Daily Archives: 25 January 2006

Reasons to be cheerful parts one and two

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.

Defecting to oblivion

Talking of defectors, here is Cameron’s first bona fide scalp: Adrian Graves.

Who? Well, this “prominent” member is apparently the 2005 candidate for Suffolk West. He works in PR, yet isn’t so much of an expert that he could be bothered to sort out a decent photo for the party’s website.

Ho hum. I’ve always found defections a rather torrid thing – I’ve criticised the party’s decision to accept Paul Marsden and Brian Sedgemore in the past. They always seem to have more to do with some personal affront and an individuals over-inflated ego than anything else (“Look! At me! Stabbing my ex-colleagues in the back! Now, can I have a job please?”).

Still, the good news is that’s one less white middle class male we have to worry about standing next time.