Tag Archives: general election 2015

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 | 40 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

    In the next month 6 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 Bristol North West, on paper the 26th most winnable seat for the Lib Dems, needing a swing of 3% from the Tories.

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

    Posted in Selection news | 2 Comments

    Manifesto 2015: The debate is on

    logo_lg new Liberal Democrat logoLast week saw the final, rearranged, Manifesto Roadshow in Leeds chaired by Sal Brinton. Those of us present had some good opportunities to suggest and debate policy ideas for the 2015 General Election manifesto.

    There was lots of discussion of transport issues – around the quality and reliability of buses and trains and the capacity of the rail network. I raised the point that transport links between and within the northern cities has been identified as a vital ingredient in the agglomeration recipe that supports economic growth. While there has been some progress on this, such as with the Northern Rail Hub, we need much stronger and clearer ambition still.

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

    So how’s my scenario 3 – a Tory lead of 6% by May 2015 – working out then?

    Time to dust down a post from last December looking at scenarios for the 2015 election based on current polling – two of which pointed to the Conservatives being likely to take a poll lead in the next year.

    (NB: as then, please note my huge caveat – “the extent of the polling science on display here is me playing around on an Excel spreadsheet.”)

    In particular, I was curious what might have happen to my third scenario in the meantime. So pasted below is what I wrote in December, but I’ve updated the graph to add the last four months’ average poll leads to see how they fit the trend-line. (The answer is pretty well.)

    Scenario 3

    File this under the heading “a bit of fun… probably” – let’s look at the whole parliament and insert a polynomial trendline to take us through to May 2015. Here’s what happens:

    tory lead in may 2015 scenario 3

    Under Scenario 3, then, the Conservatives bounce back from their mid-term slump to lead Labour by 6% come the next general election. It couldn’t happen – could it?

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

    Without a shadow of a doubt: Vince Cable should be the Lib Dems’ Shadow Chancellor at the 2015 election

    Vincent CableOne of the quirks of being in coalition is the Lib Dems no longer have a shadow chancellor. But we shall need one in time for the 2015 general election – not least for the traditional televised ‘Ask the Chancellors’ debate.

    There have been newspaper reports that there’s some jockeying for this position, with the Financial Times reporting that “Senior Lib Dems say the high-profile job is very likely to go to Danny Alexander, the Treasury chief secretary”.

    Meanwhile, over at the New Statesman, Lib Dem blogger Richard Morris …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 45 Comments

    Ming Campbell’s successor selected: Tim Brett to fight North East Fife for Lib Dems in 2015

    tim brettFormer Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell announced last October he’d retire as MP for North East Fife at the next general election, after eight elections (five of them successful) and 28 years.

    His successor has now been announced: Tim Brett, leader of Fife Council Liberal Democrats and former chief executive of Ninewells Hospital, will contest the seat for the Lib Dems. Here’s what his biography on the Scottish Lib Dem website says about him:

    Tim has lived in NE Fife since 1985 and has been a Councillor since 2003. He held

    Posted in Selection news | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

    Cameron to “rule out second Lib-Con coalition” claims Telegraph. It may be a bluff but that doesn’t mean he won’t be forced to do it.

    Today’s Telegraph splashes on the claim that David Cameron is preparing to rule out the possibility of a second Coalition with the Lib Dems if the Tories are the largest single party but lack a majority:

    The Prime Minister wants to make a commitment in the Conservative Party election manifesto not to sign a second power-sharing deal with a smaller party in the event of a hung parliament next May, it is understood. Instead, a Conservative party that won the most seats but lacked a Commons majority would attempt to rule as a minority government, a course that would almost

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 36 Comments

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

    We’re 15 months 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:

    Held seats: 45/57 MPs re-selected or candidates selected where MPs retiring (79%); 8/57 MPs retiring (14%) – 6 successors selected.

    Top targets from Tories: 14/27 candidates selected (52%).

    Top targets from Labour: 11/23 candidates selected (48%).

    Posted in News | 8 Comments



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      Richard - Indeed. After reading this I was rather left with a nagging feeling that Ms Hutcheson's view of, 'ordinary life,' seemed to basically mean,...
    • User AvatarRichard 1st Oct - 6:01pm
      I don't understand this. "Politicians don’t do enough to find out what we really want, they might be doing things that I’m not aware of...
    • User AvatarCharlie 1st Oct - 6:00pm
      Knowledge is power. The board of top companies are highly meritocratic and often far more competent than most politicians or state employees. At the height...
    • User AvatarJohn Roffey 1st Oct - 5:56pm
      Perhaps also a Ministry of Happiness as in Bhutan - as wealth does not correlate with happiness :) : http://news.columbia.edu/record/2146
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      @ David Allen Yes - I agree. The thing which would do what you suggest is a limited form of direct democracy that fits with...