Liberal Democrats are calling on former Labour supporters to look afresh at their party amid news that new Labour leader Ed Miliband was overwhelmingly rejected by Luton Labour supporters.
Official results published on the Labour Party website show that those entitled to vote in the leadership contest from the two Luton constituencies voted for David Miliband, rather than his brother Ed, by a more than two to one – 280 votes to 119.
However, interest in Labour was so low among members in North Luton that barely a third of Labour members and supporters – only 35.5% – bothered to vote for ANY of the 5 candidates. This is thought to be the lowest turnout anywhere in the country.
Liberal Democrat councillors say that with Labour now likely to move to the left, the Labour Council wasting millions of pounds of residents’ money every month, and David Miliband feeling unable to even take a frontline role alongside his brother, many residents and previous Labour supporters will now look to their party as the responsible alternative.
Barnfield Lib Dem Councillor Martin Pantling comments:
“I’m not at all surprised that interest in and support for Labour in north Luton has fallen dramatically since the election.”
“With Luton Labour Councillors wasting huge amounts on highly paid consultants while reducing allowances for low-paid frontline staff, the Liberal Democrats are taking a responsible role in Government making the tax system fairer to those on low incomes through increased allowances, scrapping unelected quangos and unnecessary Government regulations, and sorting out Labour’s financial mess.”
“When two-thirds of registered Labour members and supporters can’t be bothered to vote in their own leadership contest, it tells you something. The fact that most of those who did vote would have preferred David Miliband as Leader, not Union-backed Ed, only adds to the woe for Labour. There is only one realistic choice now for anyone wanting to ensure a voice for fairness in these difficult times, and that’s to back the Liberal Democrats.”