2 May 2013

Good luck to Lib Dem candidates - you'll need it

Thursday 2nd May is county election day (and some unitaries and Doncaster's Mayor). 

Expectations in the party (and Westminster circles) are that the dismal Lib Dem performance in 2011 and 2012 are now a thing of the past as things have bottomed out and the electorate are beginning to see positives about the Lib Dems time in government.

Some are even foolish enough to predict Lib Dem gains.

My rule of thumb is to take the most pessimistic projections and then add significantly more losses.  At each round of elections so far the Lib Dems have lost around half of the seats defended and there are precious few reasons to believe things are much different this time.

UKIP of course are the joker in the pack - and much of the reason for Lib Dem false confidence.  They are likely to come third in the popular vote and - if so - a significant blow to Clegg's leadership of the Lib Dems.

But with ComRes suggesting UKIP are on 22% they are approaching the level in a four party race where they will begin to win substantial numbers of seats. 

So what if the Lib Dems come fourth in the number of seats too?  Surely Clegg couldn't survive that?

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