Sunday, 19 June 2011

There are times when it can be very galling to be a Lib Dem

During the general election campaign, everyone pretty much agreeed that in the result of a hung parliament, the Lib Dems would hold the balance of power and would have the choice of either a Conservative lead coalition or a Labour lead coalition (as we know however, Labour did even worse than expected and so a Labour lead coalition was simply a non starter) and so we (as I am a Lib Dem member) went into coalition with the Conservatives thus creating the "strong and stable government" we promised in the general election manifesto.

And what thanks do we get (for preventing the country going down the pan like Greece) huge local election losses, virtual wipeout in Scotland, reduced to just one constituency AM in Wales and our poll ratings slide to a degree to be level with the SNP. A trend that was very evident in the Welsh by-elections last week.

Arllechwedd (Gwynedd): Plaid 255 (56%) Lib Dem 93 (20%) Lab 72 (16%) Con 35 (8%)
Plaid Cymru GAIN from Liberal Democrat with a majority of 162 (36%) on a swing of 21% from Liberal Democrat to Plaid Cymru
Uwchaled (Conwy): Ind 477 (94%) Con 30 (6%)
Independent GAIN from Plaid Cymru with a majority of 447 (88%). No swing calculation
Marchwiel (Wrexham): Ind 302 (64%) Con 172 (36%)
Independent HOLD with a majority of 130 (28%). No swing calculation.

And so far across Wales since the general election in wards last contested in 2008, the story is extremely uninspiring

Labour 6,287 votes (32%) winning 8 seats (+4)
Plaid Cymru 5,416 votes (28%) winning 5 seats (unchanged)
Independents 2,995 votes (15%) winning 3 seats (-2)
Conservatives 2,370 votes (12%) winning 1 seat (unchanged)
Liberal Democrats 1,266 votes (7%) winning 1 seat (-1)
Others 830 votes (4%) winning 2 seats (-1)
Greens 300 votes (2%) winning 0 seats (unchanged)


  1. Things won't improve for the LibDems until they get a new leader.

  2. Our economy is in no way in the same situation as Greece so do not be surprised at the lack of thanks.

  3. I'd say the turning point for the Lib Dems in election results was the Tuition Fees debacle last autumn. Not just the way they voted but the way it was handled. They'll need a few more perceived 'victories', like they are currently on the NHS, to claw back from their current position.

  4. A comment meant kindly. The jokes about these wards being impossible to pronounce on this blog were unpleasant. Welsh names are phoenetic and easy to pronounce for those who make the least effort.

    Why should we be interested in the political analysis of some one whose colonial attitudes allows them to sneer at lingusitic differences?

    What on earth is difficult about saying Arllechwedd? It's bog standard Welsh pronounciation. You'll be sneering at Aberystwyth next... or Mumbai or Beijing. So much easier if these funny foreign places used English!

  5. The Liberals original strength in Wales was their Welsh non-conformist roots. Now they are domnated by English middleclasses - and their coalition deal confirms them as Conservative-Lite. Ironically the Welsh Conservatives are picking up votes by being more Welsh, leaving the LDS as the party of choice for colonial incomers. Expect a wipeout at the locals next year.


  6. Harry Hayfield20 June 2011 at 09:28

    To the user who made the comment about not being able to pronounce Welsh placenames. I am Welsh myself (born in Aberystwyth and have lived in Wales continually for over 30 years) and know that most visitors to Wales have a terrible time pronoucing Welsh placenames and so put that in as a "note of humour" after all if the Wales Tourist Board can have a sense of hunour over it, why not a political blog?

  7. I left the first comment in the Comment section of that piece about it. As a Welsh speaker I can pronounce it. I agree that people make a song and dance about the "dificulty of pronouncing "Arllechwedd" or "Llanelli" when "Srebrenica" is pronounced with relative ease. But, Christ, lighten up a bit. If it helps you feel better put it down to English thickness