Future Women MPs Weekend – DEADLINE EXTENDED

DEADLINE EXTENDED: The location for the Future Women MP’s Weekend has now been confirmed as Milton Keynes. Apologies for the delay! Given this we are extending the deadline by 48 HOURS so applications will now close on Tuesday 24th at 23:59 https://bit.ly/2GD3w0F

Female? An aspiring MP? This is the event for you!

Normally an annual event, the Campaign for Gender Balance and the Candidates and Diversity Team will be running a second Future Women MPs Weekend to support and develop female talent within the party.

Empowering and thought-provoking, this intensive training weekend for aspiring female MPs will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to run as a successful candidate.

Many current and former female Lib Dem MPs started their journeys at an FWMP event and you could be next!

The invaluable opportunities, skills and advice you will gain include:

  • How to plan and win your seat
  • How to strategically plan a career in politics
  • Personalised guidance from experts in the field
  • Building a network of useful contacts and engaging with other aspiring women.
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What’s happening at Scottish Conference today

Here’s what happened yesterday at Scottish Conference:

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LibDemVoice Fantasy Football League: manager of the month for March

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Our prepenultimate update from the LDV Fantasy Football League. Congratulations to Paul Noblet, our Manager of the Month for March.

His Fisher FC scored an impressive 295 points, just edging out Alan Worthington’s Iheanacho Cheese (288) and James Ludley’s Mercedes-Baines (286).

Here’s the full league table:

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Let this be the last first past the post election in London Boroughs

On 3rd May all the Borough Council seats in Greater London are up for election, which happens every four years. The Borough I live in is typical and has 18 3-member wards. Each voter votes by putting up to 3 Xs on the ballot paper. In each of these wards the top three candidates in terms of Xs on the ballot win. Hence F3PTP rather than FPTP (First Past The Post).

So what’s wrong with that? Five national parties are contesting the borough election, plus around four parties with Residents’ Association in their name, who are active in their own patches. Usually, a party sees its whole slate of three elected, but sometimes one candidate impacts more on the electorate, positively or negatively, and the result is a ‘split ward’. But I have seen nine candidates from three parties having each around 30% of the vote, but only one party gets the councillor seats. Natural justice suggests that they should have had one councillor each. With three councillors of one party, we KNOW that they were NOT the first choice of 70% of the electorate; at worst, the three victors could be the LEAST favoured candidates of 70% of the voters.

It gets worse. Some parties are so entrenched in certain seats that the others have given up. A friend of mine expressed it as ’If you put up a feather duster for XXXX party in YYYY ward, it would get elected.’ Two national parties contest all 54 seats, but the presence of the parents, spouses and children of local party worthies on the ballot papers gives a strong hint of what they think. The voters in such wards show what they think by not turning up to vote for the council, which, more than any other body, delivers government services to them.

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Observations of an ex pat: The Commonwealth

Ten years ago a Commonwealth-wide poll revealed that support for the political descendant of the British Empire was highest among the developing countries.

Not surprising, they had the most to gain from aid and trade. Support from the developed Commonwealth countries was half of that of the developing world. Britain was at the bottom.

That is changing. Brexiteers have conveniently rediscovered their imperial roots and are now pushing for a revival of the Commonwealth as a replacement for lost European markets. It is, after all, the home for a third of the world’s population and a total GDP of $17 trillion. This may seem like a lot until you compared it to the $60 trillion GDP of the EU.

Nevertheless, the British government gas rolled outLondon’s red carpet for this week’s biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting—usually referred to by the inelegant acronym CHOGM.

But the Brexiteers will find that the former colonies may be reluctant to jump back onto the British wagon.   They have long memories. Many still lodge bitter resentment  at being left in the lurch when Britain was lured away by the siren call of Brussels.

All of the countries have adjusted to a life without Commonwealth trade preferences. Canada has increased its business with the United States. Australia and New Zealand are now focused on China, Japan and other Asian countries. Singapore has become a Far Eastern entrepot. The developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific have gained access to EU aid and trade.

As one Commonwealth head of government told me: “When the British want us we are expected to jump. When we want them they are too busy to bother.”

Trade will not be the only issue on the table. Climate change, Syria, plastic pollution, cyber security and the election of a new titular head are all on the agenda.

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What’s happening at Scottish Conference today?

There will almost certainly be several sore heads this morning as Alistair Carmichael held one of his celebrated whisky tasting events last night.

Here’s what’s happening the rest of today.

Morning Session

Cervical Cancer Screening

Police Reform

Speech by Christine Jardine MP

Emergency Motion

Animal Welfare

Lunchtime Fringe

I am shamelessly abusing my position to put the meeting I’m chairing first – about addressing Scotland’s housing crisis with Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP and speakers from Shelter Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

There’s also an NFU Scotland fringe meeting with Mike Rumbles discussing The Good Food Nation and Brexit – what will be needed …

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+++Three Lib Dem by-election gains from the Tories tonight


We’ve been live posting some of the results tonight but here are the headlines:

The Liberal Democrats have picked up three seats from the Tories in today’s by-election results:

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Recent Comments

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    @paul barker, We need to make significant progress from the dire performance of 2014, when these seats were last fought. That was the depths of...
  • User AvatarPeter Wrigley 21st Apr - 9:58am
    Re the joke: something similar was quipped on The Archers umpteen years ago. Usha's (I think) mother came to is her. Joe Grundy said she...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 21st Apr - 9:52am
    Michael BG: I spent a large part of my life working in public transport and buses pass my house so I am in a good...
  • User AvatarLawrence Fullick 21st Apr - 9:19am
    Poole Council Lib Dem group are seeking PR elections to the new authority for Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch in May 2019.
  • User AvatarLawrence Fullick 21st Apr - 9:16am
    Pity BBC Parliament are concentrating on Welsh Labour.
  • User AvatarCassie 21st Apr - 9:15am
    The alternative to Prince Charles was who? Whatever his joke was (I can't be bothered to look it up), he's a more unifying option than...