At the start of the Lewisham East Parliamentary by-election, I wrote:
In 2017 the Liberal Democrats polled 4.4% in her Lewisham East seat. However back in 2010 the party was up on 28.2%: this seat is more promising territory than that 4.4% may make it look at first glance. Especially as the best calculations put the Remain vote at the European Referendum on 65-66% in this constituency.
In the local elections last week, the Liberal Democrats were on 13%…
A big challenge for the Lib Dems, as those local election figures show, will be to make a strong and quick enough start to clearly establish the Liberal Democrats as the party for people who want a strong line on Remain (unlike, ahem, Jeremy Corbyn) and for tactical votes from Conservatives who want to see Labour defeated.
As polling day nears, how are things looking for Lucy Salek and her campaign?
Business Insider reports:
Sources within the Liberal Democrats have told BI they are on course for a “strong” second-place on Thursday, in what would be a collapse of sorts for Theresa May’s Conservatives and what Lib Dems hope will be seen as a “message to Jeremy Corbyn to listen to his supporters on Brexit.” Labour also expects the Lib Dems to be their closest rivals on the day…
In canvassing seen by BI, the Lib Dems are set to finish second place with 25% of this vote, up 21 points on last year’s election. Labour will retain the seat but with a vote share 19 points down on last year. The Tories will drop 7 points to third…
A Labour source on the ground in Lewisham described the Lib Dems’ projected vote share as “a little high” but said, “the numbers seem right.”
Regular readers of Business Insider‘s coverage of the Lib Dems will know what to expect comes later in the piece: the pessimistic quote from an anonymous senior Lib Dem source:
Some Lib Dems BI spoke to threw doubt on the accuracy of the figures, specifically the size of the Lib Dem’s predicted vote share. They have doubts over turnout and flagged the party’s patchy record when it comes to forecasting for elections and by-elections.
“If that’s internal [research], I’d be careful. 21% seems very high”, one well-placed source said.
You can help make their pessimism turn out wrong by helping in the last few days.