Wednesday, July 09, 2008

LibDems giving up on Norwich South?

An interesting slip in this piece on LDVoice today by a former LibDem Agent in Norwich where he laments the rise of the Greens in the City.

He says:
And the Greens are becoming better organised at first-past-the-post politics. They managed 22% and a close third behind Labour and the Tories in Brighton Pavillion at the last election. And at local government level in Norwich, where the Lib Dems ran City Hall as recently as 2006, they are now the official opposition to Labour. All of the Green gains have been deliberately targeted at Lib Dem expense, and all in what should have been a strong Liberal Democrat Parliamentary prospect at the next election.

Notice the tenses there -- it should have been a strong parliamentary prospect but now, persumably, isn't. Recently the EDP said that the Green gains and the strength of the Tory recovery locally made the seat a "4 horse race". One City Councillor even predicts that the LibDems may come 4th.

Interesting times, wondering if the LibDems can hold it together.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post antony. I'd say its a 3.5horse race with it fairly close between yourself, Charles and Adrian (all strong candidates IMO); each having base support and appeal. I wouldn't want to call it as anything could happen between now and the next election. I'd add that Adrian is looking the long distant and leanest candidate with cycling, and might encourage the other gents into action.

Anonymous said...

I take very little notice of Terry Gilbert, he was all mouth not enough troucers.

Comrade said...

Looking at actual figures from general elections things all look rather different. In the past three general elections the Lib Dem vote has gone up and the Tory vote has gone down. Indeed from 1992-2005 the Lib Dems are up 17% the Tories down 14%. Even without the intervention of the Greens a 4% swing from Tory to Lib Dem still took place 2001-5.

Regardless of how Brown & co are doing we are still in a mid term, at least 18 months away from the general election. At this stage I would not over-emphasise the importance of the local election results. However, for what its worth in a very bad year for the Lib Dems and a very good year for the Tories the Lib Dems still outpolled the Tories in Norwich South by a good 600 votes in May!

Taking a reality check - despite coming 4th in May the most likely result for Norwich South is a Labout victory - largely thanks to a divided opposition. The next mosy likley outcome is Lib Dem, after that Tory and the 4th most likely is Green. Although the Greens had been advancing for three years in Norwich South by 2005 they still only acheived 7% in the general election. Up to 2007 the Green vote was still advancing in the constituency but this year it rather stalled. All in all, although Adrian Ramsey has a good profile in the constituency this will not be enough to deliver him a Brighton style vote ,yet alone one capable of winning.

I agree that recent Lib Dem performance has perhaps appeared less than inspiring but the party still has the best base on which to build for the next general election. If you really want to get rid of Clarke - vote Lib Dem X