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LibDems crash to double defeat

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LibDems crash to double defeat

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The Liberal’s gamble they would get a reformed British electoral system by co-operating with the Tories has badly backfired with defeat of electoral reform in a referendum.


 
It came just hours after the Liberal Democrats suffered their worst savaging in local elections in a generation.
 
“In politics, as in life, you sometimes get these big ups and downs and we have taken a real knock last night and we will need to learn the lessons from what we heard on the doorstep,” said leader Nick Clegg.
 
This double whammy might be a mortal blow for Clegg. His decimated party may now turn on him for doing a deal with the Conservatives that seems to have brought them nothing.
 
“I am committed to make this coalition government, which I believe is good for Britain, work for the full 5 years of this term, and it’s then that I believe the coalition and its partners will be properly judged by the electorate, but I will pay tribute to the work that the Liberal Democrats have done,” said Conservative leader David Cameron.
 
Cameron could afford to be generous. His 
vote held up well, and his party was never very keen on the proposed reform, but he may now have a pricklier coalition partner that may feel betrayed to deal with.
 
Ed Miliband has seen his party make big gains especially in the north of England and Wales, but it has been something of a Bannockburn for Labour in Scotland. Scottish Nationalist leader Alex Salmond’s grin got wider and wider as it became clear the SNP are going to have an overall majority for the first time after a thumping landslide.
 
He may now make good his campaign promise to hold a purely Scottish referendum on independence from Great Britain within the next five years.
  
 

Counting has begun in the great British referendum on voting reform whose result has yet to be announced, but with all but the crumbs of the results in from the local elections it seems the Liberal Democrats are heading for their worst savaging at the polls in a generation.

“In politics, as in life, you sometimes get these big ups and downs and we have taken a real knock last night and we will need to learn the lessons from what we heard on the doorstep,” said leader Nick Clegg.

A referendum refusal for electoral reform on top of these results might be a mortal blow for Liberal leader Clegg, as the vote was the prize the Liberals demanded for putting the Tories back in power.

The Conservative vote is holding up well, so leader David Cameron could afford to be generous:

“I am committed to make this coalition government, which I believe is good for Britain, work for the full 5 years of this term, and it’s then that I believe the coalition and its partners will be properly judged by the electorate, but I will pay tribute to the work that the Liberal Democrats have done,” he said.

Cameron also cannot afford a coalition partner so weakened and angry it splits and brings down his government. If the referendum does not go the Liberal’s way, expect trouble ahead.

Ed Miliband has seen his party make big gains especially in the north of England and Wales, but it has been something of a Bannockburn for Labour in Scotland, where Scottish Nationalist leader Alex Salmond’s grin got wider and wider as it became clear the SNP were going to take an overall majority for the first time in a thumping landslide.

He now has a big enough majority to fulfil his manifesto promise to hold another, purely Scottish referendum, on independence from Great Britain within the next five years.