Lib Dems papering over the cracks as they field 45 candidates

I am delighted by the news that the Lib Dems are fielding 45 candidates in the elections in Brighton and Hove, and not just the eight currently listed on their website. But it is the first time in many years that the Lib Dems have been unable to field a full slate of candidates, paper or real.

The fact that they are fielding so many candidates is great news for both Labour and the Greens. Lib Dem supporters who are angry at Nick Clegg’s betrayal will already have made up their minds to vote for either Labour or the Greens, but which of these parties will receive the largest share is anyone’s guess. I suspect it will be the Greens.

Those who have not already decided to go with Labour or the Greens would probably vote for the Tories if there was no Lib Dem candidate. Other than Green/Labour marginals (Queens Park, Hollingdean and Stanmer, Goldsmid and, at a push, Hanover and Elm Grove and St Peters and North Laine), the Tories would have benefited in most wardshad the Lib Dems not run.

In Goldsmid, in particular, the absence of a Lib Dem would have brought the Tories into the reckoning.

Paul Elgood, who is Leader of the Lib Dem Group on the City Council, as well as its Chief Whip, Deputy Leader and entire group of Councillors (for he is a group of one) said earlier today on Twitter: “Really pleased with our list of 45 city candidates – we’ve put our resources where they’ll make a difference – good luck all.”

But hard as I’ve looked I haven’t been able to find the list of Lib Dem candidates. It does look, after all, that the Lib Dems are able to field mere paper candidates in most wards.

10 Responses

  1. You say “..LibDem supporters angry at Nick Clegg’s betrayal….will either vote Labour or Green”. Then you go on to say :”…those already not decided to vote Labour/Green would probably vote Tory if no LibDem candidate”. Seems like a contradiction, as those angry at Nick Clegg could still vote Tory and where there aren’t LibDem candidates are just as likely to vote Lab/Green.

    So in effect, the LibDem vote could be evenly distributed between the other 3 (or even 4) parties.

    So all to play for then.

    • It is hard to imagine disillusioned Lib Dem supporters, who are almost certain to lean to the left, jumping at the chance to vote Conservative.

  2. All the voters we have previously identified as Lib Dem in my ward, and who we have spoken to since last May, are now voting Labour.

    There is one house with an “I agree with Nick” poster from the General Election still up, but sadly they have been out every time I’ve knocked to ask if they agreed with him in April 2010 or agree with him in April 2011. Can’t be both.

    • Warren. Hasn’t your party now been renamed the Co-Op Fairtrade Labour party or something ‘touchy feely’ similar- according to the latest on your website?

      • Oh dear Linda, you clearly are new at this. The Labour Party and the Co-operative Party have been fielding joint candidates for about sixty years, about a third of Labour MPs are also Co-op, as was David Lepper for 13 years in Brighton Pavilion. I and about 30 of our candidates are members of both parties. tells you more about the Co-operative Party.

        The recent change has been that the Electoral Commission has now accepted the use of the Labour Party emblem and the “Labour and Co-operative” description on the ballot paper.

    • It seems to me, every door you knock on is now voting Labour. Is your nose getting longer and longer?

      • It’s Benefits Brighton. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

        I used to help out at a charity which enabled parents to fill out DLA Forms for their children There was no certification or proof required.

  3. In what I think a good sampling in various wards, I have heard almost nobody say “I’m LibDem” but many have, unprompted, said that they did so, “and I’m not making tthat mistake again, mate”.

    I predict a national split in the LibDems.

    Call me an idiot, if you will, but I found on the street outside Hove Library through several winter months that I can judge a public mood.

    And, for all the sideshow of politics as a spectator sport, such as the Barnett/Fitch knuckle-dusting on the Hangleton hills, it is people’s concerns and opinions that are the driving force in going from one set of basement steps to the next. I am continually fascinated by the people one meets.

  4. Voting Lib Dem these days is a bit like masturbation – it goes on far more than anyone would care to admit.

    This is because ‘Liberal Democrat’ is now such a squalid, toxic brand that even the most stalwart happy-clappers would probably rather declare an allegiance to the BNP than admit to contemplating a yellow vote at the local elections.

    So I suspect the Lib Dem vote will be considerably bigger than current predictions. That said, most current predictions are of a vote share somewhere around zero percent in most wards – so only 10 votes would prove my theory correct.

  5. The “full” list of Lib Dem candidates is here:
    Only one in Rottingdean Coastal, and none in Moulsecoomb & Bevendean.
    I’ve got the full list of nominated candidates, should be on the council website soon.

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