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Oldham could be shape of things to come

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As voters drifted towards polling stations on a damp winter’s night in Oldham East and Saddleworth, it was hard to find anyone bursting with good things to say about Britain’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

Even some Lib Dems, who came so close to beating Labour in this marginal seat in May, seemed to be voting out of a sense of duty rather than conviction, hoping to limit the shame of defeat to a Labour party still struggling to assert itself in opposition.

“I did vote for them, but I’m not happy with them,” said 59-year-old Lib Dem supporter Lorraine Marner.

The Lib Dems are in danger of losing their way — and perhaps chunks of their core support — in government.

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