12 April 2013

County elections UKIP just 33 behind Lib Dems...

...in candidates that is.  The Vote UK forum statto - Mark Senior - a Sussex Lib Dem number cruncher has worked out from hundreds of council websites that the party nominations line up as below:

Con 2,249
Lab 2,165
LDem 1,760
UKIP 1,727
Green 877
BNP 100
TUSC 116
Liberal 11
Meb K 25
Others/Ind 782

All the conditions seem to be in place for the Lib Dems to finish in fourth place in vote share if not seats.  Last time around the estimated Tory share was 35%, Lib Dems 25%, Labour 22% and others 18%.  

It is difficult to see how the Lib Dems can poll anything like that level this time.  And combined with the nature of of the seats being fought - generally in Tory inclined shires - with effectively the same number of candidates as the Lib Dems UKIP could easily poll in the low twenties in the vast majority of the divisions being fought - giving them an estimated national share in the high teens - even if they don't win many seats.

Losing another 200 councillors along with coming fourth in the popular vote would be a firestorm for Nick Clegg's leadership which could fatally damage his ambition to lead the party into the 2015 elections.  We'll see in a few weeks.

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