Sadly, the LibDems are shafted

Everyone seems to be expecting the Liberals to do well at the forthcoming election. The alternative to Labour, positive campaign, new baby and so on. The LibDems are split between the social democratic wing and the so-called 'Orange Book' group and at the moment it seems that the former are in the ascendance. Rather than libertarianesque policies you might expect from some parts of the LibDems (legalising drugs, for instance), we're seeing anti-war stuff (although not pushed to the fore), raising taxes and the LibDems trying, it would seem, to position themselves to the left of Labour - admittedly, not a terribly difficult feat.

There are only about a dozen Lib/Lab swing seats. If the LibDems are going to pick up seats in large numbers, they must take them from the Tories. Sorry, the Conservatives, as we must call them. For all the problems the Tories have, their vote is not about to collapse. They are going to return a decent number of MPs and even, in many of those seats, every single Labour voter is convinced and will vote for the LibDems, they will remain Tory. Not many Tory voters are going to vote for tax raises. Moreover, the LibDems are going to lose seats in Scotland, both to the SNP and because of boundary changes.

I heard someone saying that the Tories might be destroyed at this election. I think not; things are going to stay the same as they are, with Labour on top, with the Tories unresolved as to what they stand for and where they're going and the LibDems a close third.

It does seem to me, at times, that there are six major parties in Parliament - Old and New Labour, Orange Book LibDem and social democratic LibDem, neoliberal Tory and small-c conservative Tory.



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