Why are Lib Dems facing a Euro election ‘bloodbath’ – and not the Tories?


Senior Liberal Democrats have been warned they might end up with no MEPs after next month’s European Parliament elections, due to the party’s current electoral unpopularity (according to the Daily Telegraph).

The electorate certainly has plenty of reasons to punish the party that has become known as the ‘Tory Democrats’ due to its adherence to Conservative Party policies in the Coalition government.

But here’s an interesting point: Conservative support has not dropped off in the same way.

Sure, the LDs are Tory enablers who betrayed their own pledges before the first votes were cast in the 2010 election, but the Conservatives betrayed their promises too. And the Conservatives were behind most of the policies that have caused the damage.

The Liberal Democrats voted the Bedroom Tax onto the statute books, but it’s not their policy – it’s a Conservative scheme.

The Liberal Democrats had very little to do with the changes to Employment and Support Allowance that have led to the deaths of so many people with long-term illnesses and disabilities – Conservative ministers pushed them into practise.

The Liberal Democrats had little to do with the increased sanctions regime that has been foisted on the unemployed in order to cook the benefit books – that was a Conservative idea.

The Conservatives are responsible for the plan to cut back access to Legal Aid, so rich criminals can walk free while the innocent poor are told to admit offences they have not committed and go to prison.

The Conservatives introduced mandatory work activity (colloquially known as Workfare) for people on benefits – both unemployment and sickness, meaning companies get free labour and there are fewer paying jobs in the economy.

The Conservatives introduced the Workplace Pension, which has led to employers encouraging their workforce to take out private pensions that they cannot afford, in a bid to avoid paying their own part of the scheme.

The Conservative Party’s answer to the immigration question was to send vans around London encouraging people who were in the UK illegally to “go home”. This scheme led to the victimisation of British citizens because other people thought they looked foreign.

The Conservatives told us all they would protect the National Health Service and then started a process of privatisation that has led to billions of pounds worth of services being ‘outsourced’ to private health firms – who pay handsome donations to the Conservative Party – at huge cost to the taxpayer (because private firms need to make a profit, don’t forget).

The Conservative Party has fed the public one lie after another, using its puppet right-wing press to brainwash people into believing its nonsense. When these falsehoods have been exposed, ministers have tried to bluster their way out of the blame.

The Conservative Party has engineered the feeblest economic recovery in British history, ensuring that only the very rich have been able to benefit while the poorest – who actually made it happen – are set to be thousands of pounds worse-off in 2015 than they were in 2010.

And yet it is the Liberal Democrats who have lost the most support.


Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy the first Vox Political book,
Strong Words and Hard Times
in either print or eBook format here:



  1. jaynel62 April 28, 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Is it because people expect the Tories to be petty, prejudicial & discriminatory but…people voted for the Lib Dems in the hope they’d temper this? x

    • Mike Sivier April 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      I don’t think so. People voted for the Lib Dems because they didn’t want Conservatives in government at all – they didn’t know that Clegg had already made a deal with Cameron.

      They might have hoped that the LDs would lessen the harshness of Conservative rule, but in fairness, this has probably happened! Tories on their own would have been far, far worse in my opinion.

      But what about the people who did vote for the Conservatives? What did they expect? Did they honestly believe that the Conservatives were going to turn the economy around, when ALL of Conservative policy is dedicated to reducing working people to poverty and despair and forcing them to work in order to keep the rich in luxury? For that to happen, the welfare state must be destroyed, and the only way to do that was to claim it is unaffordable – hence the ‘Starve the Beast’ policy we have seen over the past four years.

      Was the Conservative vote in 2010 an attempt to punish Labour for the credit crunch and the recession that followed? If so, it backfired massively on the people who cast those votes. Labour politicians have not suffered anything like as badly as working-class people who voted Conservative.

      But I expect I’m preaching to the gallery, telling you all this.

      • jaynel62 April 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm - Reply

        I agree Mike – many who suffer most do not vote also?! x

        • Mike Sivier April 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm - Reply

          Yes, but why not?

          • jaynel62 April 28, 2014 at 12:37 pm

            Many I speak to really believe there is No real choice – all Politicians are the same – rhetoric again!

      • Shaqui April 28, 2014 at 1:03 pm - Reply

        I will fess up that I voted Lib Dem as an alternative to the useless Labour Government, and I suspect that yes, more voted Conservative as a backlash.

        The lack of voting IS because of lack of choice. The three (or two and a half) major parties do not really represent a true difference in the way they used to. But locally, there are no independents to vote for – just those three. I either now vote for a party I don’t trust – or don’t vote at all!

      • Barry Davies April 28, 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

        Well there are not only the choices of the old three parties which would mre honestly be called the three wings of the same party, or independent, I’m sure if you look for them you will find a decent candidate to vote for.

  2. bookmanwales April 28, 2014 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    The LibDems had choices in which way they voted. The fact they betrayed ALL their principles in order to gain some miniscule amount of power is why people have deserted.
    They could have voted with Labour against the Welfare reform act, didn’t, could have kicked up a stink about bedroom tax didn’t, could have opposed higher tuition fees, didn’t, could be here all day about things they didn’t do.
    The fact they were Tory policies is neither here nor there, they enabled these policies to be introduced without a murmur and are therefore even more guilty as without the LibDems some of those policies would have failed at the first hurdle.

  3. Andy C April 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Why haven’t the Cons lost votes? Not sure how to answer that one, is it possibly a different bunch of folk voting for them now than did at the last general election? If you look at the numbers that are party members for the Cons they’re at an all time low (I think you’ve posted about this before). Is it that there is an accepted element of the Tory party accepted by current Tory voters that the party will say what folk want to hear and then once in power unleash what they really want to do. That Machiavellianism is actually an accepted part of the Conservative worldview?

    For the Liberals there’s an element that from all angles especially from within the party it appears that Clegg has sold out the party. This is the one time that they managed to get into power by presenting a Liberal mandate yet did an about turn and went with a Neo-Liberal one instead. Interesting to note Clegg is actually pursuing his original Orange book agenda which is Tory in all but name – example – Orange Booker Nick Clegg was considering breaking up the NHS back in 2005 – mentioned in this article – http://cheltenham-gloucesteragainstcuts.org/2013/01/18/in-case-you-missed-it-nick-clegg-called-for-the-break-up-of-the-nhs-in-2005/

    Here’s a snapshot of the article via the Internet Archive as it’s disappeared off of the Independent website – http://web.archive.org/web/20110904103503/http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/nick-clegg-the-future-of-british-politics-will-inescapably-have-to-be-liberal–with-a-small-l-507402.html

    For me what irks is that the Libs in power talk about being brakes to the Conservative machine, yet at points when they should be holding the Cons to account they seem be to upholding the Tory manifesto with glee.. (the joint Con-Dem banging on the cabinet office table in support of the NHS reform bill having gone through being a case in point)

    As an ex-Liberal voter, who was at a point of believing at the last election that the Libs were on the left of New Labour (I know I got suckered hugely) I don’t know whether to vote tactically and vote Labour or go for what I believe and vote Green but accept that there’s not a strong chance that a Green MP will be nominated for where I live. (Just being honest)

    • Barry Davies April 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      Well the tories have managed to hang on to votes by lying that they can make a difference within the eussr, and those people have believed it, the libdums are pro eussr so they have lost votes, and labour which has gone from anti eussr to pro eussr has also lost votes.

  4. Boldeefett Loxx April 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    They don’t vote for a great number of reasons but clearly the public perception these days is they are all the same, whether it be implanted by the media or a genuine opinion most people mistrust politicians because no matter what they serve the interests of the rich, even an old fashioned Labour party would find them selves in a damned or they do damned if they don’t situation, we live in a capitalist society and the rich will always make sure their interests are represented. The difference for me between the Tories and Labour is that Labour would probably be a lot easier on the less fortunate in society although they would still have to make severe cuts if they were in office today.

    When people say they are all the same that is clearly not true on many levels, what they are talking about is those that are in the public eye, the front bencher’s who are for all intents and purposes very similar. But the point here is that MP’s of integrity, moral values, conviction and principles who do not follow the party line will never make it to the front bench. People such as Dennis Skinner, love him or loath him he has stuck to his principles which obviously the people of Bolsover are happy with as he has been their MP for 44 years, I suspect as a safe Labour seat this would not have been the case if he had betrayed those principles.

    People simply do not feel they are represented and that the banks and corporations are no matter who is in office and what they want will always come first, for Labour in my opinion to start to gain the trust of the people again they need to stop fighting for the middle ground and start to drift back to the left, personally I wont be happy until they are a proper left wing party of the people again but I do appreciate that is not for everyone and why they spent so many years in the wilderness.

    In truth this is just the tip of the iceberg things run much deeper than most people perceive but that takes into the realm of conspiracy theory and a subject I will leave for another day.

  5. Peter April 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I am still scared enough of a “Proper Tory Government” to vote LibDem in this marginal constituency. My fear is that many will not, and will stay at home on voting day, enabling a the Tory candidate to get in and support a Proper Tory Government. Then we’ll understand more about how the LibDems have restrained them these past four years. And we’ll realise why the Tories hate them so much. And we’ll regret tossing away the chance of a half-decent electoral system.

  6. Sami Turner April 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    I think it is because those who vote Tory do so out of habbit and long term family loyalty, much the same as those who usually vote Labour.

    I think that the Liberal Democrats normally receive votes from those considered ‘swing voters’. I myself was unfortunately one of those, the general election was my first legal vote in 2010 and I fell hook, line and sinker for Nick Clegga polished speeches and big ideas, I honestly feel dirty for giving that man even a taste of power. Yes they have just become Tory enablers but if other voters were like me they feel far more betrayed as we expect this kind of behaviour from the Tory’s (after all I lived through the last bit of Thatchers regin and all of Majors) but I naively thought the lib dems were better than that. I couldn’t feel more like a fool if I dressed in a dunce hat and ran the streets naked carrying a bell!

  7. samspruce April 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I don’t know why Mike. :( The only thing I can see is collective behaviour that seems to mirror individual psychology. It seems to be rooted in fear and insecurity. It seems strongly related to the Stockholm Syndrome of ‘understanding’ (to the point of agreeing with) the oppressor to save your own skin. The same mechanism that Primo Levi observed in the concentration and death camps of Nazi Germany.

  8. HomerJS April 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    I think it’s quite simple. Those who voted Tory are on the whole quite happy with what they have done (hence Iain Duncan Smith’s popularity in polls on ConservativeHome).
    A lot of those who voted LibDem are more annoyed as they thought the LibDems were a more compassionate party. I don’t think the voting intentions are any surprise, but I would agree that it is the anger at the LibDems (rather than the Tories) that seems odd.

  9. JK April 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    My guess is that former Liberal Democrat voters horrified by the atrocities that have happened under the Coalition government have walked away from that party whereas Conservative voters, who like and approve of such actions, have stuck with their original party of choice.

    • Barry Davies April 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      Well the tory party membership has dropped by 100,000 so not all of them have been happy with the liar camorons antics.

      • Mike Sivier April 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm - Reply

        It’s a good point that you’re making, but party membership is not the same as support for the party.

  10. Thomas M April 28, 2014 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    If you vote Conservative, you know what you are going to get. Whilst voting Lib Dem is like buying a sweet looking Labrador puppy that turns out to be a nasty pit-bull terrier like biting thing that you want to give back to the pet shop. Although I didn’t vote for them, I thought that the Lib Dems actually might be quite good or at least not evil-they let me down. I will never vote for them ever now.

    • Mike Sivier April 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      Did the people who voted Tory on the strength of the notorious ‘NHS’ advert get what they were led to expect?

      We seem to be getting a clear consensus on the Lib Dems, though.

  11. Keith April 28, 2014 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    In EU elections the Liberals will do badly as there is a right wing populist party UKIP, plus the Tory and Labour and green party to mop up the votes of the people annoyed with the Liberals.

    The Liberals are the most pro EU party but opinion polls of their voters show that the voters who support the party are much less pro the EU than the party leadership. This will magnify the vote loss. In other elections this will be less of a problem for them.

    Having said that the embrace of “austerity” is a dire electoral mistake. The German Liberals put the CDU into office in Germany and at the next election lost all their seats.

    Coalitions do not necessarily benefit all the parties in them, and the Liberals have made a mistake as a result, but do not seem willing to admit it.

  12. Guy Ropes April 29, 2014 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Quite simply the Lib Dems are liars and the folk who vote for them don’t like that. On the other hand the Tories are voted for by people who realise that no other party can possibly represent their greedy views. Want more Lib Dem lies ? This very day David Steele said, when faced with the prospect of investigating the slime ball that was Cyril Smith : “We are not a detective agency.” I believe that you are Mr Steele because you paid for a QC to “investigate” the Rennard allegations. Your party will investigate and be ‘detectives’ when it suits them. Of course it was a highly unsatisfactory investigation too because none of the findings were made public and never will be (according to top Lib Dems). Someone(?) once said, “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

Leave A Comment