Glasgow East and the Lib Dems

by Stephen Tall on July 25, 2008

Well, let’s not pretend it was a great result: losing three-quarters of your support is rarely likely to cheer a party up. But it would be equally silly to read anything of great significance into it, either. As I pointed out yesterday, in the 1999 Hamilton South by-election the Lib Dems trailed in a pretty dire sixth place: it meant diddly-squat for the party’s fortunes at the subsequent general election.

Yes, it’s true, the Tories managed only to suffer a small drop in support. But, then, it’s not much of a surprise to anyone to learn that the Tories have a larger core vote than the Lib Dems.

There’s a danger on a site like Lib Dem Voice that we focus only on the Lib Dem aspects of politics. But the plain truth is this by-election was never about us: it was about the voters using the second-placed party to give Labour a belting. End of.

Finally, though, let’s pay tribute to Ian Robertson and the Scottish Lib Dems. Fighting an election you know you’re not going to win can be pretty depressing: whatever the actual vote we won, our candidate did us proud.