11 December 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Swinson: One day left to stop Boris Johnson and stop Brexit
  • Welsh Lib Dems: Put a penny on income tax to transform mental healthcare

Swinson: One day left to stop Boris Johnson and stop Brexit

Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson will today (Wednesday 11th December) deliver her final speech of the election campaign in Esher and Walton, urging voters to back the Liberal Democrats to stop Boris Johnson getting a majority and stop Brexit.

Jo will be attending a series of rallies with activists throughout to the day including in the Conservative-held seats of Esher and Walton, Guildford and Wimbledon.

Jo Swinson is expected to say:

My message today is clear. To stop Brexit, we must stop Boris Johnson. We have one more day left to do it.

To all my fellow Lib Dem activists up and down the country – I say this: keep going. Keep fighting for every vote.

And to everyone out there who has a growing pile of Lib Dem leaflets on their kitchen table: we can win where you live.

You can stop another Conservative MP being elected. You can stop Boris Johnson from getting a majority he doesn’t deserve. You can help us stop Brexit.

On Monday, Boris Johnson once again showed us the kind of leader he is going to be.

Faced with that heart-breaking image of Jack, he refused to look at it, to acknowledge it, even taking the phone out of the journalist’s hand and putting it in his pocket. As though that would somehow make it all go away. What a coward.

He doesn’t care about Jack, and if he wins a majority, he’ll spend the next five years not caring about you or your family either. He’ll spend five years running away from scrutiny. Avoiding inconvenient truths. Hoping that his power and privilege alone will keep him in Number 10.

Welsh Lib Dems: Put a penny on income tax to transform mental healthcare

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have today called for a penny to be put on income tax in order to properly fund health and social care and to transform mental healthcare in Wales.

The penny on income tax would directly fund health and social care in England, with Wales receiving its Barnett consequential of this spending.

This would give Wales almost £2bn extra over five years, an average of just under £400m a year.

We would urge the Welsh Government to spend this additional money on health and social care in Wales; with transforming mental healthcare in Wales our priority.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

The Welsh Liberal Democrats plan to raise income tax by a penny will unlock almost £400m more for health and social care services across Wales.

After years of unrelenting Conservative cuts, this desperately needed funding will enable us to transform our mental health services and ensure everyone gets the care they deserve.

With NHS services across Wales already experiencing severe staff shortages, leaving the EU will only make it harder to recruit the dedicated staff we need.

That’s why it’s so important we stop Brexit. We must protect the rights of EU citizens that do such vital work in our NHS, and invest in the future of our health services.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • John Marriott 11th Dec '19 - 9:42am

    ‘The Liberal Democrats’ moderate message, with its admirable position on electoral reform, is compromised by the fantasy of revoking Brexit’ – Guardian editorial 11/12/19

    What more is there to say?

  • There is nothing wrong with having a policy that at least half of UK would love to happen ie the continued involvement with the EU. It would take a leader with exceptional skills as a diplomat and statesmanship to bring our country back to some degree of togetherness, skills that are sadly lacking in the leaders of the two ,so called, main parties.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Dec '19 - 10:47am
  • Innocent Bystander 11th Dec '19 - 11:30am

    Having been so strong on a second referendum, the switch to “never mind that we’ll just revoke” was a tricky play.
    A narrative was possible, even so, but the only way out was to go full gas and run it at every opportunity.
    What actually happened was that the party looked like it was having second thoughts and was embarrassed about its own policy.
    The play should have been “if you want this Brexit nightmare to end immediately, then give us the seats to do it. If you continue to vote as you always have you will continue to get what you have always got. We will maintain our call for another referendum but neither of the big parties have shown any honest appetite for one so this election will be your one, and only, chance to stop the economic catastrophe that is looming”.

  • chris moore 11th Dec '19 - 1:54pm

    The switch to Revoke was a mistake.

    We were already well-established in the public mind as a very pro-European party. And we had a defensible policy of a 2nd Referendum on the specific deal. We didn’t need to double down on Brexit.

    Revoke has lost us support amongst two groups of voters:

    1. A minority of Remain voters (14% of them in the most detailed poll) who think Revoke’s a bad idea. Undemocratic, extreme, showing contempt for Leavers etc.

    2. The small number of Leave voters who still supported us. What self-respecting Leave voter would vote for a party which would simply annul the referendum and treat it like it never happened.

    Overall, it’s probably cost us a few per cent.

    It’s also meant we have been constantly on the defensive, and painted as extreme.

    Any member who thinks Revoke is a good idea should as a penance go and speak to a thousand Leavers and see what they have to say about it.

    We have got to get back to being a liberal party for the whole populace, not just Remainers.

  • chris moore 11th Dec '19 - 1:55pm

    …unitl that time, we will continue to poll poorly.

  • Agree with Chris Moore…… and frequently amazed by the lack of nous, common sense and sheer naivety of those calling the shots.

  • David Evans 11th Dec '19 - 4:23pm

    It’s OK Chris, if things work out as badly as is looking right now, Boris will win, and we will be out of the EU by the New Year. The penance our leading figures should do, is go to a thousand remainers and explain why they blew our last chance to stop Brexit, through hubris, faulty analysis and a total absence of political nous.

    As for the need to become a liberal party for the whole populace, the first thing we have to do is ditch the Core vote strategy which is dragging us ever deeper into the mire of purity and obscurity.

  • Not for the first time HQ has messed up. Friday there must be changes.

  • Barry Lofty 11th Dec '19 - 4:52pm

    It looks like I am out of step with the thinking on this site either I am in the wrong party or the wrong site but I did think this election was mainly about the Brexit mess , although mistakes have undoubtedly been made by the Lib Dems, they do not compare with the lies and self serving propaganda constantly f!owing from the Conservative party.

  • chris moore 11th Dec ’19 – 1:54pm….The switch to Revoke was a mistake…………

    Agreed! But that error was compounded by concentrating the attacks on Labour/Corbyn. Labour were continuing with their demand for a second rferendum and all that was achieved by those “Labour/Corbyn are Leavers” soundbites was to further divide the ‘Remain’ camp.

    I often wonder if the ‘Orange Book’ mentality is still just below the surface waiting to surface again.

  • Paul Barker 11th Dec '19 - 5:07pm

    Our Polling stated to decline around the beginning of October as the effect of Mays Results began to wear off. If anything the rate of decline has actually slowed over the last 3 Weeks, the only evidence we have that our change of Policy/Campaign has had any effect at all.
    Remain Voters mostly seem to like The Revoke policy & Leavers dont seem bothered either way.
    Come Friday & some people will be looking for scapegoats, just ignore them.

  • John Marriott 11th Dec '19 - 5:14pm

    To be fair, all the opposition parties are culpable. There really was no need to allow Johnson to dictate terms. They were suckered into voting for a General Election that might actually turn out to be a referendum on the EU membership by FPTP.

    Once they went down that route, suddenly introducing Revoke, while honest in some ways, was one hell of a gamble, which would appear to have backfired.

  • Sense,,,”Let’s hope it’s not too little too late”
    Dr Paul Williams
    ***Breaking news*** my Liberal Democrat opponent has been even more explicit in endorsing me in the Tory/Labour marginal in Stockton South https://twitter.com/BrendanDevlin50/status/1204707745036943360

    Brendan Michael William Devlin
    To be crystal clear: vote tactically for someone who cares about the NHS and social care. Those are important in Stockton South.

    One can only hope that such tactical actions are repeated across the country from both Labour and LibDems.
    The thought of Johnson, on friday, facing the nation without a majority (and even better a coalition for change) and moving out of No.10, would make my weekend, year and keep me ‘warm’ for the next decade.

  • David Evans 11th Dec '19 - 5:36pm

    Barry Lofty – indeed this election was mainly about the Brexit mess, but by calling it at the worst possible time, we have allowed the Conservatives to lie its way to a majority. That takes massive incompetence. Being honest and truthful and nice is all very good for our self image, but being successful is what might have stopped Brexit.

    Paul Barker – there is no evidence that the decline around the beginning of October was due to the effect of Mays Results beginning to wear off, only one person’s opinion, yours. The simple facts are that our leaders for some unknown reason wanted a quick election, managed to get one, and then implemented the most incompetent plan, which lost us votes all over the place and it now looks like they will get Brexit, and lose us quite a few MPs.

    Sadly the main thing that stops us recovering is the willingness of so many Lib Dems to accept total failure – again and again and again.

  • Peter Watson 11th Dec '19 - 6:09pm

    @Paul Barker “If anything the rate of decline has actually slowed over the last 3 Weeks”
    The Poll tracker from Britain Elects (https://britainelects.newstatesman.com/who-leads-in-our-poll-tracker/) does not support that claim. At best it suggests a possible levelling out below 13% over the last few days.
    The success or otherwise of targeting looks like it will be a vital factor tomorrow.
    Otherwise the party risks news coverage of lost Lib Dem seats compared to the situation immediately before the election overshadowing good news about any progress from 2015/7 to 2019.

  • Local and EU elections have low turnouts. The lib Dem leadership simply got over hyped about the results. On top of which you can throw in MPS who defected from the Tories and Labour finally having to face the electorate. Over confidence, focusing on a single issue and misreading the electorate is what the decline reflects. A lot of young people may have voted to remain in the EU, but they are probably more troubled by housing costs, day to day living and debt than the future of Europe. Most British people do not work or study in Europe or even plan to. For this reason it’s not the vote grabber a lot of Lib Dems seem to think it is.

  • Paul Barker 11th Dec '19 - 7:42pm

    The idea that the decline in our average Polling is due to the unwinding of the gains we made in May is unproven & unprovable but reasonable.
    All Polling averages are out-of-date, by definition but The BritainElects/New Statesman only uses the last Poll from each firm & thus more behind than some others.
    Currently we are Polling around 12% which is still higher than we were at the beginning of May.
    Its always hard getting the Tone of a Campaign right but if we dont sound as though we believe in ourselves then why should The Voters put confidence in us ?

  • Martin: Except that we’re not. Lib Dems will not help Corbyn into No 10.

  • The “presidential” nature of a campaign dominated by the leaders of the two largest parties has been illuminated by research that also reveals how Labour and the Conservatives have hidden away senior figures deemed to be embarrassing or “off message”.

    Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn appeared in 31.7% and 26.9% of media coverage analysed by researchers, while the third most prominent figure to feature was the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell…….
    “Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon’s positions in the upper regions of the table have been largely secured through the foothold they have established in TV news,” he said. “In the press, they have been squeezed to the very margins.”

    He also said that that “insurgents and renegades” with a primarily anti-Labour message – such as Nigel Farage, Ian Austin and John Woodcock – gained more prominence than disillusioned and dispossessed ex-Conservatives like David Gauke, Dominic Grieve and Michael Heseltine……


    Dammed facts, rather give the lie to the “it was the message that was wrong”, if the media won’t allow the message to be presented how can we tell if it was right or wrong. I know some will say play nice be nice to the press but if they are playing for the other side sod that.

  • Now that votes are in I think it’s fair to cast a critical eye over the LIb Dem campaign…

    {Looks quizzically at calendar…..}


  • Peter Watson 12th Dec '19 - 1:11am

    @Paul Barker “All Polling averages are out-of-date, by definition but The BritainElects/New Statesman only uses the last Poll from each firm & thus more behind than some others.
    Currently we are Polling around 12% which is still higher than we were at the beginning of May.”
    12% is little more than the 11% the party was polling in 2011 or the 9-10% that the party was polling in the first few months of 2019.
    Even the final polls published over the course of yesterday seem to show a downward trend of their own (!), putting Lib Dems on 12% (YouGov), 12% (Opinium), 14% (BMG), 11% (Panelbase), 12% (ComRes), 13% (Kantar), 10% (DeltaPoll), 9% (Survation).
    If the polling is accurate (and especially if there is a trend which continues into real voting today), then success will be determined by the performance in individual well-worked target seats rather than by a national vote share which might look very disappointing 4.5 years after Coalition and 3.5 years after the start of the Brexit debacle.

  • Alex Macfie 12th Dec '19 - 5:50am

    Peter Watson:

    “success will be determined by the performance in individual well-worked target seats rather than by a national vote share”

    I have always thought that our ground war would determine our success in this election. Note that in the properly bad years for us, no ground campaign saved us; thus our vote fell hardest in our strongest seats in the 2015 election. This is something that makes 2017 different from 2015.
    We haven’t fought a bad campaign on paper. But in the air war, we have been pilloried over our record as a junior partner in a government that ended 4.5 years ago, and over what is actually a logical policy position on Brexit considering where we are coming from (Revoke is the only logical stance for us, and if we had taken a Corbyn-like stance we would have been pilloried for not having the courage of our convictions), while the two big parties (Tories in particular) have seemingly been able to get away with the most outrageous behaviour on the campaign trail. With the national media so biased against us, the only way for us to get our message across in this campaign has been in the ground war in our target seats.

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