Saturday, May 03, 2008

There are facts and there are what the BBC reports... 

One of the glories of the BBC Thursday night coverage of the recent election results was the repeated claim (flashed on their screen ticker) that the LibDems had targeted Milton Keynes Council to get overall control from NOC in the Friday morning counts. This was news to the MK LibDem campaign team at least. How this notion got around we don’t know.

For those of you who were looking out for the results and thought we had a setback because we didn’t win control, here are some facts.

Mk was a heavy Tory target. The Tories had two good years in the three year cycle and this year had only two seats to defend, both cast iron certain holds. Eight of the seats up had LibDem defenders seven had Labour. The Tories targeted five of ours and we think five of Labours and were pushing to seize immediate control.

As the largest party in an NOC Council (we held all the Cabinet posts) we were on the defensive. We set out to hold our seats against the Tories and make compensating gains from Labour.

In the event the Tories took two of our seats. We gained one from Labour. The Tories took a seat from Labour we were also targeting, Labour being forced into third place. They took two other seats from Labour. The consequence of all this to-ing and fro-ing was that the Tories had some real success. But their big push for control failed and the Libdems are still the largest party in MK – just.

In two of our successful defences our candidates got the highest ever LibDem votes recorded in these ward boundaries.

What all this means in terms of the Cabinet I cant say, but that is where we are now.

This is an excellent result for the LibDems in MK. Our opponents are suprised and disappointed. Come the next round of elections now in 2010, there will be lots and lots of Tory seats up for grabs, including three in wards where they failed to get additional seats from us in the years after making a gain.

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