A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lib Dems to stop bribing students

A big feature of the 2005 General Election was an undeliverable Lib Dem pledge/bribe to give university students free tuition.

In today's Independent Nick Clegg signals the end of this policy, saying "We will have to ask ourselves some immensely difficult questions about what we as a party can afford. A lot of cherished Lib Dem policies will have to go on the back burner. They will remain our aspirations. They will remain our policies. But we are not going to kid the British people into thinking we could deliver the full list of commitments we have put to them at the last three or four elections... you can't carry on promising the same menu of goodies. It is just not plausible."

In 2005 the ploy worked as a number of seats with a big student population switched from Labour to Lib Dem.

Without a student bribe policy and with Iraq fading in resonance as an issue the following LD seats could be re-takable by Labour (list shows notional LD majority over Lab on new boundaries):

Oxford East - 205
Manchester Withington -508
Bristol West - 640
Leeds NW - 911
Cambridge - 5058
Cardiff C - 5593
York Outer - 5907


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd worry more about holding seats than losing them. Whilst you should be safe in Hackney, I can only assume that Hackney Labour will be helping out as much as they can in Islington South over the next few months.

12:09 pm, July 22, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant "holding seats than winning them" - freudian slip!

12:10 pm, July 22, 2009

Anonymous amused said...

Yes, Anonymous, you could slap a red and yellow rosette on a dead pig and it would get elected in either Hackney North or Hackney South.

The one advantage of that fact is ... we don't get the likes of Akehurst and his ilk knocking on our doors at election time. Poor buggers in Islington South, I say!

4:00 pm, July 22, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

But all parties will be reviewing their expenditure promises.

They won't have any choice

I will be voting for the party which promises not to waste money on 'defence' (ie fighting unwinnable foreign wars)

1:33 am, July 23, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Luke said,

"A big feature of the 2005 General Election was an undeliverable Lib Dem pledge/bribe to give university students free tuition."

Just for interests sake how much would the government have to fork out to deliver this package?

Surely not £39 bn?

If the banks are essential to our economy it is also true that our future doctors, teachers, scientists and engineers are too. Fees should be scrapped and the government should cover student fees and a proportion of their living costs.

2:49 pm, July 23, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

By saying "their living costs" I ofcourse mean students!!!!

2:51 pm, July 23, 2009

Anonymous ShamelessMilne said...

Bribes? Like all those luvverly benefits (the cost of which now exceeds the sum collected in income tax) to keep the lumpenproletariat voting Labour? Pot, kettle ... you can make the connection yourself.

12:25 am, July 24, 2009

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Don't forget Rochdale. Not a University town as such, nor likely to be in a hurry despite some Lib Dem delusions, but with a huge number of HE students parented there. And quite a big FE sector.

But is TUFs much of an issue these days? Didn't Williams (Bristle) get into some trouble for saying that their policy wasn't what they said it was even back in 2005?

11:18 am, July 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never going to happen. Fact.

12:15 pm, July 26, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure Cambridge can be won in 2010.

12:20 pm, July 26, 2009


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