Political

Don’t call an early election, the Lib Dems will beat us warn Conservative MPs

Theresa May ruled out a snap election and it can be revealed Tory MPs had begged the Prime Minister NOT to go to the country in an early poll.

West Country Conservatives — who routed the Lib Dems from the south west in 2015 — feared a fresh contest so close to the Brexit vote could give the pro-EU party a foothold, putting the PM’s 17 seat majority at risk. [The Sun]

With Liberal Democrat membership doubled, fundraising edging ahead of Labour and dramatic council-by election gains most weeks, not to mention Witney and then Richmond Park, it’s easy to see why so many Conservative MPs are worried about losing their seats.

One item notably missing from that list, however, is a sustained significant opinion poll bounce. Liberal Democrat poll ratings have edged up, and the party is not far off consistently over-taking Ukip. But the ratings are still stuck in the low double digits on average, an issue which Matt Singh looked at in the latest Liberal Democrat Newswire.

For the mechanics of how an early election can, and can’t, be triggered see my post explained the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.

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9 responses to “Don’t call an early election, the Lib Dems will beat us warn Conservative MPs”

  1. The national polls follow what the national press chooses to report, so won’t show a massive increase in Liberal Democrat support.

    However, the local story shows another reality; and it is in this reality that the Liberal Democrats are continuing to search and take seats: both locally and in constituency.

    The Tory MPs have a right to be scared, for they can see locally what we are seeing locally; and, whilst we are celebrating it, it will scare them as we are on the up as they are on the way down.

    Ignore the national polls: look at what is happening in reality in your area.

  2. What’s your view on what Matt said Mark? It does seem plausible there’s a significant “shy lib dem” vote these days amongst former Labour voters – I shouldn’t say I’ll vote LD because they propped up the nasty Tories?

  3. “putting the PM’s 17 seat majority at risk”

    If there were a snap election, the Conservatives are looking at a 80-110 seat majority – the loss of a few seats in the SW would be a price worth paying for many Tory MPs.

    Stephen Tuthill seems to have taken a leaf out of the Corbynista playbook in ignoring the polling – the Lib Dems are at 10% because people don’t want to vote for them!

  4. I’m a lifelong Labour voter and recently left the party over Corbyn’s lunatic backing for May’s hard brexit. I have my issues with the Libs -going into coalition with the execrable Tories helped to get us to this abysmal position. And the LD’s joined in with the Tories’ lies about Labour causing the global financial crash in 2008. But brexit is bigger than all that and so the Lib Dems have my support and I will continue telling everyone I know that voting for them is the only route to stopping brexit.

    I said months ago that the LDs would enjoy a big surge and even if the media can’t see it for what it is doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

  5. It’s great to hear a good news story like this. It raises morale and gets people up for the fight. The problem is it shows just how out of touch with reality so many of our supporters are. Every year up to 2010 we did well in council by-elections, every year we did less well in the May local council elections, and every five years we did even less well in a General election, where the worst predictor of our success was council by-elections, followed by our performance in the May council elections. The best predictor of our vote share was the much derided

    ….. opinion polls.

    So look to by-election results to inspire you, but don’t think that the Conservatives should be scared of us, or that it will take anything less than a massive amount of hard work over many years to get us back to where Charlie K (and generations before him) got us to by 2005.

  6. “Ignore the national polls: look at what is happening in reality in your area.” – I’m afraid that sounds awfully familiar from the run-up to the last GE. Nobody could believe the opinion polls were telling the truth about how low the party had sunk. Ask Paddy Ashdown how that turned out.

  7. The Lib Dems made mistakes when in coalition but few people seem to realise that they actually diluted what the Tories would otherwise have done. They don’t get any credit for what didn’t happen. The sins committed in the past year by certain Tories far surpass the Lib Dem mistakes re. student grants etc. Jeremy Corbyn isn’t that far behind in my view because his opposition to May and her crew is so pathetic.

  8. The Lib Dems have consistently supported the promotion of electoral reform in general, and specifically, I believe, of Proportional Representation. If that is so — someone will confirm or deny it — then how could the LDs respectably have formed a coalition with Labour, which got fewer votes than the Tories? Wouldn’t everyone have derided their unprincipled opportunism? For most LDs, I believe, a coalition with Labour would have been much more congenial than assisting the Tories. But it could perhaps not have been done with Gordon Brown as Labour leader, even if the Conservatives, as the largest party, were offering a partnership with the LDs on terms so uncongenial as to be unacceptable. Integrity, honesty, and a painful adherence to well known LD principles left no alternative to a wary collaboration with the Tories. As one of the writers above says, the value of their restraining and tempering contribution in the coalition delayed for five years many of our current ills, as Tories, rejected by two thirds of the voters, now ruin the Kingdom with no true mandate at all, merely power.

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