Party President Tim Farron MP has just emailed Liberal Democrat members with a message of thanks and encouragement on this day of election results.
I wanted to put on record the party’s thanks to our candidates in yesterday’s PCC elections, by-elections and Bristol mayoral election.
We had many excellent candidates and teams who worked very hard to fly the flag for our party. I thank them all and I’m sure you would like to do the same.
It was a tough day, and whilst we may not have gained anything the hard work we’ve put in lays the foundations for the challenge ahead.
However I would like to add special congratulations to the teams who helped us hold three local council seats and gain five more yesterday.
I knew when I became a Liberal Democrat I wasn’t picking the easy route in politics. I joined because I believe in liberal values like fairness and justice. I joined because no other party was going to fight for those values.
It’s on tough days like this, I think it’s good to remind ourselves that none of this has changed.
Being in Government has clearly meant that we can get hit by protest votes, but it also means we can deliver meaningful change.
I’m proud of what we’re doing on cutting tax for average workers, creating work opportunities for young people and getting more money into schools that need it the most.
None of that would be happening if we were not in Government.
We need to learn the lessons from painful days like today. We also need to learn how we update and improve our campaigning (there may be some pointers from President Obama’s re-election on that).
That’s the mission ahead for us. The challenge I’m setting today is that in next May’s English local elections, we have something to celebrate again.
Over the years I’ve seen some amazing campaigns fought in this party. I’ll back Liberal Democrat candidates and campaigners in a fight with anyone! We’re the only party with liberal solutions to the problems facing our country.
There are brighter days ahead if we stay strong and fight hard.
Tim Farron MP
President of the Liberal Democrats
PS Please do take a moment over the weekend to send your wishes to our colleagues who worked so hard on yesterday’s elections. It will make a real difference. And remember, next week the fightback begins.