End is begin

Apologies if you are looking for the earlier version of this article — there was a server glitch and we had to roll back to an earlier version.

In Stratford on Avon the Lib Dem vote rose by 1.7% — higher than the national rise of 1%. Two weeks ago, our poll figures were putting us in contention to win this seat, but the change in the national mood — largely fuelled by the ‘only Cameron can get Brown out’ message pedalled by national newspapers, and now shown to be vacuous — meant that we got none of the 16% boost that we were looking at.

My congratulations to Nadhim Zahawi, who fought a good campaign.

To the 29% of the electorate here who voted for me: Thank you. We have not won this time, but that does not mean we will not win next time. Thank you for the confidence you placed in me. As I promised in my campaign literature, I will continue to live here and work here, and continue to press for all the issues which were so important during the campaign.

We may well see another General Election in the next six months… so don’t settle back down to ‘business as usual’.

For now, we wait the outcome of the discussions between leaders. All must surely recognised that for the Lib Dems nationally to gain 1% and yet lose 5 seats, and to get almost 1/4 of the votes and substantially less than 10% of the seats, demonstrates clearly that our election system is now desperately in need of reform.

One Comment

  1. Aidan
    May 18, 2010 @ 18:09:11

    Absolutely right there: I’m not a Lib Dem (I’m on the further reaches of the left), but if we’ve learned one thing from this election, it’s the desperate need for actual representative democracy.

    We’ve learned a couple of other things too: such as that the Lib Dems are as much of a coalition of factions as the other parties are, and that they/you too are ‘proper’ politicians, e.g. ready to strike deals to achieve the best possible for them rather than demanding what might be an impossible ideal. You only have to look at Chris Huhne’s election flyers, which explicitly ask for votes to keep Cameron out, then look at him on the front bench of a Tory/Lib Dem coalition to understand that.

    How I wish you’d smashed the Tories in Stratford. Keep going!

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