Friday, 18 March 2011
Reading Lib Dems: Flaking & Wobbling
2010 election day was, of course, also the day of the general election, which significantly distorts local voting numbers.
A like for like comparison of local election performance should really be based on the results from the 2008 local elections, when the Lib Dems won with 927 votes to Labour's 736 (a difference of just 191 votes).
It's no secret or great political wizardry to suggest that if Labour's Jan Gavin picks up as few as 96 former Lib Dem voters, then Kirsten Bayes is in trouble. In truth, the gap to be closed is quite small. And with a reinvigourated local organisation in Redlands behind her, Jan and her campaign team are quite capable of doing just that and more.
Jan and her team (of which I am proud to be a member) has certainly been getting a very positive response on the door step - a quote from one resident last week "I was one of those fools who voted Lib Dem last year: never again!".
In fact, I hear today that Lib Dem councillor Glenn Goodall is already talking openly of not even trying to fight for the seat in 2012 if/when Bayes is beaten on 5 May. It could be a smart move for Goodall to retire undefeated - ask Epps!
More than that, I also understand that Tilehurst Lib Dem councillor Chris Harris is also going wobbly in the face of a challenge from Labour's popular former Mayor and experienced ex-councillor Rose Williams.
Well, no one should ever take anything for granted in public elections - we don't.
With recent Lib Dem / Tory tweets proclaiming "seems like Redlands maybe lost along with Katesgrove" and requests going out for outside support with delivering their leaflets in these wards, should Tilehurst be added to the list?