Tag Archives: general election 2015

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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

Don Foster MP to stand down in 2015

One of the highlights of a dismal and disappointing election in 1992 was undoubtedly Don Foster’s election in Bath. He won the seat from then Tory party chairman Chris Patten.

Don has tonight announced that he won’t be standing in next year’s general election, it was in fact Jonathan Calder tweeted the news first, which led to me staking out Don’s Twitter and website looking for an announcement. When it came, it was on the Bath and North East Somerset website. Don Foster

After what will have been 23 wonderful years, this has been a very difficult decision to

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Alistair Carmichael reselected for Orkney and Shetland

AlistairCarmichaelIn news that will surprise nobody, but is worth recording anyway, the Orcadian reports Alistair Carmichael’s unanimous reselection to fight Orkney and Shetland in next year’s General Election:

I am delighted to be reselected as the Liberal Democrat candidate to stand as MP for 2015. I expect it to be a lively contest and I do not take continued support for granted.

I have been an MP for 12 and a half years and in that time the Northern Isles has truly become home. My wife and I have raised our family here and we have many roots in the community here in Orkney.

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LDVideo: BBC’s report on the Liberal Democrats’ secret weapon, featuring Stephen Tall

The BBC has been looking ahead to the Liberal Democrats’ prospects in next year’s General Election. Contributing to the report are retiring MP David Heath and our own Stephen Tall.

I should point out that our secret weapon is not Stephen’s famous pledge to run naked down Whitehall if the party is reduced to 24 seats next May.

You can watch the whole thing here.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

The battle for pensioners’ votes begins with Cameron on Liberal Democrat turf

The latest Ashcroft polling shows that the Conservatives have a long way to go to be within a shout of victory, with 37% of those who voted Tory saying at the moment that they would not do so if there were an election tomorrow. It’s hardly surprising, then, that David Cameron kicks off the next stage in the 2015 election campaign, in an interview with today’s Sunday Times (£), by pledging to stick to one of the Coalition’s most successful policies through another Parliament.

The Tories have previous for trying to claim the credit for a Liberal Democrat policy. Last …

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Opinion: Going it alone

BRITAIN POLITICS UK ELECTION CAMERON BECOMES PMAs the new year dawns there’s much press speculation about when the Liberal Democrats are going to cut and run from the Coalition and start campaigning for the next election.  At some point, of course, we are going to have to do this but having given an undertaking that we would work with the Tories for five years, that point I think should be quite late. But what we can do now is much more exciting.

We should declare that at the end of this coalition we shall not be entering into any further coalitions, either with the Tories or with Labour.  And we should do this as soon as possible.   We need to end this single-question politics of which way will the Liberal Democrats jump after the next election.  This would allow us to get on with explaining our policies and winning back our support.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 59 Comments

So, we might have Ed Balls in a Lab/Lib Dem coalition cabinet after all…

Interesting article in today’s Independent on Sunday quoting sources close to Nick Clegg that there will be no push for changes of personnel in Coalition negotiations after the 2015 election. This seems to me to be perfectly sensible. I always thought it was daft to demand that Gordon Brown go during the negotiations in 2010. You have to make these things about actual issues. Of course, this appears to be a pre-emptive strike to ensure that Nick Clegg’s head on a plate is not demanded by Labour.

There’s some interesting speculation on the policies up for grabs, too. Electoral reform …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Barrett 21st Aug - 9:48pm
    Allan - you have got it completely wrong. If I had wanted to be elected anywhere I would have remained at Westminster where I had...
  • User AvatarLin Macmillan 21st Aug - 9:41pm
    I too have a great deal of respect for John Barrett, and I know that he has thought long and hard before he has come...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 21st Aug - 9:25pm
    For instance, the LDFI might have responded with something like this ... http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2014/08/dr-rachel-joyce-hamas-are-working-against-the-interests-of-the-palestinian-people.html Is it true?
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 21st Aug - 9:06pm
    John, if you had written the article for LDV, it would have been a standalone piece:-). But I suspect you wrote it for the Evening...
  • User AvatarAllan 21st Aug - 8:58pm
    Perhaps John thinks that iScotland may give him a better chance of being elected, I sincerely hope the Scottish remain with us not because they...
  • User AvatarNorman Fraser 21st Aug - 8:50pm
    I actually think it's pretty clear why John has decided to vote Yes. Like many Scots he has looked at what the current coalition government...