Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Cameron Effect

...or, 'Crikey, we're in trouble!'

Liberal Vision have released an analysis of Liberal Democrat MPs in England and the likelihood of their surviving a growing Tory tide in the south of England.

For sounds methodological reasons, i.e. the difference between a three-party and four-party electoral system where swings are of different proportions and move in different directions, both Scotland and Wales were left out of the analysis.

Using a uniform national swing, no fewer than 35 of the 53 Lib Dems in England would lose their seat, while boundary changes would account for a 36th losing their seat to Labour. Ouch!

But it's all ok, because their famed hard work as incumbents will keep them in their seats. So that's okay then.

Not only that, but the Lib Dems will be targetting the 50 most winnable Labour seats.

Which is great, except that, under the uniform national swing methodology adopted in the report, just five seats would be taken by the 2.3% swing from Labour to the Lib Dems. Worse still, two of these are in Scotland where the Lib Dems have actually ceded support to Labour.

As a tax-cutting, small state group, Liberal Vision are calling for a shift to the right to appeal to the Tory voters they desperately need to keep their MPs - the message that Nick Clegg was trying to sell at their mostly ignored conference.

Oh, the irony that a party that was trying to place itself to the left of Labour now finds itself trying to go to the right of the Conservatives. A party that says all things to all people - and doesn't find this lack of consistency a difficulty.

For better or for worse, Lib Dems truly think of politics differently to everyone else.

No comments: