I’ll huff, and I’ll puff

One of my abiding memories of 2012 local election campaign was just how poor the Liberal Democrat vote was in most wards in the borough. To remind you –

0% Shoeburyness
1.5% Thorpe
2.2% St Luke’s
2.8% Southchurch
3.8% Victoria
4.8% West Shoebury
5.0% Kursaal
5.4% Westborough
6.5% Milton
7.5% Chalkwell
7.6% Belfairs
15.8% Eastwood Park

It was not all bad – they managed victory in three wards. They are defending five wards in Southend this year. If you believe they can hold all these then I suppose you can also believe that former Socialist Workers Party member, Mark Steel, is a “Labour man” (q.v Neil Monnery).

Of the seventeen wards in the borough only one can remotely be described as a contest between the Liberal Democrats and Labour. In this one (Westborough) Labour were second in 2012, the Lib Dems came sixth. This was won by the Lib Dems in 2010, and is thus being defended by them this year.

St Laurence was a comfortable Lib Dem win in 2010. They have not won it since. The Lib Dems, considering their polling, have done very well in holding seats. This will be an intriguing contest.

With Tory activists tied down trying to hold onto seats elsewhere, West Leigh Liberal Democrats will be facing a simpler task in May to what they had last month. The Tories held this usually very safe seat by a mere 55 votes, and this after a veritable army of support was drafted in. The Lib Dems will also have fewer helpers, but I suspect that it will be closer to parity of numbers. I think the Lib Dem tumbling downwards in the polls has bottomed out, whereas the Tories will lose a few more percentage points between now and May – especially as the UKIP surge kicks in. This should produce an even closer contest, and Cllr Fay Evans may yet regret her decision to switch wards.

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3 Responses to I’ll huff, and I’ll puff

  1. Ooh, you almost seem to be suggesting that the Lib Dems may / should choose to concentrate their efforts in those wards they are defending and in those where they might either take the seat off the Conservatives or keep the Tories busy trying to hold seats.

    Presumably if they did this they would increase the likelihood of Labour winning /holding some seats. Assuming that locally the Lib Dems see Labour as the lesser of two evils (c.f. the Tories), this would strategically make sense?

  2. I do not think I am suggesting anything of the sort. I am entirely relaxed as to where the Lib Dems choose to send their activists.

  3. I can think of a few places that they can send their activists…

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