Elections 2011: SNP steals show amid Lib Dem woe

SNP leader Alex Salmond SNP leader Alex Salmond celebrated as his party made gains at Labour's expense

The elections have been a severe disappointment for the Lib Dems, provided a measure of relief to the Tories, and served up some mixed success for Labour. But it is the SNP who have so far stolen the show.

The party is set to win a majority of the constituency seats in Scotland for the first time in its history. Meanwhile, early signs from the list vote as declared in individual constituencies suggest that it is possible that the SNP might secure an overall majority, so strong is its advance in these results as well.

A number of senior Labour figures in Scotland have lost their seats, including finance spokesman Andy Kerr and justice spokeswoman Pauline McNeill.

The Scottish Leader Iain Gray only just managed to hang on to his seat by 151 votes.

In England, however, the news has been better for Labour. In the local elections, the party is estimated by the BBC to have secured 37% of the projected national share, up 10 points on its performance in last year's local elections held on the same day as the general election.

However, it is far from clear that the party will manage to make the 1,000 gains that some have argued it ought to make in these elections.

Labour's vote has increased more rapidly in its traditional territory, such as the north of England, and seats with relatively large numbers of manual workers, rather than in the Middle England territory where it would most like to make progress and where such progress would bring a bigger yield of seat gains.

Tories steady

However, in Wales Labour has had better news and so far is performing sufficiently well in the constituency and list votes to have a prospect of winning an overall majority.

The Conservatives are so far estimated to have won 35% of the projected national share, the same as in last year's local elections.

To date, the losses of seats suffered by the party, primarily to Labour, are more or less matched by the gains it has secured from the Lib Dems.

If this pattern continues, the Conservatives can be expected to regard it as a considerable achievement after one year in office.

Meanwhile, the party has also performed creditably in Wales, where its share of the constituency vote is so far up by two points, and the party seems likely to overtake Plaid Cymru as the second largest party in the Senedd.

However, the Tory vote is down by three points in Scotland where the party looks likely to record its worst-ever performance.

But for the Lib Dems there is little sign of a silver lining. At 15%, the party's projected share of the local vote would represent its worst ever performance in local elections since its formation following the merger of the Liberals and the SDP.

Its support appears to have fallen particularly heavily in wards that it was defending together with wards that were previously held by Labour.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dem vote has fallen disastrously in both Scotland and Wales. At present, it is down by seven points in Scotland and by four points in Wales.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    For goodness sake. About AV people voted no because the dont want their vote to be used a second time to aid some party to get in that we didnt vote for plain and simple. Why cant politicians listen to the voice of the people. Nick clegg shot himself in the foot by allowing the tories back in and now he is paying the price.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    watching the news this am,where does Theresa May get the idea the people wanted the coalition. NO I dont think so! Nicola Sturgeon hit the nail on the head when she said Nick Clegg let his voters down by allowing the Tories back in, BIG MISTAKE thats where the backlash comes from. The english people should start an english national party cause the tories will do you no favours.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Lest we forget that only half of this country actually voted.
    Lest we forget those that died for this country to actually allow us to be able to vote.
    Lest we forget we have men and women fighting elsewhere in this world to instill democracy for others whilst we continually slap it in the face.

    Every election is the same, it's never a victory for anyone and only apathy is the true winner.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    He's a canny chap our Alex. The best of Labour head south when they need to stay up north. Wendy Alexander needs to come back as does Jim Murphy from down south. The Lib Dems need to realise that their voters are to the left on social issues and the coalition is not working. Cameron is using them as a lightning rod for the shocking policies he is introducing. Interesting times!

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    And fo course in punishing Nick Clegg and the LibDems, david cameron will be able to claim that FPTP which benefits the Tories is the prefered system, and the falling of seats into their hands as an approximate balance is an endorsement of the Tory dominated coalition polices. Do you think if there was an election now the tories wouldn't walk it?


Comments 5 of 21


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