Stunts and substance saw Lib Dems win in Tory heartlands

by | Jul 5, 2024 | Politics

It has been a record-breaking night for the Liberal Democrats as they smashed through Conservative heartlands.Taking the seats of two former prime ministers – David Cameron and Theresa May – were symbolic victories that demonstrate the depths of dissatisfaction among long-standing Conservative voters.Their success relied on the crumbling Conservative vote. But it is also a win of their own – the vindication of a strategy the party has pursued with since well before the election was called.We all saw the stunts – Ed Davey paddleboarding, bungee-jumping, driving a JCB. But that was the easy bit. Designed to make you watch, to make you laugh, to make the campaign more interesting for everyone involved.The real substance lay beneath that style, with a campaign on the ground to make the party proud. Liberal Democrats are famous for their local activists being deeply embedded in local communities. They often do well in local elections.This time around they targeted their resources into seats where they had previously come second. They eyed up not their national vote share, but their canvas returns in seats where they had a hope of winning. Voters responded – at times voting tactically to oust Conservative politicians.As a result Sir Ed now leads a party with a record number of MPs, even though their vote share (around 12%) has barely changed since 2019. It was almost twice as high as that when party went into coalition government in 2010.We are already hearing Reform UK talk about how unfair it is that they got a slightly higher vote share (14%) but far fewer seats.The Lib Dems know from experience w …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnIt has been a record-breaking night for the Liberal Democrats as they smashed through Conservative heartlands.Taking the seats of two former prime ministers – David Cameron and Theresa May – were symbolic victories that demonstrate the depths of dissatisfaction among long-standing Conservative voters.Their success relied on the crumbling Conservative vote. But it is also a win of their own – the vindication of a strategy the party has pursued with since well before the election was called.We all saw the stunts – Ed Davey paddleboarding, bungee-jumping, driving a JCB. But that was the easy bit. Designed to make you watch, to make you laugh, to make the campaign more interesting for everyone involved.The real substance lay beneath that style, with a campaign on the ground to make the party proud. Liberal Democrats are famous for their local activists being deeply embedded in local communities. They often do well in local elections.This time around they targeted their resources into seats where they had previously come second. They eyed up not their national vote share, but their canvas returns in seats where they had a hope of winning. Voters responded – at times voting tactically to oust Conservative politicians.As a result Sir Ed now leads a party with a record number of MPs, even though their vote share (around 12%) has barely changed since 2019. It was almost twice as high as that when party went into coalition government in 2010.We are already hearing Reform UK talk about how unfair it is that they got a slightly higher vote share (14%) but far fewer seats.The Lib Dems know from experience w …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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