Will Ming’s party consolidate its second place position?
With the big battle going on in Scotland and the attention on the Labour leadership the Lib Dems have been struggling, even more than usual, to get the attention of the media in the run-up to Thursday.
That’s nothing new and is not necessarily a problem because local elections, where you can put a huge amount of resource in to key ward contests, suit their style of campaigning. Unlike Labour, which is very much affected by the national headlines, Ming’s party is fairly immune as we saw with the Dunfermline by election last year. It’s what’s being pushed through letter boxes and said on the doorstep that matters and the party can be a powerful force.
At some stage, though, the credibility of the Lib Dems’ “It’s Neck and Neck” eve of poll leaflets are going to be undermined. Don’t voters remember that this was said to them the year before and before and before…?
Sean Fear in his predictions on the site ten days ago suggested that the Lib Dems would come out with about the same number of councillors that they have at the moment. That would be on a par with their performance last year and my guess is that that would be a disappointment.
Last week the Lib Dems had a great boost in the polls when all three firms that reported showed increases in their national share.
A second measure, as well as seat losses and gains, will be the extrapolations of the national vote share. A solid second place would position the party well for the future. Last year they got 27% in the BBC estimate which was one point ahead of Labour.