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The Liberal Democrat Surge Continues!!!

Well I, at least, am a happy man this morning.

The Liberal Democrats fought in two by-elections yesterday (Leicester South and Birmingham Hodge Hill). In the previous election at both these locations they were third behind The Conservatives and Labour, with Labour winning the seats with huge majorities.

Today, the LibDems won the Leicester seat with a 21% swing away from Labour and narrowly (460 votes) lost to Labour in Birmingham with a 27% swing away from Labour - descimating Labours previous 11,000 vote majority! If Respect (an anti-war party) hadn't have won it is probable that the LibDems would have snatched Birmingham Hodge Hill away from Labour too!!

What the results prove beyond all doubt is that people are very unhappy with Blair and the Labour party at present and do not consider The Conservatives a viable option. Now whilst I don't think the LibDems will win overall control of Parliament at the next General Election I do believe that they'll take enough seats to make it a hung-parliament which will see a coalition government formed between Labour and the LibDems. I'm also sticking to my prediction of a few years ago which had me claiming that we'd see a Liberal Democrat Prime Minister within the next three elections. Roll on the next election!

Leicester South 2001 Results
Marshall (Lab) 22,958 (54.48%)
Hoile (C) 9,715 (23.05%)
Singh Gill (LD) 7,243
Layton (Green) 1,217 (2.89%)

Leicester South 2004 Results
Parmjit Singh Gill (LD) 10,274 (34.94%)
Sir Peter Soulsby (Lab) 8,620 (29.31%)
Chris Heaton-Harris (C) 5,796 (19.71%)
Yvonne Ridley (Respect) 3,724 (12.66%)

Birmingham Hodge Hill 2001 Results
Davis (Lab) 16,901 (63.86%)
Lewis (C) 5,283 (19.96%)
Dow (LD) 2,147 (8.11%)
Windridge (BNP) 889 (3.36%)

Birmingham Hodge Hill 2004 Results
Byrne (Lab) 7,451 (36.45%)
Davies (LD) 6,991 (34.20%)
Eyre (C) 3,543 (17.33%)
John Rees (Respect) 1,282 (6.27%)

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
robinbloke
Jul. 16th, 2004 12:44 am (UTC)
Fantastic news; I've been slowly charting the progress (mentally at least) of the Lib Dems as they get more and more of the vote and I'd agree with you, hopefully you'll be proved correct!
(Anonymous)
Jul. 16th, 2004 03:18 am (UTC)
interesting how the voting no's have dropped so much...13000 and 6000 less voters ! still end results are still positive
dredd pirate
gypseymission
Jul. 16th, 2004 07:51 am (UTC)
I was just watching the figures online and listening to the commentary on BBC World out here and then found your post. It is a very interesting result with cuase for conern for the labour party and probably cause for panic amongst the Conservative party.

The trhing is though that we have seen time and time again how a by-election result does not usually signify the behaviour of the electorate in a General Election, so I am not sure I can whole heartedly agree with your prediction.

What is colear however is that the British People en masse are now making it clear that the feeling across the country (and it's beginning to spread around the world) is that the war was wrong. It may even start to look as though Bush may not get a second term in the US.

The French are really starting to look like the players on world stage right now with the most courage. My feeling is that the labour party will probably offer Blair up as a sacrifice over this issue and get a new leader before the next general election, thereby securing a third term. Its very much the same kind of solution where the COnservatives offered up Thatcher and brought in Major. Just my two cents.
angusabranson
Jul. 16th, 2004 09:48 am (UTC)
The LibDems have been going from strength to strength over here for some time. They had there best Local Council and European Parliament elections last month and many people seem to be listening to what Charles Kennedy and co are saying these days.

Labour will win the next election, I'm not sure by how much though, mainly down to the fact that they have no healthy established opposition at present. Very few people want the Tories and I do believe they'll be relegated to the third party before too long. Their catchment area is dying out and recruits are either non-existent or being poached by the BNP and the UK Independence parties which are both doing better than usual (although the BNP have thankfully started struggling again recently but thats mainly thanks to UKIP).

The LibDems have pulled off several 'shock' victories already this year and I do feel it is more than just a protest vote. I'm looking forward to the next election. Not only in the hope that Blair gets some egg on his face by loosing a load of seats but also to see the Conservatives get hit 'real bad'.
evildrganymede
Jul. 16th, 2004 09:25 am (UTC)
I think the Lib Dems could easily win enough seats to form the "official" opposition party and relegate the Tories to "third party" status in the next election. Not sure if they could win it outright or cause a hung parliament though.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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