Labour need the Liberal Democrats to survive 2015 to make sure we don’t have permanent Tory government

If the Labour Party builds up support in rural areas where the Lib Dems are strong it could lead to a long term Tory government

With 2012 being another important year of elections across the UK, with local elections in England, Wales and Scotland it could be a very difficult year for Liberal Democrats. Although it’s difficult to see that the results in 2012 could be as bad as 2011.

However, possibly because it suits the two-party consensus, the Labour Party needs to be careful not to make their own chances of running the country in 2015 to the detriment of maintaining a pluralist democracy.

Whatever the pros and cons of the Liberal Democrats joining the Coalition government if the party performs very badly in the 2015 General Election it may also make the chances of Labour running the country after that election less likely too.

Because of the nature of the Liberal Democrat advances in the 1990s and 2000s the party has naturally made gains from the Conservatives in rural areas. Only in 2005 and 2010 did the party really make advances against Labour, and only to a fairly modest degree. Consequently if the Liberal Democrats do badly at the next election the main beneficiaries will be the Conservatives – in those rural constituencies. This will only make the chances of Labour winning the election lower (if the net beneficiary of Liberal Democrat losses are the Conservatives) as at the moment the Conservatives only need a dozen or so gains to achieve this result.

I don’t blame the Labour Party for attacking the Liberal Democrats and their recent affiliation with the Conservative Party, but by building up support in areas where it will not directly benefit the Labour Party themselves, such as the South East and South West of England, it will just lead to greater Conservative representation and the chance of a return to the 1980s and almost permanent Conservative government.

Something that I would personally like to avoid.

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3 Comments

  1. Tern

     /  January 4, 2012

    In the referendum there was one “Clegg-hater”, the most maddening section of the No vote, who I totally successfully made the case to against voting No, that it woul;d help the Tories, he accepted my argument was right, but he still said “I can’t help it.” His emotions towards Clegg would still make him vote No even against reasoning he could see.
    After that, I despairingly totally have to believe you that there will be folks who will vote TORY instead of LD, exactly because they hate the LD’s for the coalition and emotionally have to punish them. It won’t work to argue with them rationally, will it?
    Is there any way you can get the LD left to disown the coalition some good time before the election and win some credit for it? Even if it splits the party that can’t be worse than the picture you describe and surely Clegg’s side of a split would be the low support side that would wither away quickly? The Owenite SDP of 1988 also being a precedent to clutch at, that when the centre splits the right wing side of the split is the side that flops.

    Reply
  2. patricia roche

     /  January 4, 2012

    the lib dems have made it clear via danny alexander that the coalition is for at least 8 more years. So it matters not what the lib dem identity is, because it is now academic.

    Reply
    • Unless I’ve missed something I don’t think that’s true. After all the chances of the electoral maths falling the same way again are quite limited. What’s most likely at the next election is that the Conservatives win outright and run the country on their own.

      Reply

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