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Lib Dems hammered

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, May 7th, 2011 - 22 comments
Categories: uk politics - Tags: ,

Hard to feel terribly sorry for Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party:

Liberal Democrats have taken ‘big knocks’, says Nick Clegg

Lib Dem leader admits party taking brunt of anger at coalition amid worst local elections performance in 30 years

The Liberal Democrats appear to have suffered their worst performance at the polls in 30 years, suffering heavy losses across the north of England, Scotland and Wales.

Nick Clegg admitted his party was taking the brunt of the blame for a perception that the coalition government is dragging Britain back to the Thatcherism of the 1980s.

The Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister said the party had taken “big knocks” in the local elections.

Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. Junior coalition parties propping up regressive right wing 80’s retread governments — wherever you may be — look to the Lib Dems and beware…

Update: As widely predicted, the aggressive and cynical campaign against the (somewhat proportional) AV voting system was also successful, another slap in the face to the Lib Dems.

22 comments on “Lib Dems hammered”

  1. The Lib Dems are the party that is backing the Conservative policies the Lib Dem voters don’t support…so no wonder at all the voters have wandered off to look at other options. Clegg only had one shot at this. He would have been better to say NO to stuff his people won’t support…and go to the polls over it if necessary. They would have stuck with him much more than they have being the Tories lackey (as Lib Dem voters see it) . But as it is…..He’s shown too little backbone. This could kill the Lib-Dems as a force.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      It’s definitely killed Nick Clegg as a force. What a shame, he’s a young guy with a lot of smarts and energy, and now he has to live out the rest of his political life with mud smeared on his face.

      It would have to be some turnaround for him to save his political life now, and leave a legacy which is something other than “this is the guy who single handedly trashed the Lib-Dems for the next 25 years”.

  2. Jenny 2


    Is the future of Maori Party foreshadowed by the fate of the UK’s Liberal Democrats?

    UK voters punish Liberal Democrats

    Britain’s Liberal Democrats slumped in local elections and were expected to lose a referendum on voting reform as voters punished the party for its role in a coalition that is making huge cuts in public spending.

    Lib Dem popularity has plummeted since they formed a coalition with the centre-right Conservatives last year, a decision that put them into government for the first time in 80 years and created Britain’s first coalition since World War Two.

    The government has embarked on a programme of swingeing public spending cuts to reign in a record budget deficit.

    Surely by now everyone realises that the loss of elector support that has befallen the Lib Dems in the UK, is the likely outcome for the Maori Party here, that is, if the Maori Party are part of another National Government.

    To preserve tax cuts for the wealthy, the Nats are promising to make public spending cuts, that proportionately will hit low income people the hardest. As the majority of Maori fit this demographic, Maori voters are unlikely to take these attacks lying down.

    As is likely going by current polling, to be in a position to make these attacks, the Nats must have Maori Party support.

    To ensure their political survival the Maori Party must ditch the Nats.

    To regain the Treasury Benches Labour must find coalition partners.

    This is not rocket science.

    With Hone Harawira gone, what possible reasons could Goff have to reject the Maori Party as a coalition partner?

    In the UK despite the Liberal Democrats being destroyed as a political force commentators are comfortable that the Lib Dems will not stray from supporting the Conservatives.

    This is because the British Labour Party in a fit of sectarian pique chose to deliver the country to the Tories rather than make any concessions to the Liberal Democrats. It is clear that the British Labour Party will not change it’s position of preferring to not rule at all, if it can’t rule alone. Preferring to be in opposition rather than to have to share power with a junior coalition party.

    The Lib Dems’ poor showing has prompted a few commentators to ask if the coalition could split and derail the austerity programme. But financial market investors do not appear to share the same fears.”Do they (the election results) jeopardize the coalition? Absolutely not, because the junior coalition partner has nowhere to go,” said Andrew Roberts, head of European rates strategy at RBS.

    Are there any lessons here for our Labour Party?

    Will Phil Goff like Gordon Brown high handely choose to pass the country over to the tender mercies of the Nats, rather than make concessions to junior coalition partners to form a Labour led government?

    As most of the concessions that the Maori Party and the Greens are likely to ask for, are to the left of Labour’s current positions, what’s the problem?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      The Maori Party will not openly state that it will consider a coalition with Labour – my guess.

      The reason being they see National as winning and they want to stay on the good side of National in 2011 coalition negotiations.

      You are correct on your main points though – Labour need political party allies, and sitting on 30-35% support that is blindingly obvious.

      • Jenny 2.1.1

        The Maori Party will not openly state that it will consider a coalition with Labour – my guess.

        Colonial Viper

        Very true CV. But what is there to stop Labour announcing that they are prepared to consider the Maori Party as a possible Coalition Partner?

        Surely the sooner Goff makes such an announcement the better. Otherwise the impression that persists, is that the Maori Party are considered by Labour still, in the deliberately insulting words of Helen Clark, – “The last cab off the rank”.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      With Hone Harawira gone, what possible reasons could Goff have to reject the Maori Party as a coalition partner?

      It’s a hard-right party with a proven ideology against that of Labours?

      ”Do they (the election results) jeopardize the coalition? Absolutely not, because the junior coalition partner has nowhere to go,”

      That’s said by someone who doesn’t understand the Westminster system and the notion of confidence & supply. The Lib-Dems don’t need to go anywhere – they just need to vote against the budget and the whole lot falls down around the Brits ears.

      • Jenny 2.2.1

        It’s a hard-right party with a proven ideology against that of Labours?

        Draco T Bastard

        Draco, could you clarify what you mean here, is it a question or a statement?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          It’s a question alluding to the fact that the Maori Partys ideology doesn’t gel with that of Labour. I suppose I should have started it with the word because

          • Jenny 2.2.1.1.1

            The “fact” that a coalition Party’s “ideology doesn’t gel with that of Labour”, hasn’t stopped Labour forming coalition’s with New Zealand First, an avowedly anti-immigrant party, or United Future an admitted conservative Party.

            Why is the Maori Party considered beyond the pale?

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1.1

              For the same reason that National and Act are. National, Act and the Maori Party are all about enriching the few while Labour tend to be about the many. This could even be said about NZ1st and United Future even though they’re both conservatives.

              • Colonial Viper

                NZ1 and UF are socially conservative yes, but they will bend to whomever is in power…further I think that Winston has thought very long and very hard, while in the wilderness, as to what he wants his political legacy to be.

                And trust me, breaking apart NZ and selling it in little pieces to the global elite is NOT it.

      • Jim Nald 2.2.2

        “they just need to vote against the budget and the whole lot falls down around the Brits ears”

        or just abstain?

        wondering how the numbers pan out with dem abstaining and opp voting against?

        if the coalition post-6 May 2010 has proved to deliver crap gov, then dem should click rewind and replay.

        the failure in clegg’s thinking will be the thought that it is inevitable and there’s no choice but to be tied to cameron till the end

  3. There will be no coalition with Labour whilst the present two leaders are in control. Sharples is a solid Nat and Turia is consumed with dislike for Helen Clark .So badly she is unable to realise that Helen has gone . Dispite her continued bleating about “My people ” her interests are me, me, me .
    She could not care less about “Her people’ why else would she vote for the anti worker /Maori policies this right- wing party has been responsible for?

    • Jenny 3.1

      Sharples is a solid Nat and Turia is consumed with dislike for Helen Clark .So badly she is unable to realise that Helen has gone.

      Pink Postman

      Well Pink, all the more reason for Goff to put out the olive branch, Labour have nothing to lose, and at the least it would show that the Labour Party leadership are not as blind and stupidly sectarian as you have emotively painted the Maori Party.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Labour has to build bridges with the Mp. No other choice.

        And if they were smart, they would be talking to McCarten and Bradford as well.

  4. swordfish 4

    Good news. This has been a long time coming. Polls last year suggested around half the LibDem vote had swung to Labour since the last UK election.

    @ The Pink Postman – I think when Turia talks about “my people” she’s actually referring to the small, affluent, Maori Elite with which she closely identifies.

    • Jenny 4.1

      Thanks for that info Fish, I think it could be productive to see the results, if a similar such poll was done in New Zealand.

      Is the Maori Party vote holding up?

      And if it isn’t, where is it going?

      On the basis of this information Labour would be able to make some informed decisions, rather than just reacting emotively.

  5. Labour could go with the maory party and form a labour, green maori government. They could also give positions to the maori party, but not give one to Turiana. Making it clear that Going with National has(had) its costs.

    What will likely happen if National come back and the Maori Party are partners, is that the Maori Party will be the fall guys for Asset Sales (which maori corporate elite like Tuku Morgan would be ok with, as long as they got their slice of our pie, and a few other pies as well).

    Best thing is for Labour to announce policies that are pro maori and create employment for more maori, maybe things like providing training for farming, forestry and in energy (Meridian could look at joint ventures with Iwi?) and in other fields. What does NZ lack? Where are skills missing. Skills training is needed for Maori rangatahi. Perhaps this is something that Shane Jones could head.

    Essentially labour needs a vision and plan, and once that is clear, they need allies to make it happen. A million jokes about Keys doesn’t change that basic fact: Labour needs a solid game plan. A plan for a recovery.

    Keys, Banks, Brash and Brownlee have a plan for surgery and massive cuts. People are sick of being bleed dry.

  6. I don’t think there’ll be any possibility of an LGM coalition until after Turia retires. She’s a hardline social conservative and she still resents Labour for the S&F legislation. If Labour backed away from that albatross, I suspect Sharples would relent, especially if Labour and the Greens looked like winning a majority in November or 2014. He strikes me as a pragmatist and social liberal. All of which depends on whether the Mana Party ends up decimating them in the Maori electorates, however.

    • Jenny 6.1


      Personally I can’t see why Labour shouldn’t back away from the S&F “albatross”. This legislation is a proven to blank cheque for oil companies and the sand mining companies to trample over customary rights, and usage, up and down the coast and into the deep sea, unimpeded by pesky legal challenges from this nation’s First People, as happened to them in Canada.

  7. Jenny 7


    More grief arising for local iwi, legally dis-empowered by the Foreshore and Seabed Legislation.

    It’s well over time that Labour distanced themselves from this right wing attack on Maori at the behest of big business and mining lobbyists.

  8. A perfect example of just how power corrupts. A party of morals before they were elected…

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