Saturday, February 11, 2006

A (Forth) Bridge Too Far

It looks like talk of the death of the Lib Dems might have come too soon. On a total swing of 12800 votes, Willie Rennie and the Lib Dems have yet again dealt a massive blow to Labour.

I guess the point that I'm making is that despite all the setbacks that have hit the Lib Dems in the last month or so, many people are still far more willing to see them in positions of power than the are the Labour party. And it pretty much makes sense - the Lib Dems have lost a leader and had a scandal or too exposed, whereas Labour seems to have been irrevocably smeared by Blair and co. One month of problems clearly hasn't bothered the Dunfermline electorate as much as nine years of Labour. Yes, Labour have claimed it was all down to local issues, but of course they were going to do that, parties always do. There probably is a seed of truth in it as well, but it doesn't make up for the fact that Labour should not have lost this seat. This is a very important beacon for the Lib Dems, a crucial reminder that not everything is going against them right now.

The important thing of course, is that it has wiped the smirk off Labour faces, which couldn't have come at a better time with the Lib Dems in disarray and Cameron starting to falter. Every opportunity to remind Blair that the next few years aren't going to be easy should be taken, especially, like in this case, where the opportunity shouldn't really have existed in the first place.

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