'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Friday, 6 May 2011

So I married an axe murderer.....

No doubt I'll be blogging lots about the election results in coming days but for now can I make a quick plea...

Can we stop spinning the line that the results are what happens to a party in government in mid term elections.

If we were the only party in government that would be fine. But we're not. And when I left home this morning, the Tory share of the vote was roughly equal to their general election results last year, and they had gained 40 or so seats across English councils.

So this isn't a party in government issue. It's a Lib Dem issue.

Why would voters hammer us and not the Tories? It's because the Tories have met people's expectations. They are the 'nasty party' so you know how they are going to act, you expect them to cut public services, and like Labour, most people don't expect them to be particularly straight with the electorate anyway.

We set a rather different standard. We said we stood for a different sort of politics, a more honest approach, we had a reputation for integrity. And, rightly or wrongly, a lot of voters think we haven't met the standards we said everyone else should be judged by.

The strength of the Tory vote in England is ironically, if anything, an endorsement of many Lib Dem policies in government. It's not a policy issue people have with us, nor is the result today an anti government reaction. They just think we're not the party they fell in love with last May.

We have a lot of listening to do and a lot of work ahead of us if we're going to get people to fall in love with us all over again.


  1. Agreed, a voice of sense. Pity the Party leadership ain't as sensible.