Friday, 3 May 2013

On being a Bristol Lib Dem today

It's not been a great day to be a Lib Dem in Bristol. We've lost 9 seats, and lost our position as the largest party on the council. 

The party's maxim - where we work, we win - has never been so wrong in the case of some of our hardest working councillors. Two losses were particularly galling: Jon Rogers who came third behind the Greens and Labour in Ashley ward and Steve Comer who lost by one vote in Eastville.

It wasn't just existing councillors who worked hard but didn't win; for example, Alex Smethurst pounded the pavements of Kingsweston for months but lost out to both the Independents for Bristol Party and Labour.

It wasn't all doom and gloom, though, with holds in Clifton East, Cotham, Henleaze and Redland as well as in Cabot ward where I so spent much of the past weeks since the bitterly cold, wet night back in March when we started canvassing. Having invested so much personally, I was delighted that Dr Mark Wright was re-elected: he is a real asset to the Council as a whole as well as the Lib Dem Group.

Politics can be cruel and harsh - but it is also cyclical. When these wards were last fought, four years ago, the Lib Dems benefited from a rising tide against Gordon Brown's Labour government. Some of today's losses represent not much more than the receding of that anti-Labour tide.

That's not to say that there are not lessons to learn, of course - and the group and local party will seek to learn those. It's been a hard few months and an even harder few hours but Lib Dems are nothing if not resilient and I can confidently assert that whilst we may be down, we are not out.

There are now elections at all levels over the next 3 years, so if you're a Liberal (with or without a capital "L") in Bristol and you want to get active and help us bounce back in the build-up to the "all up" elections in 2016, e-mail me.


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Mark Pack said...

Nicely put and best of luck.

oneexwidow said...

Thanks, Mark - appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Moderate this: You took an entire generation of first time voters and spat in their faces. You're DONE as a party.

Pauline Allen said...

To Anonymous: The devil is in the detail. Many students will pay back significantly less than they would have done under the old system (introduced by Labour). No-one pays anything until they are earning at least the average wage.

Raybeard said...

As you probably already know, I'm not a consistent Lib-Dem voter, though I did vote for that party on Thursday. Had there also been a Green on the ballot paper the decision might have been more difficult.

Btw: Anon's comment above would have had more value if s/he had mentioned which party had been favoured by her/his vote. It's easy and lazy to lob attacks from under a cloak of anonymity. Even knowing if the writer was anarchist would, at least have been something.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, neither of those assertions are true. Labour did what you suggest, when they said they had no plans to introduce tuition fees, then introduced them. Labour did that again when they said they would outlaw top-up fees, and instead introduced them.

The LDs cut repayments, so if I was on the new scheme instead of the old one, my monthly outgoings would be about half what they actually are.

Not that any of that should be allowed to get in the way of your vitriol, of course.