Tag Archives: 2017 general election

New members, En Marche and non-target seats

Our huge number of new members are making me think differently about the familiar problem of balancing resources between target and non-target seats, and the possibility of attracting support in a way that parallels En Marche in France.

For a long time targetting has been a difficult decision. The electoral system means that, if we lean too far one way, we spread ourselves too thinly and are even more badly under-represented in parliament. If we lean too far the other way, we create Liberal Democrat “holes” where there is more-or-less little for people to join, which makes it really hard for that situation to change.

But one of the many unusual things about this General Election campaign is that it is taking place in a period of rapid growth while our membership is growing rapidly. At the moment I am parliamentary candidate in a constituency where membership is up 400% since the General Election and 250% since the EU referendum.

Posted in Op-eds | 8 Comments

Big beasts

A press release from the Liberal Democrats today announces that ‘Big beasts return to Lib Dem front line as Farron announces election campaign team‘.

I’m not sure whether Jo Swinson, Vince Cable and Ed Davey like being referred to as beasts – what sort might they be?

But here is the full list of the new General Election Campaign Team:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 23 Comments

Battle Bus debuts in Surbiton

Around 300 people braved the drizzle this morning in Surbiton, west London, to welcome the Liberal Democrat battle bus as it embarks on a tour of the country ahead of next month’s election.

Party leader Tim Farron was joined by Sarah Olney, MP for nearby Richmond Park & North Kingston, along with former cabinet ministers and parliamentary candidates Vince Cable and Ed Davey. The pair are standing in Twickenham and Kingston & Surbiton constituencies, respectively.

Addressing the crowd, Tim Farron acknowledged the “Lake District-style weather”, before attacking both the Conservatives and Labour.

The worst governments are the ones with the weakest oppositions. There is a vacancy for an opposition in this country, and the Liberal Democrats are here to fill it.

This will not be a coronation. This will be a contest.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 20 Comments

We’ve learnt the hard way not to stand in the middle of the road

We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.

Aneurin Bevan quoted in the Observer, 6 December 1953

We have reason to be cautiously optimistic about the forthcoming elections.

It will probably take years to clarify why we had such a disastrous result in the 2015 general election, but it seems plausible to say that it was because people did not know what we stood for any more. Despite a laundry list of governmental achievements, we had, to an extent, sold our soul to the devil – the tuition fees disaster being emblematic of the whole thing. Then we went into the election saying effectively that we’d put a tape measure between the two other main parties and stand exactly equidistant between them. OK, that’s not what we said, but that was the perception that came over.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 38 Comments

Lib Dems put forward youngest candidate on Isle of Wight


The Isle of Wight County Press reports:

A FRESH face will be taking the reigns in the Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats’ fight for parliament on June 8.

Nicholas Belfitt, 24, of Shanklin, was selected as the parliamentary candidate at a local party meeting today Saturday.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

General election campaigns get off to a flying start across the country

Campaigns, of course, are already up and running across the country for the May 4th local elections, but Theresa May’s announcement has given even greater impetus to Lib Dem activists across the country.

Here’s a round-up of some of today’s action via Twitter – please let us know about any other team action photos in the comments field below!:

Caroline Pidgeon was up in Cambridge lending her support to Julian Huppert in his campaign to regain the city’s parliamentary seat and also to Rod Cantrill in his bid to be the first Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough:

Jane Dodds and the team have been out in Montgomeryshire:

Posted in Campaign Corner | 1 Comment

Soft Brexit Tory MPs who sign up for a hard Brexit manifesto will be responsible for an historic mistake

In August 2016, unusually, I made an appointment to see my MP. I wanted to talk to him about Britain, after Brexit, being part of the EEA and EFTA – in other words “a soft Brexit”.

My Conservative MP unequivocally explained that he campaigned for “remain”, his constituency voted “remain” and he wanted to salvage a good deal for local companies from Brexit. He spoke about making sure there are no extra barriers for local businesses exporting abroad. He enthusiastically received a paper I gave him from the Adam Smith Institute advocating EEA/EFTA membership after Brexit.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 21 Comments
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