Lib Dem membership collapse in Brent Central

Membership for the Liberal Democrats in Brent has fallen by 42%. More than in any part of the country. This is in Education Minister Sarah Teather’s constituency.

Source: LabourList

Indeed we have seen the actual effects of this in terms of campaign methods. The Liberals are nowhere to be seen in wards such as Dudden Hill with even their elected ‘serving’ Councillor living in Brighton. Instead, with a slump in activists and members they seem to be using their increase in income from huge donors (her Register of Interests shows that £33,000 has come to Sarah Teather since she became a Government Minister) to pay for mass leaflet campaigns. Leaflets such as this – LINK.

They are even having to pay for deliverers. People I’ve spoken to in Dudden Hill who used to deliver for the Brent Liberal Democrats no longer want anything to do with them.

Liberal activists that are left in the Party may justify their existence in the Party by consoling in the belief that the actions of their Party are Tory inspired. However, this is simply not true. This article points out that the Tories in Parliament are more rebellious than the Liberals!

Brent Party votes in London 2012 elections

There is no doubt that London election polling is different to local or Parliamentary elections. Nonetheless it is a fantastic indicator for elections. For example, the London 2008 vote in Brent North and Barnhill in particular showed us that it was possible for Labour to make substantial gains in Brent at the expense of the Tories. We were proven right and Mikey Pavey’s landslide victory on May 3rd 2012 in the Brent Barnhill by-election was an amazing triumph for Brent Labour.

Here are the results in percentages Ward by Ward. I will comment below the graph on certain key results that may have wider implications.

Alperton

In a ward where the Liberals currently have two Councillors and Labour has one, Labour polled first by miles (63.4% of the vote!). The Tories even beat the Lib Dems who came third in this seat. Labour is on course to take all three Council seats in Alperton in 2014.

Barnhill

In a usually straight Labour Tory battle, the Tory vote collapsed. The Lib Dems didn’t field a candidate in the Barnhill by-election at all but in the Party vote they polled 9.1%. My suspicion is that many Liberals who were deserted by the Brent Council Lib Dem Group voted for the Conservative Party candidate in the Council vote.

Brondesbury Park

In a ward which currently has three Lib Dem Councillors, the Liberals were battered into fourth place behind Labour, the Tories and the Greens. Well done to the greens who won 11% of the vote there.

Dollis Hill

Perhaps this was due to there being a fresh Council by-election victory for the Liberals in Dollis Hill Ward, but it the Liberals polled higher in Dollis Hill than in any other ward in Brent with 14.1% of the vote. However, they were still beaten by Labour (56%) and the Tories (16%). It is interesting though that in the Ward where the Liberal vote now appears to be the strongest in Brent, they only sneaked in a by-election victory in March 2012 by 37 votes!

Dudden Hill 

My Ward. I share this ward with one Labour Councillor and a Lib Dem. In this ward, Labour polled 54.4% and the Tories 14.8%. This means there are less Tory votes for the Liberals to prize away, as is their usual tactic.

Kensal Green

The Liberals polled well here in the last Council and general election, but came a miserable fourth in this Ward.

Kenton

In the only ward in Brent where there are three Tory Councillors, the Conservative Party did well here.

Mapesbury

The Lib Dems currently have three Councillors in this Ward but signs for a Labour gain in the future are positive. Labour membership in this Ward has spiked up since the Lib Dems entered Government and the Liberals polled third behind the Tories and Labour in this Ward.

Queensbury

In what is known as a Labour vs Tory marginal Ward, Labour won more than twice as many votes than the Tories in this Ward.

Stonebridge

This is our strongest Ward with Labour winning 78.9% of the vote. The Lib Dems were battered into fourth place behind us, the Tories and the Greens. There narrowly polled ahead of the Christian Party who won 2.9% of the vote in Stonebridge. This is 0.2% less than what the Liberals polled. This is bad news for Brent Central MP Sarah Teather who did poll better than expected in Labour heartlands in Brent in order to win the Brent Central seat in 2010.

Sudbury

Labour currently has one Councillor in this ward and these poll results show that Labour is on course to gain at least another in Sudbury. Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Cllr Paul Lorber is in a very nervous position and it will go down to the wire for the Sudbury Council vote in 2014.