Lib Dem local election results suggest party could lose 20 parliamentary seats
Party on course to lose third of MPs, but could hold balance of power in hung parliament, according to projections for 2015 polls.
An e-petition was launched by grassroots Liberal Democrats urging Nick Clegg to resign “so the party may once again get a fair hearing”.
Clegg has pledged not to resign in the wake of another round of terrible local election results, and has so far won the support of most of his parliamentary colleagues.
The petition has the support of the former Lib Dem MP for Romsey, Sandra Gidley, Bill le Breton, the former chair of the Association of Lib Dem Councillors and Martin Tod, a member of the party’s federal executive. It also has the support of a number of younger party activists, but it is not clear if it will sway the minds of instinctively loyal Lib Dem MPs.
The Lib Dems lost nearly 300 council seats and took a terrible pasting in London, Manchester and Liverpool.
Overall the BBC had the Lib Dem share of the vote at 13%. Some of the projections based on the local elections suggest a slew of Lib Dem MPs would lose their seats, including the business secretary, Vince Cable, Cambridge MP Julian Huppert and the justice minister, Simon Hughes.
The fate of the party in its Scottish and Welsh seats will only be clear when the European election results are announced on Sunday.
Clegg’s aides say the local election results represent a tale of two elections: one in which the party did relatively well against the Conservatives, such as in Eastleigh, and one in which it did very badly when competing against Labour, especially in London.
They say a second hung parliament still looks the most likely result in 2015.
- The Guardian,