Liberally dying a death

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by Hazel Lewry

In recent weeks there have been a new flurry of polls, as organizations and media groups try to determine which (if any) of the mainstream political parties are relatively unscathed by the latest Westminster scandals, and which parties or individuals seem set to take the biggest hit.

In Scotland sample sizes have been relatively small, sub-samples of UK wide polls, but they show interesting trends – primarily an upswing in the Nationalist vote that may yet end up mimicking the 2011 election results.

The Liberal Democrats appear to be simply compounding their demise, the new strategies of forced Union under Willie Rennie and even farther wandering from their traditionally socially-democratic roots appear to be rebranding the party as the “Lemon Tories”.

Who votes for a Lemon?  Not many it would seem.

That’s demonstrated by the fact that north of the Border this is not playing well, especially when combined to Alexander and Moore’s continually anti-Scots / pro-Union actions.  The rhetoric from this undistinguished duo representing an all but deceased party in our nation may be relatively muted, but their actions are certainly noted by the electorate, an electorate who ostensibly elected them to serve and protect their communal interests.

In the recent Angus Reid poll, reported in Newsnet Scotland yesterday, the Liberal Democrats are staring at 3% north of Hadrian’s wall.

The Liberal Democrat response was not pledge to correct issues in the eyes of the electorate, or to support those that had given it their trust.

Their spokeswoman simply stated: “It would be ridiculous to draw any meaningful conclusions from this poll given the minuscule Scottish sample size.  Scottish Liberal Democrats are a strong liberal voice in the Scottish Parliament and we will continue to hold the SNP Government to account to ensure the best deal for Scottish communities.”

They have no ability to hold anyone to account at Holyrood, they are outvoted 66 to 5, that was the will of the electorate.  What the Liberal Democrats can do, and are implementing, is to hurt Scotland through their actions at Westminster.  By all accounts it’s costing them dearly.  Their Westminster actions where they can actually influence policy are certainly not providing “the best deal for Scottish communities”.

Although Angus Reid’s polling size was only 161 Scottish residents from a poll of 2,002, it’s not far off tracking those polls recently announced by YouGov, certainly within a mutual margin of error.

The average results of six polls conducted by YouGov in the recent period, covering a reasonable sample size of 1,194 Scottish residents, saw Labour on 44%, the SNP at 28%, the Tories on 18%, and the Lib Dems on 7%.  

The SNP have seen recent polls showing their vote share for a Westminster election, if held today, vary from a low in the upper 20% range (several percent above the 2010 GE) to a high in the mid 40% range.  This gives them a lead of several percentage points over Labour who have seen more stable polling varying between the mid 30% range to the mid 40% range.   Generally polls show the Labour vote significantly down from the 2010 GE result.

SNP MSP Chic Brodie stated of other UK poll sub-samples in recent days, for MORI and ComRes, which have put the SNP in the lead for a Westminster general election: “This is a small sample but another sensational poll indication for the SNP for a Westminster general election, and a disaster for the UK coalition parties, particularly the Lib Dems.”
Based upon the above it is time for re-evaluation in Liberal Democratic ranks, or extinction.