Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Sun says Lib Dems are set to oust Emily Thornberry

Image from #Islington
From the Sun:
[Emily] Thornberry is trailing behind the Lib Dems in her north London seat of Islington South and Finsbury.
A senior Labour source said local internal polling conducted by the party found that Mr Corbyn’s chaotic Brexit policy has led the constituency's voters to switch to the Lib Dems due to their unequivocal pledge to reverse the 2016 referendum result.
This may sound fanciful, given that Thornberry had a majority of more than 20,000 over the Conservatives, with the Liberal Democrats further back in third place. But in 2005 we came within 500 votes of winning this seat.

Then it was the Iraq war that separated many Labour voters from their traditional loyalties.

It looks as though the party's failure to oppose Brexit has done the same thing.

1 comment:

Phil Beesley said...

Back in 1983, the Liberal/SDP Alliance entered a general election with a bigger opinion poll share than the Lib Dems today. The two parties were completely different in many attitudes, and had different knowledge and experience of electoral campaigning (i.e. the SDP didn't know how to do it but had an organised machine). The Alliance had the capacity to win a lot of votes but they didn't turn into a lot of seats.

In recent years, the Lib Dems has used targeting. Targeting succeeded on the back of central machines run by the national party, the councillors' association and other groups. Opportunism, a sitting MP who was vulnerable, however, was always a part of the strategy -- most of the 2010 wins over Labour combined opportunism with targeting.

Opportunism no doubt plays some part in the 2019 campaign. There will be some pointing out that Vince Cable's majority cost a potential win next door in 2017. Others will note that the attempt to unseat Kate Hoey was a flop.

In 2019, Lib Dems are starting in a decent second or third place in fewer constituencies than October 1974. Decent place was wiped out in 2015 in many constituencies.

This is an "unknown election". There will be a lot of "strong runner up" results for the Lib Dems, maybe surprise wins. And surprise losses.