Friday, July 05, 2024

71 Liberal Democrat MPs were elected yesterday

Yesterday was an extraordinary day. We now have the largest Liberal or Liberal Democrat representation in the Commons since the brief revival of 1923-4. A total of 71 Lib Dem MPs were elected, and that could rise to 72, depending on the result of a second recount tomorrow in Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire. Only one piece of music will do.

This is a vindication of the party's strategy and general election campaign. I was sceptical of the imaginative use being made of opinion polls, but in the end this still underestimated the hunger of the prosperous South to get rid of the Conservatives.

I voted Labour in Harborough - given our party's pleas to Labour supporters to vote for us in our target seats, it would have felt hypocritical not to - but the Tory held on here. As I suspected, Labour just didn't have enough activists here to win.

Britain's most unpredictable seat - Leicester East - was won by the Conservatives. A year ago, following the gains they made there in Leicester City Council elections, this would have been no great surprise. But, from what I heard, there was a feeling that the Tories had chosen a weak candidate for the parliamentary seat. True or not, this didn't stop her winning.

Labour also lost Leicester South, where Jonathan Ashworth lost to an Independent who stood in protest against the party's policy on Gaza. It is worrying that voting in the city is beginning to reflect religious affiliations, a process perhaps encouraged by the Tories' courting of the Hindu community.

And a word too for Matthew Green, who came close to winning South Shropshire (which is largely the old Ludlow seat that he represented between 2001 and 2005). Next year's county council elections in Shropshire should be interesting.


Neil Hickman said...

“Only one piece of music will do” - and it isn’t The Land Song?!
One of my happiest political memories was from the anti-Iraq War march, passing the Houses of Parliament, lustily singing The Land Song alongside the likes of Tony Greaves, as various ex-SDP types looked sheepish ‘cos they didn’t know the words

Mark cox said...

Spent time helping in stratford on avon . Time well spent. Manuela will make a fantastic MP