PHILIPPE Sands, who provided a lively endorsement of Lib Dem candidate Ed Fordham in Hampstead and Kilburn before the election, sums up in a piece for the Guardian today what a lot of people who voted Lib Dem in the northern neighbourhoods of Camden might be thinking. He uses words like ‘oliblivion’ while discussing what the local repercussions might be from a Lib Dem deal with the Conservatives at a national level. Let’s not forget there is another local election in Haverstock ward coming up later this month: Will the Lib Dems face a harder job fighting it out with Labour if Clegg and Cameron have sewn up things in a coalition agreement deal at Westminster?
Sands explains today:
In seats where the Lib Dems trail Labour, the horror of having voted Lib Dem to get a Tory government would most likely cause Lib Dems to vote Labour, as in three-way marginals like mine. That is all the more likely if Labour trades up to a new, modern leader.
These conclusions are clear from a weekend of conversations with family and friends, many of whom are horrified (as am I) that active efforts for the Lib Dems almost gave the constituency to the Tories. It is also consistent with the collapse of the Tory/Lib Dem control of Camden Council, retaken last week by Labour on a healthy majority.
It is clear that the Lib Dem leadership now faces a horrendous choice, damned whatever they do.
Needling their opponents, Camden’s Labour party says there is an ‘open door’ for anybody who fancies a defection. Naughty.