Yeovil MP David Laws: Lib Dems not facing Westcountry wipeout
The Westcountry MP penning the Liberal Democrat manifesto has dismissed fears the party faces Westcountry “wipeout” at the next election.
David Laws, MP for Yeovil, argues strong showings in local elections and a “good message” on its record in Government will put the party on a firm footing in the South West, despite the party’s falling poll rating.
The Western Morning News revealed last month the Conservative Party’s 40 target seats for victory in 2015 include 10 Lib Dem seats in the South West – including all five MPs in Devon and Cornwall.
But Mr Laws, a senior Lib Dem who is in the early stages of drafting the party’s election pledges, told the WMN: “In our view, there’s going to be no Lib Dem ‘wipeout’ in the South West. Far from it.
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“All the evidence in local elections shows that in the part of the country where we are strong – such as the South West – we’re actually doing extremely well.
“We won a by-election recently in Somerset against the Conservatives – we had a swing in our favour. A lot of the local election results in the South West show we are doing well. Not least in seats we already hold, where people have got hard-working Lib Dem MPs.
“And I think people will judge us – we have always had this view – over the five years of the Parliament.
“We have got a very good message as a party, both as to why we went into coalition in the first place, to give the country economic stability at a time when no party had won a majority at the last general election, and to tackle the economic problems left to us by the last Labour government, and making some really big progress in some areas – taking people out of tax, cutting the income burden on middle-income families, protecting the schools budget.”