Tag Archives: by-elections

Make calls and make a difference

ALDC Phonebank
I am a brand new member to the Liberal Democrats, having joined after the disappointing Referendum result in June.

I was definitely impassioned by the Referendum result and wanted to get involved with the party right away.  I thought the ALDC by-election phone bank seemed a good place to start.

Using the phone bank is really easy. It takes ten minutes of training to get started. If you’ve used a phone and a computer before, you’ll be an expert in no time.

Making the phone calls is a really positive experience. We ring around wards throughout the UK and gauge support in that area for the Lib Dems in upcoming council by-elections.
 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Time to end this defection madness

 

Yesterday, for the second time in the space of six months, one of my local Liberal Democrat councillors resigned the party whip. Two different geographical areas. Two entirely different sets of circumstances. But two similarly devastating impacts on the blood, sweat and tears of hard working local activists.

The first occasion was in Rochdale this summer. After our previous council leader Andy Kelly lost his Milnrow & Newhey seat by a meagre 15 votes a year earlier local activists worked around the clock to help deliver a stunning victory this May with a 700 plus majority in a general election year and in so doing return the party to ‘group status’ on the council. Or so we thought. Less than a month later our other long standing councillor, Peter Rush, crossed the floor to join Labour and we were back to square one.

Fast forward six months and you find me living in Edinburgh. Last night I learnt that our Almond Ward councillor, Alastair Shields, has resigned the party whip after losing out in his recent re-selection contest to local activist Kevin Lang. Cllr. Shields will now sit as an independent until May 2017. As a result the Lib Dem presence on Edinburgh City Council is reduced from three to two.

Posted in Op-eds | 25 Comments

Are by-elections the best use of activists’ time?

Over the course of November I lost count of the exhortations I received to contribute, either financially or through my time, to the Oldham campaign. But is our current approach to by-elections the best for our party, and, if not, what wider lessons can we draw? This article is written to provoke, to challenge, and to inspire debate; equally, it is not written to insult or degrade the hard work or enthusiasm of activists or candidates with which this party is blessed.

Activists are encouraged to get involved in a by-election for a number of reasons: (i) the excellent qualities of the local candidate; (ii) the opportunity to increase our representation at Westminster; (iii) there is value in 2nd/3rd/… place; (iv) to learn about effective methods of campaigning; (v) to spread our national message; and (vi) it’s fun/sociable/exciting! But we have to realise that we are a seriously resource constrained political party. Resources are financial and people-time: activists, party staff, and political figures (e.g. MPs). I would argue that these are all more seriously limited than at any time since I joined the party in 2005, with the possible exception of activists. Even here, many will have full time commitments, a family, other volunteering work etc. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 20 Comments

Has Oldham had more parliamentary by-elections than any other place in the UK?

On Tuesday I asked: “Which piece of ground in the UK has had the most parliamentary by-elections?”. I genuinely didn’t know the answer to that question when I wrote that post. We had to employ Mounted Police to deal with the deluge of replies to the question. Thanks to Tim Hill for showing interest. Prompted by Tim’s enquiry, I did a bit of research and came up with the following tentative answer.

The Oldham wards of Crompton, Lees and Shaw have had more parliamentary by-elections, spread relatively frequently over two centuries, than any other part of the UK.

Those wards were part of Littleborough and Saddleworth constituency for the by-election there in 1995. They were part of Oldham East and Saddleworth for the by-election there in 2010. And they were part of the old Oldham Borough parliamentary constituency for by-elections there in:

  • 1835
  • 1852
  • 1857
  • 1862
  • 1877
  • 1899
  • 1911
  • 1925

I haven’t exhaustively researched this, so let me know in the comments thread below if you think differently. But I think it’s a fair bet, from my reading of the lists, that those three Oldham wards, or perhaps Oldham itself, have had the most by-elections when looked at over the last two centuries. The nearest contender I could find was the “Combined Scottish Universities” seat which had by-elections in 1936,1938 and 1945. If someone can point me in the direction of a list of pre-1900 by-elections that would be very helpful in nailing this question. I couldn’t find such a list.

I think that where the Oldham by-election frequency record is so impressive is that it covers a good range of pre-1900 and post-1900 by-elections. It’s just a shame that the current Oldham West and Royton by-election doesn’t cover those three wards mentioned above but it does cover wards in the old Oldham Borough such as Chadderton. So, you could actually say that Chadderton and other western wards have had the most by-elections but that would mainly be relying on pre-1900 by-elections. Lees, Crompton and Shaw are the wards in Oldham with the most impressive frequency of pre-1900 and post-1900 by-elections.

But you don’t get away with reading this that lightly! Please help Jane Brophy and the team at Oldham West and Royton in the next few days.

Here’s all the info you need on how to get there:

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

A message from Oldham from the Lib Dems there this weekend

imageThe Oldham West and Royton by-election HQ has been busy this weekend as Liberal Democrats head there from all over the country are heading there. Rather than snuggling up on the sofa with a good book and Majorsrise on Twitter (which is really getting exciting at the moment, possibly even more so than when I lived through it), they’ve headed out into the freezing cold to help the old #libdemfightback. Among those there today are our own Paul Walter who went up all the way from Newbury.

But why are they going? This video tells you.

I am so utterly soft that when I watched it, I had a wee tear in my eye.

IF you are wondering what to do with yourself tomorrow, why not head over there? They do seem to be having a great time.

Here’s all the info you need on how to get there:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Help get the Oldham postal vote out

Half of people in Oldham West and Royton get their ballot papers in the next few days. Can you encourage them to cast their votes for the excellent Liberal Democrat candidate Jane Brophy?

National Campaigns Officer Steve Jolly explains why you should:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

Tim Farron MP writes…Come and help Jane Brophy in Oldham West and Royton

Tim Farron & Jane Brophy OldhamThis party has given me so much. I joined as a 16 year old and it has given me lifelong friends and an extended family.

Today I am asking a favour from you. I hope you know me well enough to know that I only do that when it matters. I am asking for your help to support my good friend Jane Brophy and our Oldham West & Royton campaign.

I was there a couple of weeks ago to launch the campaign and to be honest you will struggle to keep me away! Our MPs and virtually all of our peers will be going too to support Jane. So I am asking you to help her too.

The energy of the campaign was brilliant. It was great!

We are campaigning on our record – the only party that actually opposed tax credits, fought the welfare changes and is standing up for small business and entrepreneurship. We have a strong message. We just need to sell it.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarStevan Rose 29th Aug - 3:26pm
    "Extraordinary stats, Stevan. Where are they from? " You requoted the source... they're votes. We had that referendum, the public thought they voted on the...
  • User Avatartonyhill 29th Aug - 3:15pm
    I like your analogy with the phone war, Caron, except that in 1940 no one thought that everything was going to come out all right,...
  • User AvatarChris Burden 29th Aug - 3:08pm
    @ Stevan Rose "60% of the population are not interested in the voting system. Two thirds of those that are interested prefer FPTP. We had...
  • User AvatarAl 29th Aug - 3:07pm
    But isn't the referendum a once in a generation thing? Don't you have to shut up, eat your cereal and accept the result so that...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 29th Aug - 3:00pm
    James King You speak such real sense ! My point is that we can agree with each other without alienating other members who are actually...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 29th Aug - 2:58pm
    I completely agree with Caron on this, our position should be unambiguous. I havent left Open Britain because they seem to be saying that they...