Friday, February 10, 2006

Lib Dems win Dunfermline by-election

The BBC reports:

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have toppled Labour to win the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election.

Candidate Willie Rennie overturned a huge Labour majority in what had been a safe Labour seat.

Returning officer Douglas Sinclair declared that Mr Rennie had secured 12,391 of the votes.

Labour's Catherine Stihler received 10,591. SNP candidate Douglas Chapman was third with 7,261 votes and Scottish Tory Carrie Ruxton secured 2,702 votes.

Will this have any effect on the leadership election? Perhaps.

We were told after Charles Kennedy was bundled out of the leadership that the party was "traumatised" and that we needed Ming Campbell's statesmanship to help us through what was bound to be a difficult period. Senior figures like David Steel even called for him to be elected without a contest.

We heard these calls even more after the fall of Mark Oaten and, to a lesser extent, when Simon Hughes had his troubles with the News of the World.

Well we are not traumatised now. And we are free to vote for whom we want.

And so to bed.


cymrumark said...

Given the grief I dish out to Lib dems it would be churl;ish not pass on congratulations.

usually the lIb dems win by squueezing the third party...not the case this time as SNp vote share increased. So even worse news for Labour which gives us all something to smile about.

Anonymous said...

So it seems that, once again, rumours of the demise of the Liberal Democrats are greatly exaggerated.

One really has to ask why the political and press establishment seem so urgently to wish to write them off.

Methinks they doth protest too much - largely because they know that the Lib Dems seriously threaten the tired old duopoly of Labour and the Tories, endlessly and arrogantly sharing Government between them, bereft of either passion or ideas.

Now the party membership just need to show the commonsense to elect key (and highly successful) campaigner and "conscience of the party" Simon Hughes to the Leadership, and they will probably have a share of Government after the next election.

And then nothing will be the same, ever again.

At last.

Anonymous said...

I think you might be getting too carried away.

Remember David Alton - Liverpool Edge Hill. Lib Dems overturned a Labour safe seat and secured a majority of 13,000. A few months later the Tories won the 1979 General Election and the Lib Dems returned to their former nonentity status. What happened just prior to that by election? The scandal around Jeramy Thorpe broke.

Anonymous said...

Well,well, What have we here?
Could it be a wounded Cameronian who's suddenly realised that if voters want to vote for a Liberal it's more likely they'll go for the genuine article rather than one who suddenly discovered 'liberal'the day before yesterday and meantime consorts with as dubious a bunch of Neocons as exists anywhere this side of Texas?
Or, do we have a badly bruised Brownie, fearing that perhaps our hero won't quite be able to revitalise New Labour and make is it again?
In any event you look pretty desperate drawing on 1979.True the Liberal Democrats were a bit of a nonentity then but let's assume you meant 'Liberal'
Thorpe quit in 1976--the ramifications continued for years and Edge Hill, in early 1979 just about the only seat they could win, merely helped boost morale and add enough % support to enable the party to survive,(well enough to threaten collapsing Labour by 1983).
The recent win came out of nowhere, the departed leader was almost certainly a vote-winning asset., the national standing already shows signs of recovery and the next election is at least 3 years away.No-one is expected to stand trial for anything unless War Crimes come into it...Otherwise yes, practically a repeat of 1979.

Jonathan Calder said...

I think we have someone who has read Matthew Parris's latest column.