Is the Lib Dem tax pledge linked to the Bromley by-election?

Going into the last general election the Lib Dems promised a local income tax and a 50% top rate. This promise of tax raises probably cost them a lot of seats, especially in the more affluent Conservative held seats.

The Lib Dem game plan is based around ongoing electoral success. All their literature screams “Lib Dems can win here” or “Only the Lib Dems can beat Labour/the Tories” etc. They usually have a misleading graph or a cartoon with their famous “two horse race” tucked on there too.

Over the last few years they have done well in by-elections, either winning them or gaining a lot of ground. In most cases these have been Labour held seats and their success was more to do with a desire on the part of the electorate to kick Labour rather than any great desire to get a Lib Dem MP.

Bromley presents them with a problem, it is a Conservative seat. Their decapitation strategy failed miserably at the general election in 2005 and there is no real chance that they can turn Bromley and Chislehurst into a Lib Dem seat. More than that, the problems they are having with a lack-lustre leader and funding troubles means that they could well slip backwards, badly.

This will burst their bubble, big time.

Along to the rescue rides Vincent Cable, the Lib Dems finance spokesman. 2p off income tax!

Why would they announce that? There are a number of policy issues where they are on much firmer ground, foreign affairs being the most obvious. No one believes the Lib Dems are a low tax party, no one. Also until this is policy is ratified at their party conference it is meaningless.

And trust me, while the ever sensible Vincent Cable understands that the Lib Dems tax policies are their biggest electoral handicap the bearded, sandal wearers at their conference will kick these tax plans into touch.

I suspect that this tax announcement is meant to do two things, take some pressure off of Ming and prevent an embarrassing drubbing in Bromley and Chislehurst.

8 responses to “Is the Lib Dem tax pledge linked to the Bromley by-election?

  1. As a sandal-wearer myself I can assure you these policies are largely supported by the wider party, as they have been in development since the last GE. Save a few adjustments they will be supported by conference.The announcement is a little premature though, which maybe influenced by Ming wanting to set out his agenda (and possibly Bromley.)

  2. As a sandal-wearer myself I can assure you these policies are largely supported by the wider party, as they have been in development since the last GE. Save a few adjustments they will be supported by conference.The announcement is a little premature though, which maybe influenced by Ming wanting to set out his agenda (and possibly Bromley.)

  3. I will be very interested to see if this is carried at conference. Post office part privatisation was kicked out and the feedback that I get is that the Lib Dem economic liberals get very frustrated with the very left of centre votes that come out of the Lib Dem conference.

  4. I will be very interested to see if this is carried at conference. Post office part privatisation was kicked out and the feedback that I get is that the Lib Dem economic liberals get very frustrated with the very left of centre votes that come out of the Lib Dem conference.

  5. I don’t think the Lib Dem decapitation strategy failed. Of course, it was not a total sucess, but it worked to an extent.Conservatives have always wrongly believed that the Lib Dems wanted to take out say Oliver Letwin or David Davis. That was never the case. The Lib Dems used those people as fronts, saying they were trying to win those seats, when all the time, the Lib Dems were after other seats.For example, upon hearing that Oliver Letwin could lose his seat – Conservatives piled resources into his seat, whereas in, for example, Taunton, sitting MP Adrian Flook lost his seat to Lib Dem challenger Jeremy Browne – which Mr Flook being given very little resources or help.In the end, the Conservatives lost two seats to the Lib Dems, but won three – but the Lib Dems did narrow the gap in a number of key seats for next time round.

  6. I don’t think the Lib Dem decapitation strategy failed. Of course, it was not a total sucess, but it worked to an extent.Conservatives have always wrongly believed that the Lib Dems wanted to take out say Oliver Letwin or David Davis. That was never the case. The Lib Dems used those people as fronts, saying they were trying to win those seats, when all the time, the Lib Dems were after other seats.For example, upon hearing that Oliver Letwin could lose his seat – Conservatives piled resources into his seat, whereas in, for example, Taunton, sitting MP Adrian Flook lost his seat to Lib Dem challenger Jeremy Browne – which Mr Flook being given very little resources or help.In the end, the Conservatives lost two seats to the Lib Dems, but won three – but the Lib Dems did narrow the gap in a number of key seats for next time round.

  7. I don’t want to rain on your parade but the Lib Dems lost 5 actually. Newbury, Guildford, Ludlow, Weston-Super-Mare and Deven West & Torridge.They were also done like a kipper in the Bromley locals, losing 6 of their 13 seats – and they have had no seats at all in the Bromley & Chislehurst bit since 2002.But there’s always the bar charts….

  8. I don’t want to rain on your parade but the Lib Dems lost 5 actually. Newbury, Guildford, Ludlow, Weston-Super-Mare and Deven West & Torridge.They were also done like a kipper in the Bromley locals, losing 6 of their 13 seats – and they have had no seats at all in the Bromley & Chislehurst bit since 2002.But there’s always the bar charts….

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