One feature of the recent bout of local by-elections as well as last week’s Welsh Assembly contest in Ynys Mons has been the huge collapse in the Lib Dem vote.
At the Merton LBC by-election yesterday at Colliers Wood the party’s vote share slumped by 15.1% to just 2.2%. At Skelton in Redcar and Cleveland the drop was 11.3% to just 2.5%.
What we are seeing is the product of the party’s GE2015 defence strategy of only focusing on those areas where they’ve got an MP or have a good chance of getting one. Elsewhere they are only making a token appearance on the ballot.
- Under first past the post coming out with 17% or 2% in a seat doesn’t matter in terms of numbers from the party being elected.
What it does mean though, if replicated at GE2015, is the party losing a huge number of deposits – something that happen when a candidate polls fewer than 5% of the vote.
I understand that we might be getting a betting market in the next few weeks on the total of lost LD deposits which, if local trends continue, could run into the hundreds. It will be interesting to see what opening prices they come up with.
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