My Lib-Dem opponent has her work cut out. Not only is she new to such contests but she amplifies her beginner status by making statements like “unlike them, I am not a professional politician”. As a result, bookies have pushed her out to super-outsider odds of 150/1. Add in catastrophic polls for the party (most predict a halving of support) and local Lib-Dem voters are in a quandry; the party famous for tactical voting needs to consider doing that for someone else. But for whom?
Labour might have been an option but many Lib-Dem voters were originally lured into the Tory surge in the eighties but whose subsequent excesses then turned them towards New Labour. Whether from the Iraq war or Labour statist profligacy or Brown’s cack-handed fiscal legacy, they drifted Lib-Dem-wards as Clegg exuded reason and principle in equal measure—at first. But they are unlikely to drift back, nor is Annabelle’s lone ‘redoubtable gel’ performance likely to lure them further.
So it’s the SNP, with whom local Lib-Dems have had a very stable and fruitful partnership in ELC, delivering virtually all joint commitments in Our Contract with the People…or throw your vote into the black hole of a poor fourth and miss this opportunity for East Lothian to shake off Labour’s self-interested girning for the first time in its history.