Sunday, July 17, 2005

Hain: Fear the Lib Dems

Peter Hain offers his analysis of the result of May's general election in Progress magazine:

Worryingly, the trends underlying the 2005 results indicate that the Lib Dems could now pose a direct threat to a significant number of Labour MPs. And unless we take that threat seriously, our chances of a fourth successive majority could be significantly diminished.

In the past, the Conservatives were seen as more vulnerable to a Lib Dem challenge because Tories held a higher proportion of the seats in which the Lib Dems took second place. But that assumption no longer holds water. Since 2001, the number of Labour seats in which the Lib Dems are second has more than doubled from 50 to 106. And of the 98 marginal seats that the Lib Dems could take on a 10 per cent swing, there is now virtually an even split - 49 Tory, 46 Labour. Furthermore, in seats marginal to the Lib Dems, the Tories grabbed a swing of one per cent back from them. In contrast, Labour suffered a hefty swing of nine per cent in the Lib Dems' favour.

Thanks to Labour Watch for the tip.

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