You must often have seen editions of Focus, put out by local LibDems. And next to the banner headline, their regular “They can’t win here” feature. It’s designed to head off as many voters as possible from supporting another party’s candidate – always the one whom the Lib Dems see as most threatening THEIR chance of winning in the area.
As the party-in-the-middle between the two big parties, the Lib Dem Focus formula was not subtle, but it was persuasive. Its phoney bar-graph evidence was designed to convince people that they would be wasting their vote by voting for the big party least popular in their area. Instead they should put their cross beside the name of Mr Niceguy, the local Lib Dem candidate, and by doing this they could defeat the candidate of the other big party, the one they disliked.
It’s an old trick but it certainly worked for many a Lib Dem candidate who went laughing to the election count. It worked, in part, because it put across to voters a clear message, suggesting they vote according to their prejudices rather than their preferences.
But if last Thursday’s terrible election results for the Lib Dems are to be believed, the old and trusted Lib Dem con-trick mustn’t be working any more.
It all seems to have happened since they got into bed with the Tories. . . .
Comrade Blogs wonders if they’ll ever again be playing their little game of piggy-in-the-middle!
FURTHER OUT OF FOCUS
Where is he now?
Having lost his seat in Headingley in 2011, LibDem James Monoghan recently sought to continue his political career by standing on May 3rd in the North Yorkshire County Elections for a much safer LibDem seat in Harrogate. And guess what? He lost again!
Just goes to show how hard life is for LibDems these days up here – even when they opt for the chicken-run they can’t count their chickens ….
This is the first of an occasional column offering Comrade Blogs’ thoughts on the world – and especially on the LibDems.