Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
23 May 2014

Lib Dems endure mixed results in parliamentary seats

The party held onto Eastleigh and Sutton but lost Cambridge and Kingston.

By George Eaton

The defining test for the Lib Dems in the local elections is how they perform in those areas where they have MPs. If the party can hold on in its local strongholds, Nick Clegg will be able to put a positive spin on what are generally terrible results.

To the relief of Lib Dem HQ, then, they can point to signs of resilience. The party won comfortably in Eastleigh, where the Conservative vote collapsed from 28 per cent to just 16 per cent, and in Birmingham Yardley, where it defeated Labour by 46 per cent to 28 per cent. In addition, it held Sutton, where it has two MPs – Paul Burstow and Tom Brake – and gained four seats from the Tories and Labour.

The main exception is Kingston, home to Energy Secretary Ed Davey, where the party lost control to the Tories having held the council for 12 years. Davey will hope that the result says more about the performance of the council, which has the highest rate of council tax in London and saw its leader jailed, then it does about his general election chances.

But while the party has performed credibly in Tory-facing seats, it has suffered in areas where Labour is the main challenger. It lost control of Cambridge, where Julian Huppert is MP, and lost seats in Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone’s constituency.

If it’s clear that the Lib Dems aren’t destined for wipeout in 2015, it’s also clear that some of its best-known figures are in serious danger of losing their seats next year.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK