Thursday was bad, but could have been worse

Like my Yes to AV balloon, the Lib Dems are in a sorry state. Thursday’s results were extremely poor for the party across the UK, but they could have been worse.

For a start, Dave Hodgson won his re-election as mayor of Bedford for the Lib Dems, and our vote in the Leicester South by-election held up reasonably well.

Nationally, although our 15% vote share was a disappointment, our opinion poll ratings have been a fair bit lower in the last six months.

Locally, although we lost Luddendenfoot ward to the Tories and Calder ward to Labour, we have the same number of Town Councillors as were elected four years ago (8 out of 18).

As various Lib Dems, notably Simon Hughes, have popped up in the media over the last couple of days bemoaning the lack of recognition for our policy successes within the coalition, I am reminded of a speech that Tavish Scott gave to conference a couple of years ago. He thoroughly berated the SNP for being a triumph of spin over substance – I can’t help thinking that our party’s communication skills have been so poor recently that some decent PR people wouldn’t go amiss. After all, look where the SNP have got.

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