Welsh Lib Dems choose Alan Butt Philip as lead Euro candidate

by Stephen Tall on July 8, 2008

The Welsh Lib Dems website has the full story, “We can win,” says Welsh Lib Dem Euro candidate (and quite a lot of psephology):

Welsh Liberal Democrat members across Wales have selected Dr. Alan Butt Philip as their lead candidate for the 2009 European Parliament elections. And having won one election, Alan Butt Philip is confident he can lead the campaign to become the first Welsh Liberal Democrat MEP.

Based on the 2007 Regional Assembly Election, an election that resembles the European Elections in its proportionality, the Welsh Liberal Democrat’s only need a 2.45% swing from Labour to take the fourth seat. Taking the constituency vote, the swing required drops to less than 1%. If turnout at the 2005 General Election were repeated, the Welsh Liberal Democrats would win the seat comfortably.

The Welsh Lib Dem European result was:
1. Alan Butt Philip
2. Kevin O’Connor
3. Nick Tregoning
4. Jackie Radford

The Euro elections take place in June 2009.

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Great list! Now the whole of the UK has a good reason to work to increase the number o LibDem MEPs in 2009!

by Jonathan Fryer on July 9, 2008 at 12:05 am. Reply #

Interesting spin, using the 2007 Assembly list results as a measure for the 2009 European election. A couple of caveats:

We actually came fifth in the Euros last time – the extra party is UKIP which always does much better in european elections compared to anything else. By contrast we always do worse in European elections. Their chances of taking the fourth seat shouldn’t be discounted.

Labour always does better on its constituency vote compared to its list because of the distortions of the top up system of PR used for the Assembly elections. Using this figure as a base for the euros is a bit suspect.

These are the swings needed for each party to gain a single seat:

LD gain from Lab: 3.8% swing
UKIP gain from Lab: 3.7% swing
Lab gain from PC: 6.5% swing
Con gain from Lab: 6.5% swing
PC gain from Lab: 7.4% swing

by Andrew Turvey on July 9, 2008 at 12:52 am. Reply #

“the extra party is UKIP which always does much better in european elections compared to anything else.”

I think this probably won’t hold up next time round. UKIP did well in the 2004 elections, but it was something of a high water-mark for them. I wouldn’t expect anything like that performance from them this time around.

I reckon the votes are there for Alan Butt Philip to pick up the seat. Good.

by Douglas on July 9, 2008 at 1:26 am. Reply #

Good luck to AB-P – how many elections has he fought for the cause…?

by Charles on July 9, 2008 at 9:15 am. Reply #

Its nice to see Andrew Turvey is helping feed into the optimism of us in the Welsh party. I think the Lib Dems must be the only party where as soon as a candidate is announced, someone tries to prove they can never win!

UKIP don’t do better in European elections, they did better in the 2004 European elections. We were fifth by just a handful of percent last time round, and UKIP no longer have the Kilroy-Silk publicity machine.

If anything, the 2007 results are the most accurate ones to use: the locals in 2008 saw no party stand enough candidates, and too many independents, to be useful. Of course the constituency vote will be different to the regional vote: but we are less than a two-and-a-half percent swing off of winning it on either measure.

I would consider using the 2004 results as needing “a couple of caveats” – the Labour vote has fallen massively since 2004 in Wales – as see by how they no longer run a whole range of ‘heartland’ councils. And there is no way UKIP can be considered a proper threat.

Anyway, congratulations to all the candidates. Wales is just a small step away from having a Welsh Lib Dem MEP.

by Ben L on July 9, 2008 at 9:19 am. Reply #

The thing that is most likely to prevent us winning is a failure of activists to believe we can win.

I agree wholeheartedly with Ben L above. Kilroy was what did it for UKIP last time and from what I can see, they are in a whole load of trouble right now. I think there is a verty good chance that the BNP will overtake them in Wales in the euros.

Make no mistake, it will be tough for the Welsh Lib Dems to win, but it is do-able, and the first step is convincing the activists that its worth fighting. Comments such as those from Andrew Turvey will not help.

by anonymous on July 9, 2008 at 11:32 am. Reply #

Slight disappointment that we don’t seem to have a splendid gender balance, but that aside I hope – and anticipate – that a seat-gaining performance is realistic.

BUT, as someone who takes an interest in Welsh politics (but from the other side of Clawdd Offa !) we really do need to up our game and build our profile. I gather we are to have a new leader ( …… )

by crewegwyn on July 9, 2008 at 6:43 pm. Reply #

“BUT, as someone who takes an interest in Welsh politics (but from the other side of Clawdd Offa !) we really do need to up our game and build our profile. I gather we are to have a new leader ( …… )”

Don’t worry, we really are trying! A lot of this comes down to recognition internally. For example, I bet you didn’t know that over two thirds of our gains in the Locals this year were in Wales. Barely even mentioned.
It seems that every time anyone has posted about Wales here, the discussion just desends into a deeply boring discussion of the Welsh language.

Yes, we are due a new leader this year.

by anonymous on July 10, 2008 at 9:22 am. Reply #

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