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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    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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