Tag Archives: general election 2015

Voters give Liberal Democrats credit for tax threshold rise according to IPSOS-MORI poll

We all heard David Cameron and George Osborne take credit as often as they can for the raising of the tax threshold during this Parliament but a poll from IPSOS-MORI with fieldwork done after our Conference shows that the public just aren’t buying the Tory claims. 41% give the Liberal Democrats the credit for the policy compared to just 26% for the Conservatives as this graphic shows.

ISPOS-MORI tax threshold poll

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Liberal Democrat Lucy Care answers questions from NUS students

The National Union of Students is questioning candidates across the country via the medium of Twitter as part of its build up to next year’s General Election.

The idea is that they will take one marginal seat at a time and ask each of its candidates a series of ten questions. The  candidates will then tweet their replies. The first such event took place last Wednesday involving the candidates from Derby North, including our own Lucy Care. Tackling the subject of tuition fees in 140 characters and doing it justice was quite a challenge but Lucy managed it.

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Danny Alexander, not Vince Cable, designated Lib Dem shadow chancellor (oh, and no Lib Dem reshuffle)

speech danny alexander 6The Guardian’s Nick Watt reports today the long-trailed announcement that Danny Alexander, Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury, will take on the role of the party’s shadow chancellor at the 2015 election:

Nick Clegg has decided that Alexander, his closest ally in the cabinet, will be the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman during the campaign and will face George Osborne and Ed Balls in any television debates on the economy. … The Lib Dems insisted that the election roles for Alexander and Cable were consistent with their cabinet roles. A Lib Dem spokesman said: “We are enormously fortunate to have two talented and well-known ministers on economic matters that are recognised and respected by the public. By the next election Danny Alexander and Vince Cable will have both served for five years as chief secretary and business secretary respectively, so they know their areas inside out. It therefore makes complete sense that they should continue in those roles during the election.”

I’ve made no secret of my view on this: there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Vince Cable should have continued in the role he held in 2010 as the party’s shadow chancellor. He is, quite simply, head and shoulders above any of his colleagues when it comes not only to understanding the British economy, but, just as crucially, explaining it in a way that is both credible and distinct from the Tories.

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Mori’s Sir Bob Worcester increases his forecast for Lib Dem seats in May 2015

Sir-Robert-WorcesterYes, you read that headline right: founder of MORI, Sir Bob Worcester, increased his forecast of how many seats the Lib Dems would win in May 2015 when asked for a prediction at last week’s Lib Dem conference.

I’ll be honest, though: I don’t think he meant to.

Last year, you may recall he predicted the party would win 24 seats. I certainly remember: Bob Worcester forecasts Lib Dems to be reduced to 24 seats in 2015. I’ll run naked down Whitehall if that’s the result (17th Sept 2013). I …

Posted in Polls | Also tagged , and | 39 Comments

Opinion: The proposed televised debate format does not help pluralism

So, there will be televised debates prior to the 2015 General Election. The question that beckons is what form they should take. ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC are all set to host the party leaders, each with a different composition. Channel 4 have invited Ed Miliband and David Cameron, the BBC have added Nick Clegg to the mix and the trio becomes four as Nigel Farage will attend the ITV debate.

The big controversy, of course, is ITV’s decision to invite UKIP to their debate, given they have only one MP. Personally, I absolutely support the move. As Liberal Democrats we support a pluralistic approach to politics that welcome many democratic voices. Furthermore, UKIP have been able to ride on a wave of press hype that been allowed to ferment exactly because they have been the outriders of traditional political debate.  By inviting them into the fold in televised debates we are able to call UKIP out on the flaws in their policy platform. We can paint ourselves as the antithesis of UKIP’s insular and nationalist philosophy and appeal to those voters that oppose this view. Ultimately, the inclusion of UKIP offers an opportunity to bring the party to account.

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Opinion: Debates, PEBs and Judical Review: A graveyard of lost causes

This week’s announcement of broadcasters’ provisional plans for the 2015 General Election Debates predictably drew complaints and threats of legal action.

The plan is undoubtedly odd in some respects.  Glen Oglaza, who has been a senior political broadcast journalist for as long as I can remember, tweeted that the idea of excluding a party in government (the Liberal Democrats) from one debate was “bizarre.”

Broadcasters will have to review their plans nearer to the election period, taking into account what the polling situation may be at that time, the number of candidates each party is set to field and other election results between now and then.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 18 Comments

General election 2015: broadcasters propose 2-3-4 leaders’ debates formula

Nick Clegg in TV leaders debate, 2010The BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 have announced their preferred plans to hold three debates during the 2015 general election campaign. The BBC reports:

One would involve a head-to-head debate between just the Conservative and Labour leaders, and another would include the Liberal Democrat leader. The other debate would involve all three leaders plus Mr Farage. The broadcasters said the proposed formats reflected “changes in the political landscape” since the three prime ministerial debates during the 2010 general election, which featured Conservative Mr Cameron, Labour’s Gordon Brown and Lib Dem Mr Clegg. … The broadcasters have written to the party leaders to invite them to take part. The suggested schedule is for debates on 2, 16 and 30 April, ahead of the election on 7 May.

Here’s how the Lib Dems have responded to the proposal:

Posted in News | 48 Comments

In the next month 19 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

Posted in Selection news | 5 Comments

Lib Dem pre-manifesto launched: includes policies to reform drugs laws and bus pass discount for under-21s

pre manifesto documentLast week’s pre-manifesto launch by the Lib Dems was postponed owing to the international situation. Thankfully no important news has broken over the past couple of days which might over-shadow today’s launch. Unless, that is, you think the potential break-up of the UK or a new Royal Baby are headline-grabbing events.

You can read the Pre-Manifesto in full below.

The party trailed its publication today with a couple of announcements intended to highlight key policies:

  • ‘Exclusive: Liberal Democrats to announce decriminalisation of all drugs’ headlined Politics.co.uk:
  • Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 32 Comments

    The Independent View: What are the most ‘Ukip-friendly’ Liberal Democrat seats?

    revolt on the right ukipIn our recent book, Revolt on the Right, we compiled a list of the most demographically receptive seats in the country for Ukip. This allowed us to rank all seats in the country according to how favourable their populations are for Ukip, using the most recent census data.

    The ideal seats for Ukip share key characteristics: they have lots of ‘left behind’ voters who we also know from our research are the most receptive to Ukip and its policies. These ideal seats also have very low numbers of voters who have, instead, tended to remain resistant to Ukip, including university graduates, ethnic minorities and people in professional and economically secure occupations. This is a useful first exercise in filtering through all seats to find those where -if Ukip stood a strong candidate and knocked on plenty of doors – they would probably find the most voters receptive to their message.

    Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged and | 42 Comments

    Clacton and the Lib Dems’ post-2015 wastelands problem

    Clacton Pier.The Clacton by-election triggered by Douglas Carswell’s defection from the Tories to Ukip will take place on 9th October – David Cameron’s birthday, but also the day after the Lib Dems’ autumn conference concludes.

    That’s not great news for the Lib Dems on two counts. First, it means the media will likely be obsessing more about Clacton than what’s happening in Glasgow (unless, that is, Yes Scotland has won the referendum).

    And secondly, the party’s not expecting a great result. There have been two constituency polls conducted to date (

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 49 Comments

    Postponed: Lib Dem pre-manifesto launch delayed owing to international situation

    Liberal Democrat manifesto front coverThe news of a further murder of a US hostage by ‘Islamic State’ broke last night. The Lib Dems have, therefore, decided to postpone today’s scheduled launch of the party’s pre-manifesto.

    The pre-manifesto is the document agreed by the Lib Dems’ elected federal policy committee (FPC) to be submitted to this autumn’s conference for approval. Its contents have been heavily trailed throughout the summer. By my count, 19 policies (mostly policies already agreed by conference, and listed at the foot of this post) have been unveiled, as the party gears up the publicity machine to try and get its key messages heard by the voters ahead of May’s general election.

    Party process purists won’t much like the publicity preceding the official conference vote, but the reality is unless the Lib Dems take every opportunity to hammer our policy messages home then what we have to say won’t ever be heard. A bit like leaflet delivery in an election campaign, it’s only when we’re sick and tired of hearing the message that there’s a slim chance the electorate might have noticed it even once.

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 32 Comments

    In the next month 32 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

    Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

    The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

    Posted in Selection news | 5 Comments

    In the next month 39 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

    Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications. They include Watford, on paper the 6th most winnable Tory seat for the Lib Dems, needing a swing of just 1.39%, as well as Redcar, where incumbent MP Ian Swales, whose majority over Labour is 5,214, is stepping down. And if anyone fancies taking on health secretary Jeremy Hunt, his South West Surrey seat is also up for grabs.

    The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

    Posted in Selection news | 4 Comments

    Incumbency and the sophomore surge: why these two effects will matter for the Lib Dems in 2015

    Lib Dems winning hereWith the Lib Dem vote at least halved in the polls since the last general election, there’s been much focus within the party on what’s known as the ‘incumbency effect’ – the personal vote that benefits Lib Dem MPs. This typically boosts Lib Dems by 8%, compared to 1-2% for Tories and 1.5-2.5% for Labour MPs.

    It’s this effect which, Lib Dems hope, will enable the party to buck the national trend at the next election. It is, however, limited to those seats where the current MP will …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 16 Comments

    In the next month 17 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

    Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications. They include Watford, on paper the 6th most winnable Tory seat for the Lib Dems, needing a swing of just 1.29%; and also Ludlow, a Lib Dem seat from 2001-05, held by Matthew Green.

    The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

    Posted in Selection news | 6 Comments

    Ukip may well win a seat in May 2015. But the least likely person to get elected is Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage, Leader, UK Independence Party (UKIP)This week saw the latest in Lord Ashcroft’s polls of the marginal battleground seats that will decide the result of the next general election. This crop focused on 14 marginal Conservative-held seats where Labour are in second place.

    The overall news was half-encouraging for Labour. As it stands, Ed Miliband’s party is poised to win 11 of these 14 seats next May. The average swing from Tory to Labour of 4.5% would be enough to win 53 Tory seats, which, as as Ashcroft notes, “combined with the 17 seats my recent polling suggested they could gain from the Lib Dems, would be enough for a small overall majority”.

    Of course, this poll is a snapshot, not a prediction (as Ashcroft repeatedly stresses). A similar exercise conducted by Ashcroft for PoliticsHome in 2009 pointed to a Tory majority of 70 seats and we all know how that turned out a few months later. Usually the governing party picks up support as the election nears, while the opposition party loses support. We’ll see how that historical pattern bears out in Coalition conditions and as voting becomes yet more fragmented between five national parties, as well as the nationalists in Scotland and Wales.

    But the most newsworthy finding from Ashcroft’s poll was that Ukip would win two Conservative-held seats, Thanet South and Thurrock.

    Posted in News and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 21 Comments

    In the next month 28 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

    Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

    The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

    Posted in Selection news | Leave a comment

    In the next month 15 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

    Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

    They include Portsmouth South, where the incumbent MP, Mike Hancock, is currently suspended from the Lib Dems and is therefore ineligible to be selected for the party; and also the City of Durham, on paper the 27th most winnable seat for the Lib Dems, needing a swing of just over 3%.

    The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

    Posted in Selection news | 14 Comments

    Ladbrokes: “Five seats the Lib Dems might GAIN in 2015″

    Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderYes, you read the headline right. Ladbrokes’ The Political Bookie blog this week featured five seats where, based on the betting, they reckon the Lib Dems might confound expectations…

    1. Montgomeryshire. Conservative majority 1,184
    “Some are expecting a turnaround with a new candidate.” Her name is Jane Dodds, selected a year ago.

    2. Watford. Conservative majority 1,425
    “In Lord Ashcroft’s constituency specific polling, they were just 5 points behind the Tories.” It is also the top Lib Dem target from the Tories not yet to …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 46 Comments

    UPDATED: Full list of Lib Dems standing in our held seats and top 50 targets

    We’re less than 11 months away from the May 2015 election so here’s my latest running check on how candidate selection is going in our held and key target seats…

    Lib Dems winning hereI published a first draft of this list at the start of October, and asked readers to help me update it. Many thanks to those of you who have helped me keep it updated, including the party’s Candidates Services Office. Here’s the latest version of the list of (re-)selections in our held seats and the top 50 targets for the party.

    It’s a snapshot of how the party’s doing in getting people in place in the battleground seats that will determine the extent of Lib Dem influence in the next parliament:

    Posted in Selection news | 26 Comments

    In the next month 8 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

    Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

    The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

    Posted in Selection news | 10 Comments

    Opinion: I’m fed up with process stories. Let’s work out how to win in 2015

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADear Liberal Democrats on Twitter, Facebook and Liberal Democrat Voice,

    I am tired of process stories.

    I don’t need another analysis of Annette Brookes’ email, Nick saying where we work we win, Lib Dems 4 Change setting up a website on 22 May or Matthew Oakshotte’s self-indulgent polling.

    The simple truth is this. In the euro elections we lost 10 out of 11 seats and got 6% of the vote, the same as in 1989 when we had all just discovered we were Democrats. In addition we lost a wealth of MEP …

    photo by: SomeDriftwood
    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 21 Comments

    Opinion: Let’s not throw away all we have worked for just as it’s starting to pay off

    nick clegg rally 1

    As a working-class Northern lad it would be fair to say that in terms of personal background I don’t have much in common with Nick Clegg. And like Carl Minns and Richard Kemp I’ve been on the wrong end of some tough election results in recent years.  But I totally disagree with George Potter – I passionately believe Nick should lead our party into the next General Election and beyond.

     I’ve probably had more arguments with Nick than most commentators on

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 49 Comments

    The Independent View: No One Ever Told Me About Politics

    no one ever told me about politics“I’ve been wanting to be more clued-up on politics for a while – and I know lots of other people my age feel the same way – but it always seems so complicated and it’s hard to know where to start”. Kate, 25

    A few days ago, a year ahead of the next UK general election, a new cross-party initiative called No One Ever Told Me About Politics was launched to tackle the pressing issue of political disengagement amongst people in their 20s and 30s.

    Posted in News and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 24 Comments

    Bath Liberal Democrats select Steve Bradley as candidate to replace Don Foster

     Steve BradleyAt the weekend, Bath Liberal Democrats selected Steve Bradley as their parliamentary candidate in place of Don Foster who  has been the city’s Liberal Democrat MP for 22 years.

    From the Bath Chronicle:

    More than 180 local party members met yesterday afternoon at the Salvation Army hall in James Street West to debate, discuss and vote from a shortlist of six contenders.

    After a lengthy five-hour event they selected Mr Bradley, who is a a former Lib Dem councillor in Lambeth.

    Mr Bradley, who first moved to the city in 1991 as a student at the University of Bath, said: “I am immensely proud and humbled to have been selected by local Liberal Democrat members as their candidate for the 2015 General Election.

    “Don Foster has been a tremendous champion for this city for 22 years. I look forward to working closely with him in his remaining year as our MP.

    “And I hope the people of Bath will place their faith in me to continue Don’s hard work in parliament on their behalf.”

    Don Foster MP said:

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 25 Comments

    Opinion: Yes, Labour really has given up on winning votes from the Conservatives

    Labour Party logoI’m not fully signed up to the mockery for Labour’s recent TV and online films mocking Nick Clegg. Why? Because for all the naff content themselves, the broad message of them has been massively reported in the media, reaching a much wider audience than the films themselves.

    I doubt that was a deliberate strategy as you can’t count on calibrating something to be just bad enough to get lots of coverage but not so bad as to sink under it. It’s a handy silver lining, however, especially as it diverted …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 34 Comments

    In the next month 12 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

    Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

    The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

    Posted in Selection news | 6 Comments

    In the next month 7 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

    Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications. They include North West Hampshire – where, if rumours are to be believed, the Lib Dem candidate may get to take on Boris Johnson – and my home town of Horsham, so I’ll be watching that one with interest!

    The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

    Posted in News | 6 Comments

    Who should be the Lib Dem shadow chancellor in 2015 – Vince or Danny? Here’s what Lib Dem members think…

    Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 830 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

    vince or danny

    Posted in LDV Members poll and News | Also tagged , and | 29 Comments



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