May 2012

There is always a temptation to declare things that you don’t like as doomed. Like the Liberal Democrat Party, which saw its slow and steady climb up the cursus honorum of our political system smashed last general election even as they formed a Coalition government with the Tories. Among the Lib Dems who are left, I constantly hear a refrain that the Lib Dems are being punished at every level for the actions on their national leaders, but ultimately as the electoral cycle wears on, voters will forgive them to taking a difficult decision in difficult times and realise that the Liberal Democrats are good, hard-working people who offer something from the status quo. The current poor polling is just an inevitable consequence of being a third party with little media coverage between elections. They’ll come back.

I always go for data over bluster, so lets look at all the election results the Liberal Democrats have fought since May 2010, and lets calculate what percentage of that vote changed compared to their percentage of the vote at the last election held in that area. That makes the significant drop in turnout between general and by-elections irrelevant, and judges the Lib Dems purely by the success of their campaign efforts rather than what the media was saying about them on the day a pollster called. [click to continue…]

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