Labour Loses Stronghold Seat to Liberal Democrats - Xtratime Community
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old February 10th, 2006, 11:28 Thread Starter
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Labour Loses Stronghold Seat to Liberal Democrats

Labour lost a by-election to the Liberal Democrats.

Dunfermline and West Fife, was won in the General Election with an 11,562 majority.

The seat was won by the Liberal Democrats by 1,800 votes.

Labour ploughed many resources into the seat including Gordon Brown who lives in the seat, yet the people rejected Labour. It clearly shows that despite Tony Blair's promise to listen to the people following the General Election, the people do not believe or trust him.

The seat was the first that the Conservatives fought under David Cameron. This is not a "typical" Conservative seat, but Cameron must be disappointed to see the Conservative vote drop by 1,674 votes and 2.51%.

The Liberal Democrats, the eternal by-election kings won the seat despite "internal problems" - Charles Kennedy drinking problems, Mark Oaten's affair with a rent boy and Simon Hughes' admission of homosexual relationships.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old February 10th, 2006, 12:31
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This has major implications for two potential future leaders. Obviously, Sir Menzies Campbell will take a major boost from this victory, even if it was probably less due to national personality politics than to more local issues (Labour only held the seat in May thanks to Rachel Squire). Just as helpful as this is to Campbell's leadership bid, it's disastrous for Gordon Brown's authority. As you mentioned, Brown campaigned heavily in the constituency (his home constituency, and one bordering his own), and his inability to shore up the vote in such a safe seat in Scotland may see the re-emergence of fissures between Brown and Jack McConnell and between Brown and the non-Scottish front-benchers.

The Lib Dems were seen by traditional Conservatives as the least of the three evils, leading to a lower vote than at the general election. In areas of good support for the SNP, Conservative and Unionist voters regularly vote Lib Dem to prevent secessionists from winning, and this was just another instance. This was always a three-horse race, and the low priority given to the by-election by the Conservative leadership (by not drafting in other MPs, unlike the other parties) indicates that they were happy to see the Lib Dems win.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old February 10th, 2006, 13:13 Thread Starter
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The result does not bode well for the SNP who are aiming for big gains in the forthcoming Scottish elections.

The SNP was 523 votes behind the Lib Dems in the General Election, yet they were unableto convince the electorate that they were the real alternative to to Labour.

Could the Conservative literatuire claiming that Cameron was a Liberal Conservative confued Conservatives or would it have re-enforced their desire to vote Lib Dem.

Labour has not made the usual comments about re-taking the seat that the next General Election.
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