Friday 12 June 2009

How bad was it for the Lib Dems?

In my wee meanders around I sometimes find myself going back to pick up a point or two. After I posted yesterday about the Lib Dems I thought I'd take a look at how they did elsewhere in the city. I'm comparing to 2005 because that's the only previous election which has reported results on these boundaries, but I'm adding the odd bit of other information into the mix:

Edinburgh South
Mike Pringle holds this seat for the Lib Dems in Holyrood, Nigel Griffiths holds it for Labour at Westminster. Lib Dems came second to Labour in 2005 with 32.28% of the vote. That collapsed last week to 21.34% and they fell behind the Conservatives. Labour's vote absolutely melted. It looks like the Lib Dems have fallen out of the race here as well as in North and Leith. It could be an early indication that Mike Pringle could be losing his seat in 2011 as well, but the boundaries are different, so a bit of caution needed.

Edinburgh South West
Dropped from third place to fifth with their vote vanishing from 21.06% down to 12.1%, the result being SNP followed by Conservative followed by Labour followed by Green followed by Lib Dem. That gives all sorts of interesting possibilities for the end of the Chancellor's parliamentary career but it seems pretty clear that the Lib Dems won't figure in any of them.

Edinburgh North and Leith
I know I've done it already, but I like it. SNP came storming through to win while the Lib Dems were stuck in third behind Labour, only 2 votes ahead of the Conservatives and not far ahead of the Greens - a 12% drop on their 2005 performance for the Lib Dems. There's been some comment that there are five parties within 1,000 votes of each other in North and Leith, but it's even closer if you concentrate on the battle for second place. The SNP result put us 641 votes ahead of Labour. The Greens are only 310 votes behind Labour and the Lib Dems and the Conservatives are between them - 310 votes between second place and fifth - I'm glad we're out in front with a wee cushion (very wee cushion, but a cushion nonetheless).

Edinburgh East
Lib Dems were second in East in 2005 with 24.42% of the vote. They dropped to fifth with 10.44% of the vote last week - a massive haemorrhage, and beaten again by the Greens who took 17%. The SNP won, of course, followed by Labour, Green, Conservative, and then the Lib Dems.

Edinburgh West
You'd expect the Lib Dems to do very well here, considering they hold the Westminster seat and the Holyrood seat. Well, they still came out ahead, but their vote dropped by more than 25% from - more than halved from 49.52% in 2005 to 24.2% in 2009. The Conservatives were right up behind them with 22.29% of the vote and the SNP was not far away with 20.6%. It looks like a race between the SNP and the Conservatives to take John Barrett out - which of us can eat into the Lib Dem vote fastest will be one factor - the other will be which of us is best placed to hoover up the 13.5% of the vote that Labour took. Whichever one of us gets there, it's looking likely that the Lib Dems will lose Edinburgh West.

So there you have it - the Lib Dems about to lose the one Westminster seat they hold in Edinburgh (probably followed by the Holyrood seat) as their vote collapses with ourselves - the SNP - and the Conservatives bearing down on them. Elsewhere in the city where they had been in the challenger's position their support has crumbled away and they no longer look credible. South looks more likely to fall to the resurgent Conservatives than to have any Lib Dem challenger while the SNP and the Conservatives battle it out in South West. In Edinburgh East it's between the SNP and Labour and in Edinburgh North and Leith it's also between the SNP and Labour.

That was a truly horrific election for Edinburgh Lib Dems and an excellent election for Edinburgh SNP.

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