You really would have thought the Liberal Democrats had it all sewn up.
The Liberal Democrats are the ByElection specialists. They can turn absolute no-hope constituencies into Liberal Democrats seats in Parliament like no other party. They bus in hundreds of people from around the country and run ruthless, devastatingly effectively ground campaigns. When they can concentrate their fire-power all in one place there is no other political party in the UK that even comes close. It’s a fine-art honed over many decades.
In the Brecon and Radnorshire election they had also had the massive advantage that Plaid Cymru and the Green Party stood aside for their Remain ticket waving chums whilst the Conservatives, the Brexit Party and UKIP all ran candidates thus splitting the Leave vote.
Everyone. I mean everyone expected them to absolutely smash it. At one point the bookies were offering 1 to 50 odds on the Lib Dems. In other words bet £50 and win only £1 back – plus your stake obviously. It was that clear that the Lib Dems would romp home.
Even the Lib Dems main opponent, the Conservative candidate was hobbled because he had been unseated and then reselected due to some ‘irregularities’ with his expenses.
The political landscape never, ever gets better than this for the Lib Dems in a ByElection. It should have been a landslide.
Not so. In the event, the Lib Dems only managed to shade a win by a very tight margin. They beat the Conservative candidate by only 1,400 votes. The Brexit Party won 3,331 votes and UKIP got 242.
This was a ‘bellwether’ constituency in the EU Referendum. It voted 52% to 48% Leave. Yet the Remain fanatical Lib Dems only managed 43.5% of the vote..
If the Brexit Party had, like Plaid and the Greens, agreed not to stand, the Conservatives would almost certainly have won..
This makes avoiding a General Election even more tricky for Boris with the Government down to a majority of just one seat. But it proves yet again, like in the Local Council and EU Parliamentary elections, that despite the vast efforts of Project Fear people just are not shifting. The will of the people is firmly to uphold democracy and Leave the EU.
The margin between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives in Brecon and Radnorshire was a little over 4% – similar to the margin in the EU Referendum.
Perhaps we should demand another vote. Given that we know more now. I am fairly sure the Brexit Party would chose not to stand…
Actually let’s not. We believe in Democracy don’t we. We accept the wins and the losses. Let the Lib Dems have their victory. They, better than anyone, know how hollow it really is and that it bodes badly for them in the future.