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Well I do think that the LibDem seat count will come out worse than it would from calculating their votes from the last election but that's working from just one constituency.

I will do a diary at some point explainig how I think that will come out.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 06:40:41 PM EST
Ceebs, I shall be interested to read your views.

I find it difficult to estimate the potential Liberal Democrat seats after the next election, particularly given the uncertainty about the boundaries.

My best guess is that the Liberal Democrats will retain at least between 6-14 seats, which was the range of the number of constituencies the Liberal Party won in elections between 1945 and 1974. The current party is still significantly stronger and better organised than the Liberal Party was in the mid-twentieth century, so I may be underestimating its capacity to win seats in the next general election.

Trying to estimate precisely which seats may be retained, on present boundaries, will need some work but I have looked at Scotland.

Orkney and Shetland (a Liberal/Lib Dem seat continuously since 1950 and composed of two Scottish Parliament seats which went Lib Dem last year) is the safest Liberal Democrat seat. Alistair Carmichael, the Lib Dem Chief Whip (and government deputy chief whip) is well placed to be re-elected.

There would be a chance of Charles Kennedy retaining his seat (Ross, Skye and Lochaber), although probably no others could be held in mainland Scotland particularly if Ming Campbell retires.

by Gary J on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 07:38:46 PM EST
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But note that from 1999 to 2012 their share of the vote in Orkney has dropped from 67.4% to 35.7%. It may not be as safe as it was.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 02:43:08 AM EST
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I agree that the Liberal Democrat vote has declined in Orkney and Shetland, but not to the point that the seat is likely to be lost. The fairly even split between SNP, Conservative and Labour support, together with the difficulty of an Independent candidate gaining support in both Orkney and Shetland, leaves the Liberal Democrats well placed.

Nothing in politics is absolutely certain. The past is not necessarily a guide to the future, but I still predict that the Liberal Democrats will retain Orkney and Shetland at the next general election.

by Gary J on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 07:28:51 AM EST
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In the longer term, a near-wipeout in the next election tells us little about their prospects after that. There will be a large number of electorates where they will be second (to Lab or Con, depending on region). And after a term of a Labour government with a large majority, they will probably flip a large number of Lib/Lab seats. And Labour's strategic interest will no doubt to have disaffected Lab voters going to Lib not Con.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 04:11:14 AM EST
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Very good point, eurogreen. The next election will be difficult for the Liberal Democrats, but they retain underlying strength as the third largest UK party, with the prospect of making progress again in the longer term.
by Gary J on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 07:34:26 AM EST
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