MP still confident after local elections

EASTBOURNE’S MP is confident the town will not turn its back on him at the next election despite a dreadful night for his party at the polls.

Stephen Lloyd was elected in 2010 after securing a 3.8 per cent swing away from his Tory rival Nigel Waterson.

That left him with a relatively healthy 3,435 majority which translates as 6.6 per cent of voters.

However, during last week’s round of council elections, his party lost 330 councillors nationally compared to before the voting and saw its total number of councillors dip below 3,000 for the first time in its history – with many political commentators arguing these losses had been sacrificed at the altar of coalition.

There was no voting in Eastbourne, but the national swing away from the Lib Dems will have done little to reassure both the town’s MP and its 15 councillors who currently control the borough council.

Speaking to the Herald, Mr Lloyd said he believed people would see past potentially unpopular national decisions and realise that the parties burdened by power could not afford to be popularist.

“Obviously this is a disappointing result,” he said, “but as can be seen across Europe, those government’s that are having to take the necessary, but difficult, and therefore unpopular decisions on the economy, are feeling the heat from the public.

“From a Lib Dem perspective, most of the constituencies where we have a Lib Dem MP and there was local elections, such as Portsmouth, Stockport Cheltenham, Cambridge, Colchester and Eastleigh, we made gains or retained control.”

And he promised to keep on working hard to improve the lot of local people and businesses, something which has been central to his approach since taking office.

“Locally I continue to strain every sinew to ensure Eastbourne gets through this dreadful economic situation as successfully as possible.

“The town is pulling together superbly, which is a plus.

“Hopefully common sense will prevail in the Eurozone as it is an absolutely crucial export market for the UK.”