15 September 2023 – today’s press release

Ed Davey to make fifth visit to Mid-Bedfordshire

Tomorrow (Saturday 16th September), Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey makes his fifth visit to Mid-Bedfordshire, where he will speak to voters in rural villages.

The Liberal Democrats have become the challenger to the Conservative party in this rural Blue Wall constituency which consists of almost 50 villages. The Liberal Democrats opened their second office in the constituency this week.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

It is time for change and lifelong Conservative voters are turning to the Liberal Democrats to send this government a message. Rural communities in Bedfordshire are fed up with overstretched health services, sewage polluting rivers and botched trade deals undercutting farmers.

I’ve spoken to hundreds of people in Bedfordshire and hear real anger from local people after Nadine Dorries abandoned this constituency.

Emma Holland-Lindsay is a hardworking local councillor with a track record of delivering for rural communities in Bedfordshire.

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This entry was posted in News, Parliamentary by-elections and Press releases.


  • As you read this I would expect Labour will be printing thousands of leaflets with bar chart showing them equal first. Then it will be a battle for the squeeze with us at a disadvantage following the Survation poll. Plus Labour and Starmer on the news every night while we are invisible. Better the Conservatives lose than we win.

  • Tim Rogers – Give up Mid Beds to Red Tories? No thank you.

  • The poll was taken 12th -15th September, no doubt we are even closer to the other two today. There is a huge amount of persons undecided, 42% of which according to the Survation web page say they will definetley vote. The remaining Independent vote is still available for squeezing and up to now that appears to have moved to the Cons and most to the Lib Dems. Will the Independent stand in the end? The Labour percentage seems static so the scene is set for our move through the middle over the next three weeks, reminiscent of past by elections in the 80 ‘s, Portsmouth South, Croydon North West, even Bermondsey etc etc. Labour know they have problems with their support barely moving over the past 2 months. Provided we keep going in the same fashion we will make it.

  • Thanks Theakes. I couldn’t agree more. Labour have stalled at their ceiling of about 28%. Our ceiling in Mid Beds is much higher than that. Unlike Tim Rogers, I believe we can win and believe Labour can’t. I was the 1997 LD candidate, so do have some local knowledge.

  • It’s a sign of Labour’s incompetence as campaigners that they allowed this poll to be published. The sample size is small (only 319, weighted, who were willing to commit themselves to a candidate), and so subject to a wide margin of error. Also Survation don’t appear to have checked their respondents were actually registered in Mid-Beds, which is particularly important when recording young, and predominantly Labour, voters. So it’s unreliable. Worse, as Theakes says, Labour seem to be losing ground, and unless they improve their ground game, the next constituency poll is likely to show them falling back further. The effect of making this public this far out from the poll will be to weaken belief that Labour will win here.

  • Yes, please keep pushing as hard as you can. I am not a huge Lib Dem supporter but one policy area of yours I have always supported since I first witnessed the utter travesty of an unfair and undemocratic general election at the age of ten in 1983 is your support of proportional representation which Labour (most disgracefully) and the Tories STILL don’t support.

    Highlight that in the campaign and point out to the people in Mid Bedfordshire desperate for change that reforming our unfit for purpose political system with fair votes as an essential reform is needed if we want real change and that your support of PR is a distinct difference between you and Labour.

    The electorate in Mid Bedfordshire are no doubt annoyed at the reason for this by-election being held and want a hard working MP for the seat. Perhaps, it mght be worthwhile saying to them that if they want this the Lib Dem candidate would be their best choice as it is a fact that Lib Dem MPs often have to work very assiduously for their constituents in order to retain their seats at general elections whereas Labour and Tory MPs don’t have to do this because they can rely upon a large core vote element voting for them on a party label basis.

  • I agree Tim Hill. Whilst I don’t have the local knowledge of the constituency as you do having once been a candidate there I have looked at its election results on Wikipedia involving both general elections and local ones alike and I have come to the conclusion that the seat in demographic terms is more akin to North Shropshire than Selby and Ainsty.

    In North Shropshire the Lib Dems started out from an even poorer third place and the gap between the Lib Dems and Labour in second place there was noticeably wider.

    With regard to Selby and Ainsty there was also the important fact the voters there had a memory of a Labour MP being elected as recently as 2005 to 2010. In contrast, Mid Bedfordshire has NEVER had a Labour MP not even in 1997 when the neighbouring seat of South West Bedfordshire came very close indeed to falling to them. In that election in 1997 the Labour candidate in Mid Beds was still 7,000 votes adrift from the Tories and the Tory share of the vote declined to a still decent 46% of the vote. In my own ultra-safe Tory seat of Brentwood and Ongar the Tory vote in 1997 declined from 57% to 45%. Mid Bedfordshire is the most Tory-inclined seat in Bedfordshire and these statistics clearly show what sort of seat it is.

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