No organisation is doing more damage to the environment than the Liberal Democrats in Montgomeryshire. Over the last few weeks, they must have used the equivalent of an Amazonian forest to produce all the paper they are showering onto the heads of Montgomeryshire voters. Yet another envelope, full of various self extolling leaflets from Montgomeryshire's MP has been arriving on our doormats today. Its all shamelessly boastful stuff. My secretary, and several party members were recipients - all being asked for a donation of £50! At least this folder of leaflets has not been paid for by the taxpayer, which is more than can be said for the last two publications I was given copies of. Today's pack even had a glossy leaflet from Nick Clegg in it. Anyone would think they were concerned about losing the seat!
Today's leaflet includes one of those bar charts that the Lib Dems are famous for. The message is that "its only the Lib Dems who can defeat the Conservatives". What it said to me was that "its only the Conservatives who can defeat the current Lib Dem MP!". The other message is that its a waste of time voting either Plaid Cymru or Labour, because it will let in the Conservatives. Again, what this says to me is that by voting for Plaid, Labour or Ukip, you help the current Lib Dem keep the seat. I suppose all the other parties could say something similar as well. The 'trend' for both Plaid and Ukip are upwards as well. Anyway, in the interests of accuracy, I'll let you know what the true position is.
2005 General Election - Lib Dems (15,419), Conservatives (8,246), Labour (3,453), Plaid (2,078), Ukip (900).
2007 Assembly Election
Constituency vote - Lib Dem (8704), Conservative (6725), Plaid (3076), Ukip (2251), Labour (1544).
Interesting to note - National Assembly elections comprise two votes, the 'constituency' vote, and the 'regional' vote - which was broken down by constituency. In Montgomeryshire, our campaign was based on asking the people to use their second vote to support me. (I was a list candidate). I cannot track down the precise results, but in Montgomeryshire the two leading positions were Conservative (approx 9,000), Lib Dem (approx 7,000).
2008 Council Election - No precise figures but in Montgomeryshire the Conservatives won 6 seats, not having held any before, ever. The Lib Dems won just two seats.
2009 Euro Election - Though the constituency was Wales, the votes cast were counted in each parliamentary constituency, The results were Conservative (approx 4,300), Ukip (approx 2,800), Lib Dem (approx 2,700).
2010 - Who knows? But I do think a look at what has happened over the last 5 years blows a very big hole in the message that the local Lib Dem MP is trying to push. I accept that there is normally a larger turnout in General Elections, which will have an impact, but I think we're justified in thinking we have a decent chance of winning.
Its me just trying to help again.