Saturday, February 25, 2017

Britain Elect foresees Lib Dem gains in May's local elections

Britain Elects has published the third in its briefings for May's elections, this one covering English authorities.

It points out that Labour's potential for making gains is limited. May's elections will largely concern county councils, which are more rural and more Conservative leaning than England in general.

And last time these seats were fought (2013) Labour had a national opinion poll lead of 7-10 points under Ed Miliband's leadership.

But what does it say about the Liberal Democrats? I hear you ask:
Cornwall, electing a hefty 123 councillors, is another one to keep an eye out for. Of the eleven council by-elections to the authority since 2013, nine changed hands, six of which to the Lib Dems. 
While very unlikely the Lib Dems will secure a majority on the council given the diverse and localised nature of Cornish politics where independents and smaller parties have robust bases of support, it’s almost certain they will retain and build upon their position as the largest party. 
Other authorities may prove fruitful for the Lib Dems. The yellows have had a history of representation in much of shire England, notably coming second to the Tories (beating Labour) back in 2009. 
It can’t be said for certain how well the Lib Dems will perform in these elections, but we should expect them to make a comeback in authorities they once were strong in: Devon, Somerset, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Hertfordshire and the two Sussex authorities. 
Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceTheir performance in Cambridge proper, the southern half of Norwich, Eastleigh in Hampshire, Harrogate in North Yorkshire and some portions of the West Country are worth watching as they may indicate where the Lib Dems could, if they do, make a parliamentary comeback.

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