Lib Dems in Freefall as Labour look to Gain in County Elections

Yeovil team
Yeovil Labour candidates- Back;-Sue Pitman (Yeovil West) Terry Lavin (Yeovil central) Bill Byrd (Chard South) Terry Ledlie (Yeovil South) Sharon Stafford (Yeovil East). -Front:- Graham Forsyth (Chard North) Dan Marks (Brympton) Joe Conway (Crewkerne) Martin Bailey (South Petherton) Murray Shepstone (Coker)


This week Nick Clegg said “The Lib Dems are a party of Government not protest and we should be judged on our record.” It looks like people are doing just that. As High-Profile candidates publicly quit the Party on stage at their Spring conference their disillusioned voters are looking elsewhere for an alternative.

In Yeovil the Labour Party believes it can be that alternative and is contesting every single seat in May 2nd’s Somerset County Council elections.

And where better than Yeovil to seal the lid firmly on the LibDem coffin of betrayal. It was in this constituency some 30 years ago that Paddy Ashdown re-launched the modern ‘grassroots’ Liberals with a message that ‘Labour will never get in here so vote for us and we might’. 30 years later Ashdown is a nervous fellow traveller in a Tory Government that is doing everything that Libdem voters fought against yet now with their official blessing and running their own party into the ground in the process.

The ‘Meltdown factor’…

The ‘Ashdown factor’ led to a genuine build up of LibDem support around the county which saw them taking control of Districts and the County itself at various times. Now they even have the majority of the county’s MPs….but to what purpose?? None of the 4 ;- Laws(Yeovil) Munt (Wells) Browne (Taunton) Heath (Somerton) voted against the recent bedroom tax and ALL supported the £9,000 Tuition  fee hike -contrary to their election promises. David Laws -the heir to the Ashdown legacy – was one of the key engineers of the ‘coalition’ and Heath, now Minister of Agriculture -is instrumental in getting rid of the Agricultural Wages Boards.

‘Holding my nose and voting’

For voters it’s an agonising choice. Labour supporters from Yeovil,Somerton and  Frome who recently travelled to Highbridge to help in the January By-Election,where the Lib Dems clung on, told us  ‘voters were saying “I’m just holding my nose and voting”‘ – But for how long do Somerset people have to put up with second best!? Sedgemoor Labour councillor and campaign organiser Brian Smedley (Bridgwater) said “The Lib Dems threw everything at Highbridge as it was part of Tessa Munts seat and they needed to save her face at least. They even brought Clegg and co down to a   ‘public’  meeting and saturated the place with thousands of leaflets saying what their candidate (Helen Groves) would do. It’s a shame none of that translated into action as we’ve yet to see her at a Council meeting almost 2 months later!”

‘No credibility left in the Liberal Democrats’

In Yeovil the Labour team is taking on the LibDems in their heartland and standing in every seat. Yeovil South candidate Terry Ledlie said “There is no credibility left in the Lib Dems. By voting Labour you’re sending a message to the Liberal Democrats that they have had their chance and they have blown it!”

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