Sunday, May 06, 2007

My take on the results

The term 'a mixed bag' has been overused but is, I think, a fair summary.

Having helped run a campaign in a council next door to David Cameron's Witney constituency I am now certain that there is no 'Cameron effect', at least not in the way the media usually use the term.

The local elections here were fought on local issues and, despite visits from both Cameron and Campbell during the campaign, national politics didn't feature much.

The result in the Vale mirrors the position in many other Lib Dem held or target seats - consolidation where we already do well and progress where there is still room to make it.

(I was surprised to hear, for example, taht we had gained another three seats in Chris Huhne's Eastleigh constituency, primarily because I hadn't realised that there were still that many seats left for us to gain).

Our big losses appear to have come in councils where there were particularly strong local issues - such as Bournemouth - in constituencies where new Tory MPs are digging in - such as Waverley, Newbury - and in seats where they fought us off hard at the last election - Maidenhead, New Forest.

In most other places it is steady as she goes.

In my view our real challenge is to build sufficient organisation and understanding of modern campaigning in the places we are drifting back. Where we are doing this we are making good progress. There are still far too many local parties who are not doing this.

If there is any 'Cameron effect' it is that more Tory MPs and local parties are refreshing their approach to campaigning and are reaping the rewards from it.

No comments: