Do Libdem u-turns make it harder for others?


6:07 pm - April 27th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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The Green Party leader Caroline Lucas will be on air tonight with the local elections broadcast (5.55pm on BBC2, 6.25pm on ITV1 & 6.55pm on BBC1)

Here is the short ad below.

What struck me when watching this first is that while Lucas is being honest and down to earth, the “no more broken promises” line still grates.

We’ve heard it before: Nick Clegg used the same narrative just before the General Election. Now, hardly anyone believes him.

Will that disillusionment affect the smaller parties too? It remains to be seen, but I think it is highly unlikely. Thoughts?

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Elliot Folan

No.

Because Greens have been keeping our promises. That’s the difference.

Greens get elected to force change even as individuals, because we know that the crisis we face demands action now, not later.

Just a quick note to Elliot – that’s exactly the sort of point the LibDems made, the best you can say about this piece is that it’s baseless. To be sure that’s the privilege the Greens do have, they can promise the world at the moment, once they get bigger they have to please more people, try to represent differing factions within the party itself (which I understand is the case with the Greens now, namely with the far left and the moderates, the pro-Zionists and anti-Zionists).

In short, I’ve no doubt the Greens are well-meaning, but why should anyone else believe that in a time when we’re more and more alienated with politicians and their lies? What this piece should have asked is “are the LibDems ruining politics for everyone with their lies?” But I guess that’s too much like “Dog Bites Man”.(see http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/12397 )

πŸ˜‰

Well, that killed the mood.

@1

You forget Elliot, some of us Lib Dems know about your (in the singular sense) long term plan πŸ˜‰

@ 4 George

Quick, tell us what it is… at the rate the LD party is shrinking there is a danger that were you to (tragically) fall under a bus, we wouldn’t be able to find any of the other remaining half dozen LD’s to tell us the answer!

Looks like your support is heading further down with almost every poll George… the Scottish polls have the pleasing result of being bad for both Labour and the LD’s….result!

As a Green, involved right now in a campaign, I think Sunny has a point. We’ve been making pledges on, for example, tuition. Now obviously we’re never in a month of Sundays going to break them – even if we had any inclination to do so prior to the UK coalition experience, no-one wants to be Clegg Mark II – but it’s hard to write about pledges now and be taken seriously. I could quite understand an “a plague on all your houses” attitude amongst students and many more.

@Galen10

Well, as I’m sure such a politically minded person as yourself is aware, we are currently at 11% in the polls (3 points higher than at the height of the tuition fees debacle) and are predicted to get 17% in the local elections. I highly doubt we’re going to disappear, after all, we’re the great survivors of British politics.

As for Elliot’s long term plan, it’s a secret, known only to myself, the outgoing Chair of Liberal Youth and a certain Lib Dem activist in Lincoln who formerly worked with Elliot during the Take Back Parliament North London’s summer campaign.

Perhaps the The Greens need to publicly State that they will NEVER, under any circumstances, work at any formal level with the Tory Party?

Do they have local alliances at any level at the moment?

@ 7 George

Nice try, but most of the polls I’ve seen recently have you on about 9% (in the YouGov Polling report you are on 9% in 4 polls between 17th and 20th April, 10% in two on the 21st and 26th). You’re doing even worse in Scotland…. 6-8% in the constiuency polls, and 7-9% in the regional list polls.

You might not disappear….but it might be wise to “go back to your constituencies, and prepare for insignificance” πŸ˜‰

GWP @ 7: “I highly doubt we’re going to disappear, after all, we’re the great survivors of British politics.”

I doubt it, too – particularly under AV. But you will have to re-brand yourselves after a spell in the messy business of coalition government. No more rather cynical all-things-all-people, constituency-by-constituency campaigning…We will need to know what the LD’s stand for…

@9

Look at the current average on http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/

Lab: 41%, Con: 36%, Lib Dem: 11%

In any event, let’s wait until after the local election results before we discuss just how doomed the Lib Dems are. I’m fairly certain that we’ll give you all a big shock πŸ˜‰

@10

I agree that we’ll certainly need a spell in opposition after the next general election but what we stand for is rather simple: liberalism.

@ 11 George

Bless you George… gotta love someone who lets their optimisim over-ride their common sense. Course, you might argue that it was that kind of thinking that convinced that nice Mr Clegg everyone agreed with last spring to go all Dr. Faustus on us.

Come back after the elections and tell us how happy you are eh?

@ 11 George

“Lab: 41%, Con: 36%, Lib Dem: 11%”

Oh..by the way, 5 will get you 10 that the 11% figure is skewed by the 17th April Grauniad/ICM poll which has you in 15%… an obvious outlier if ever there was one!

Jim,

Perhaps the The Greens need to publicly State that they will NEVER, under any circumstances, work at any formal level with the Tory Party?

Do they have local alliances at any level at the moment?

Can’t help but think that that might be exactly the sort of pledge people would expect to be broken? Not to mention a bloody stupid idea, since it effectively cuts off any chance of getting votes from large chunks of the electorate and in fact may alienate many voters (who don’t care about tribal politics, just want a sensible representative).

@10

I’m no polling expert, but I’d imagine the point of a running average is to even out the outliers – in both directions. You can’t remove the outliers that happen not to appeal to you.

Sorry @14 not @10.

Galen10, Alix: The problem is that there are a lot of people who voted Lib Dem in 2010 who now say “Don’t Know” when asked how they’ll vote now. (More than the other parties have lost to Don’t Know, proportionally)

ICM adjust for don’t knows to get the headline result by reallocating a high proportion back to their previous party. Most other pollsters either don’t do this at all, or don’t do it as much. So ICM have been consistently showing a higher Lib Dem share in recent polling than other companies.

This far out from a general election, and with so many unknowns, it might be that ICM are actually right – there’s a “shy Lib Dem” problem – and everyone else is wrong. Or it might be that everyone else is broadly right: those Don’t Knows will split all over the place or not vote at all come the next election, and ICM’s reallocation method – which has worked well in practice at past elections – isn’t accounting for the “different” nature of the Lib Dem’s collapse. We’ll probably never know.

But it’s not an “outlier” in the normal sense (and Anthony Wells points out in the explanation of the polling average that averaging a bunch of polls generated with different methodologies together is not likely to get you a better result than the best of the polling methodologies alone.

Watchman @ 15

I cannot imagine many people will be alienated from voting green if the Party announce they will refuse to work with Tories. I doubt the Ven diagram has a huge overlap of people who would vote either Tory or Green. These political ideologies are pretty much mutually exclusive in any real sense. Surely people who are likely to vote Green are exactly the people the Tories despise anyway?

I don’t know Jim before the last election there was a voter asked who she would be voting for on one of the news programmes. Greens last time and BNP this time was her reply. The mind boggles how someone can leap from a Green to BNP. A lot of people don’t give as much thought to politics as the more politically obsessed assume.

@18 cim

I agree with your general point; the way ICM treats “don’t knows” however would tend to support the argument that it IS an outlier in comparison with all the other non-ICM polls in the group being discussed. Altho’ the point about the potential pitfalls of averaging polls is well taken, it can’t be denied that a consistent slide in support in all polls, however they are configured, is highly significant.

@Elliot Folan

Does that go for the Irish Greens too?

@Jim,
Great! lets divide the entirety of the country down rigid ideological lines and refuse to work with any other democratically elected party which we have any disagreements with! Brilliant – it’s working great in America.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Green broadcast: Has Clegg killed the 'broken promises' line in British politics? http://bit.ly/ijogId

  2. The Green Party

    RT @libcon: Green broadcast: Has Clegg killed the 'broken promises' line in British politics? http://bit.ly/ijogId

  3. NFGP

    RT @TheGreenParty: RT @libcon: Green broadcast: Has Clegg killed the 'broken promises' line in British politics? http://bit.ly/ijogId

  4. Pucci Dellanno

    RT @libcon: Green broadcast: Has Clegg killed the 'broken promises' line in British politics? http://bit.ly/ijogId

  5. I'malrightjack

    RT @TheGreenParty: RT @libcon: Green broadcast: Has Clegg killed the 'broken promises' line in British politics? http://bit.ly/ijogId

  6. Mark Ferguson

    I see the Green Party are still peddling the "all major parties are the same" line. How tedious. How sad. How wrong… http://bit.ly/igNblf

  7. Daniel Pitt

    Green broadcast: Has Clegg killed the 'broken promises' line in British politics? http://bit.ly/ijogId #ConDemNation





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