Monday, November 15, 2021

Did Richmond's Lib Dem/Green pact help the Tories?

Sorry to disappear for a week, but that's caring.

While I was away the new Liberator (issue 410) appeared - you can download it for free from the magazine's website.

And if, like me, you go first to Radical Bulletin, you will find this story:

Fans of a progressive alliance may care to have a look at the borough of Richmond-on-Thames, where a deal between the Lib Dems and Greens is expected for the May 2022 elections, 

This is despite  disagreements between the two local MPs and an analysis done after the previous such deal in 2018, which concluded it lost the Lib Dems more seats than it gifted the Greens, with the main beneficiaries being the Conservatives.

The magazine cites one local that found:

Lib Dem voters declined to be moved around in blocks, as this deal envisaged, and in some tight contests their third vote was unused, went to a hopelessly adrift Labour candidate or even to a Tory.

Under this analysis the deal cost the Lib Dems not only the four seats the Greens won but at least a further two that went to the Tories, since in wards shared with the Greens they came far behind either Lib Dem co-candidate, on average by between 400-500 votes.

The average Lib Dem majority in seats with three candidates was 625, but only 325 in wards shared with the Greens.

The story goes on to say that Munira Wilson and Twickenham Lib Dems have seen this analysis and are not keen for this local progressive alliance to continue.

1 comment:

James Chard said...

I'm keen for it to continue as a Lib Dem councillor in the area, as I believe are most of my colleagues, for several reasons:

1. One reason I and colleagues did okay in three member wards is we didn't see 700-800 votes peel off to the Greens. Voters don't move in blocs, but a lot of Greens gave us their trust, it boosted us, and we appreciate it. The analysis wrongly assumes the deal only operated where there was one Green and two Lib Dems. In fact, the big benefit to the Lib Dems was where the Greens stepped aside. But - crucially - they did that only due to agreement on split wards.

2. It's actually pretty positive to have voices in Council challenging us to go further as well as those from the right dragging us back. We disagree on plenty, but it basically means policy is tested more robustly, and that's good for residents.

3. I'm a pluralist. We don't have PR in local government and it's not on the agenda at the moment. People want a range of progressive voices, and they've got them.