *for*?

Next time maybe Lib Dem voters can be persuaded to join the dark side if it means getting Labour out.

Key message:
In 2005 voters were sick of Blair and wanted to protest.
In 2006 voters are sick of Labour and want to get rid of them.

That's the difference over 12 months. The reshuffle shows that Brown is the Bitch in the Blair-Brown relationship and therefore not fit to be PM; he has wasted 3 opportunities to take control.

Voters understand that government is first and foremost about security. Blair has failed. Brown has shown he has no cojones. The electorate has already decided that Cameron is The Man. Steady as she goes until the next GE.

According to the BBC, with all the seats now declared, the Lib Dems made a net gain of just 2 (two) councillors. With Labour support so low, losing a net 319 seats, the Lib Dems are in cloud-cuckoo-land if they think they are the real opposition.

Libdims should also look at their vote share - down compared to last time (Labour did worse which meant LDs managed to hold second place).

Still we don't want themn too downhearted - Ming is an asset to the Tory Party so keep him there a bit longer.

The question nobody is asking is why in the hell everyone appears to just accept the existence of the Liberals in our political landscape? Why can't a collapse in their vote be our way back into power, or at least a big leg up? Ultimately, what are the Lib Dems *for*?"

Well, I think you've answered your own question. They have that core vote you've mentioned, and they also pick up a protest vote from all over the place. I'm quite happy to see the Lib Dems polling 20-25% indefinitely, as I think they'll do more damage to Labour than to us.


Tend to agree on the split opposition thing but two concerns:

On Thursday the LDs didn't do that well in Labour territory - unwind of the anti-war vote? impact of BNP concerns? We need them to take Labour votes.

How long will Ming remain leader - could we see Clegg/Huhne/Laws in place before 2009? Think, despite the activists spin, the LDs know they made a hurried and wrong choice and Ming isn't the right leader. A young new face could hit us in Cons/LD contests.

I've said this before to many people, and I think its apt to say it again. The Liberal Democrats do well when they are a pathetically small party with no prospects. People are happy to protest vote with them, not caring about the policies, because they know that the party doesn't have a chance of implementing them.

As soon as they get to the point of becoming power brokers in a hung parliament (Like they may well be in 2009) people actually begin to examine their policies, voting for 50% income tax, 16 year old porn stars and having a rusty metal pole rammed up your backside is a lot easier when you know its never going to be implemented!

The Liberal Democrats have begun to stagnate and I believe they are going to lose seats at the next election in a big anti-labour drive, where people are screaming "Oh my god anyone but Labour!" and recognise that the Conservatives are the only ones who can push Labour out of power.

So, how many people will be placing money on Richmond swinging back into Tory hands next year after council tax has quadrupled?

"having a rusty metal pole rammed up your backside"

Which policy is that?!

Is it supposed to be a way of saying voting Lib Dem gets you shafted?

Is it supposed to be a way of saying voting Lib Dem gets you shafted?

Nice way of putting it, though personally I was just pre-empting what their next big policy announcment might be.

That is very often the case, Chris. But there are some places (like Sutton and Kingston) where they can make their support stick.

A borough like Harrow is a text book case of how Lib Dem support can fall as rapidly as it has risen.

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