Reasons to be cheerful parts one and two

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The media is going overboard on this whole “Lib Dem meltdown” thing. I would refer to you about my earlier comment about us not owning our narrative. But that is not the same thing as saying the narrative owns us.

So, I thought I’d start an irregular series on why things ain’t really all that bad.

Firstly, those opinion polls. It is laughable to claim this is the worst crisis we’ve experienced in 25 years when the worst polls we are getting are comparable to 2001 and the best comparable to November last year. There is simply no evidence of our voters abandoning us, and plenty of evidence that Cameron is starting to flag.

In terms of an overall sense of panic, you could claim that it is the worst since 1989, but that was when we went behind the Green Party in the European Elections and were pretty near bankrupt.

Secondly, our local base is still strong. One of the reasons I strongly doubt that Cameron will be able to make the inroads that the Tories are spinning he’ll make is that to the north and west of Ludlow (look it up on a map), the Tories are virtually nonexistent. They have no membership base upon which to build, and while they demonstrated in 2005 that they could buy in workers, it comes at a cost. With a national spending limit of £20 million (they spent £18 million in 2005) and a standing Electoral Commission recommendation to cut this in half, they will really struggle.

Our core supporter base will ensure that a national fall in voter share will have a reduced impact on number of seats. And if Cameron is trying to get the 130 seats he needs to form a majority, he won’t be able to dedicate too much time on targeting us.

5 thoughts on “Reasons to be cheerful parts one and two

  1. The Tories were in crisis more or less from Black Wednesday until the coronation of Dracula. It was a crisis that ended with an assassination. Why Kennedy’s departure is seen as the start of a crisis, is, I guess, because journos like crises. Of course it is unfair to compare Kennedy to IDS, but the point remains. Howard’s and Cameron’s appointments were both optimistic steps for the Tories – we need to convey our optimism too.

  2. You make a very good point. I’ve already seen the party developing a much clearer policy position as a direct result of this leadership contest. What is interesting is that both the left and the right of the party have been severely weakened, leaving what looks very much like the beginnings of a healthy state of consensus (fairer taxes, not higher taxes, at least some shift from income onto environmental taxes, significantly more emphasis on localism, civil liberties…).

    It is fair to say that the party is in a crisis, but that crisis now has a very definite end (2 March 2006). Crises can be healthy sometimes.

  3. From an observers perspective, the party is coming across better beneath the media fuss. Any Questions was excellent, all 3 came across well, with me being much more accepting of Ming than I was, although I’m still sold on Huhne.

    Of course, the explosion in the LibDem blogs (and my interest in finding them) has helped, but I’d agree James, reasons to be very cheerful, and plenty of time for the personal politics to blow over and the debate to go in favour of policy again. Then the victor gets a honeymoon to put the case, and media attention because of it. Given that essentially the LibDems know what they stand for and need to argue it better, whoever wins is in a better position than Cameron, who needs to figure what he needs theparty to stand for in order to win votes.

    Just need to remember he’ll never defeat NuLab on his own, the enemy remains Labour, not the Tories. (Thus sayeth a Torbay living supporter, anyway; next time I’ll actually be out campaigning for Adrian).

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