Although the local elections were in no way a triumph for the Liberal Democrats, the results do show some interesting trends, particularly when looking at councils which have sitting Lib Dem MP's.
The Conservatives like to talk up the possibility of winning Lib Dem seats at the next general election and I am sure there will be one or two that go that way. However, the very best results from last Thursday tended to be in Liberal Democrat MP's seats or in long term target seats which have a strong Liberal Democrat tradition built up over a long time.
For example, North Norfolk, Lewes, South Somerset, South Lakeland, Caradon and Vale of White Horse, all saw excellent Lib Dem results and are part of MP's seats held by Tories up to 1997 in most cases, or in the case of North Norfolk and South Lakeland, even later than that.
Yes, there were some poor results too. Torbay did its usual of swinging back and forth between the Lib Dems and Tories whilst the Bournemouth general election results were a good indicator of what was to come there.
So as to the future, what do the results show ? Well there are some clear targets for the Lib Dems. Northampton North looks good whilst Watford is a must win seat and what about Eastbourne ? Will it buck the national trend ?
So overall, disappointing, but not a disaster. My old seat in Fakenham (North Norfolk) was comfortably held and my father was re-elected too in Broadland so I am happy.
I can now retire from front line politics until the general election and I do so knowing that the life does go on for the Lib Dems even when I am not doing the legwork.
Update : It has also been brought to my attention that the Lib Dems did well in marginal Solihul, gaining seats and new votes. It appears that some people who send me comments cannot read, so again I point out that the results on thursday are not indicative of Lib Dems losing MP's as quite cleary, the Lib Dem performed well in most seats held by MP's. Indeed, in North Norfolk the Lib Dem vote was up by more than 6%. This was the basic premise of my report and I am yet to read anything that disagrees with this.