ALDC Local Election Appeal – we’re halfway there!

We’ve raised over £7,000 of our £15,000 target to back an additional 50 wards we are fighting to win this May.

Thanks to the generosity of scores of ALDC and Liberal Democrat supporters, 20 seats are now receiving additional direct mail to help them win.

We’re now able to help:

  • Neil Mottershead tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in Burnley
  • Emily Smith fight for traffic improvements in Abingdon
  • Beverley Baker defend her seat in Shropshire

I’m sure you’ll agree that on Friday May 5th we want to be seeing on the TV; hearing on the radio; and reading in the papers: that the Liberal Democrats are back. That the Liberal Democrats are again making significant strides in local government.

To achieve those headlines, we need to be providing support to seats where it will make the difference between winning and losing. We need to be making those decisions with local campaign teams now, so that we can provide the support to help them win on May 4th.

If you are able to help create those headlines. If you are able to support more people like Neil, Emily and Beverley, then please donate online:

Or send a cheque made payable to ALDC, to: Local Election Appeal, Freepost Plus RTEG- LHLL-JYTG, ALDC, 23 New Mount Street, Manchester M4 4DE.

Thanks for your support to help us re-establish ourselves as winners in the national media’s mind.

* ALDC is the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners

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  • 7% in last nights Opinion poll. There is something amiss in what we are doing or not doing. One problem maybe Mr Clegg. Is he the right person to front our Euro efforts on the TV, he still not trusted by many and anethema to others. Sad but I believe true.I hope he does not hamper our efforts next month, we deserve to do well.

  • Theakes,
    Your obsessed with opinion polls, the only votes that matter are those in the ballot box. Now tell me which party is winning those, give you a clue it isn’t the Tories or Ukip or Labour either.

  • Bill le Breton 28th Mar '17 - 8:39am

    The Friday Morning Puzzle – why we are winning local elections and yet have a national opinion poll rating of 8% – is simple. In local elections the public meet the old Liberal Democrats, those who campaign alongside them in their communities, that practice Community Politics that help people take and use power in those communities.

    Our historic ratings of 15 -20% were made up of the hundreds of such local campaigns. It was these that gave us spring boards to win 60 constituencies and power and influence in three Parliaments and one Assembly, not to mention 150 – 200 local authorities.

    Those who took control of the Party in 2007 did not come through this tradition. And they smashed the Party as a fighting force;tragically aided and abetted by many who had profited from the toil of those Community Politicians.

    In short the successful Liberal Democrat is rooted in her or his communities (by which I do not mean exclusively geographical communities). Those communities in short which are the medium through which we as social animals experience life.

    Our mission, when we had our platform, should have been to demonstrate how that understanding of how people can take and use power,could happen with the aid of the House of Commons, just as we had shown how this worked with the aid of local authorities, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament, when we shared power there.

    So … we are back to square one. Actually back to about 1983. There are no short cuts. There are no ‘ignored’ opportunities to be unlocked by a golden key, as our Leaders claimed in 2007. There are the people who are neglected and have had their power stolen from them, and there are the politician who will fight with them.

  • Robin Grayson 28th Mar '17 - 8:49am

    I took the time series of 12 consecutive You-Gov polls. I bundled the results of the 6 most recent and compared them with the bundle of the 6 earlier polls. The findings are revealing. Lib Dems are breaking through in some regions, in particular reaching 16.5% in the huge London region making a lot of seats vulnerable to Lib Dem wins in May subject to hard work being done. Positive movement by Lib Dems is also seen in YouGov’s North region, breaking the 10% barrier for the first time in a long time. But the picture is mixed, with Lib Dems fading to 7.5% in YouGov’s Midlands/Wales region.

    The picture for Labour is mixed, strengthening in the London region but fading from 35.2% down to 32.5% in the North region which is good news for Lib Dems in Manchester Gorton.

    The picture for the Conservatives is also mixed, weakening in the huge London region but strengthening in the South region and Midlands/Wales region, and remarkably becoming stronger than Labour in the North region.

    UKIP’s polling fell everywhere since the beginning of the year and have averaged only 7.2% in the London region, less than half the polling for the Lib Dems. Nevertheless UKIP are still 14.3% in YouGov’s North region.

    Greens continue to trail, and fell to only 2.8% in YouGov’s North region.

    In my opinion, it is best to take a ‘time series’ of frequent polls done by the same pollsters and look for regional trends. The trends in YouGov since the beginning of the year are highly encouraging for Lib Dems in the London region overall, but more mixed elsewhere. The slide in Labour polling in YouGov’s North region since the beginning of the year tallies with signs support for Labour is softening in their traditional stronghold of Manchester Gorton.

  • David Evans 28th Mar '17 - 9:35am

    Frankie, you may think Theakes is obsessed with opinion polls, and that the only votes that matter are those in the ballot box, but where were you between 2012 and 2015 when we were being told by those surrounding Nick that we shouldn’t worry about the votes in the ballot boxes in election after election, because they had done local polling that showed that we were going to do so much better in our MPs seats?

    Oh, how we needed your voice (and so many more voices) then.

    P.S. The best estimates in predicting our performance in the 2015 General election in ascending order of accuracy were – in last place – Lib Dem internal polling, next – Lib Dem performance in local government by-elections, top – National opinion polls.

  • @David Evans

    I was in deep moderation David. I upset people by screaming “Your making a terrible mistake”. I must admit after awhile of screaming your making a terrible mistake with no response other than the leadership knows best I rather gave up. It was obvious they wouldn’t listen until the electorate spoke. Such was the level of delusion that nothing short of a kicking was going to change their minds or direction of travel. After they received the kicking my interest in the Lib Dems was rekindled but it was not until the stupidity of Brexit that I felt I need to rejoin the party.

    I’d like to echo Bills statement about local politics, I know its hard, even as a peripheral figure I’ve delivered thousands of focus leaflets, but it led to the Lib Dems running the council. After the rush to jump into bed with the Tories all that work was for nothing and I now live in a council with three Lib Dem councillors and not much chance of that increasing.

  • Watching the India v Australia Test match this week in the magnificent setting of the Himalayan foothills with the mountain range in the background I was vividly reminded of how just far we have to climb. If only the likes of David Evans and perhaps even myself had been listened to and followed the almost complete disaster of May 2015 might have been avoided.
    There are so many areas of the country where we still poll between 1 and 3% in local elections, there is the Scottish party seemingly unable to seize any particular moment, lack lustre is the word. The weekly headlines from Caron are stimulating but look at the other results and the worry is there plain to see.
    The hope is that a good result at Gorton will help together with a healthy number of local gains in 5 weeks time. However the main headlines are likely to be the losses for UKIP & Labour most of which will almost certainly go to the Conservatives. Equally it is worrying that some opinion polls like yesterdays have us well below our 2013 polling average), The bellweather local election this week is probably at Hipperholme.
    Like all good football managers we must “believe”. Let us hope Mays results are good. I am praying!.

  • David Evans 28th Mar '17 - 3:18pm

    frankie, Thanks, I understand.

    I too was massively disillusioned with what our so called leaders did and didn’t do, I stayed and tried to fight, but with 20,000 members leaving the party in the early years of coalition, we didn’t have enough to fight back when it became clear what a catastrophe it all was. A return of those who had left in 2014 might have swung it, but was not to be.

    You are right when you refer to Bill’s wisdom in real local politics. As you may know, his local party was one of the few to formally call for a leadership election after it became clear in 2014 that Nick was just going to drag us down. A few more members in a few constituencies might have given a bit of extra backbone to those who should have done something then.

    As for your local party, it sounds exactly like St Helens where we used to live. After 20 years of hard work we took control from Labour for the first time ever in 2006 and held it until 2010. Now it is back to – Con 3; LD 3; Lab the rest. An absolute tragedy, and decades of hard work totally lost.

  • The county election this May are likely to result in substantial gains for the Lib Dems, but nowhere near on the scale of 1985 and 1993.

    How do we know this?

    Firstly, the local election results from the last ten months indicate that where the Lib Dems fight seats properly, they tend to win. We have had gains in Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, West Sussex, Kent and Norfolk, and we have held seats in Hampshire.

    Secondly, those local by-elections tells us that where we do not work, we get something approximating to our national opinion poll share.

    We cannot do as well as in 1985 and 1993, because in those years it was possible to win seats with weak campaigns (say one leaflet and a bit of canvassing). The level of background support will not allow that to happen this time round.

    Note how the Tories and the media did everything they could to milk last week’s terrorist attack in Westminster. One might have expected a Falklands type spike in the by-elections last Thursday, but none came.

    Manchester Gorton will be difficult. Roxbourne the other week showed us that Labour support among ethnic minorities has barely been dented by Corbyn, and it is unclear how the big student population will break.

  • Bill le Breton 28th Mar '17 - 5:18pm

    Sesenco, not going to disagree with your conclusion about this May, but it would be good to know where you were in 1985. I fought in that campaign and had contact with most of the counties soon after. They were well prepared and in the south western campaigns had countywide approaches. All county leaders who found themselves in power and influence attended ALC / ASDC training sessions the weekend after the polls

    What we also enjoyed was a) a mid-term fall in Tory popularity, circa 30% in the polls whilst b) we were touching 30% ourselves.

    1993, of course was not long after Black Wednesday, and another Tory slump. Again, we were producing some great campaign material at ALDC which was being widely used.

    So what we had were large numbers of good community campaigners fighting against a helpful national situation. Many in 1985 were setting out on their representative careers, motivated and energetic. All (even those from the SDP background) were adherents of community politics and for whom public services rather than market liberalism was their creed.

  • paul barker 28th Mar '17 - 6:38pm

    On the basis of our performance since lasy May I expect our “Equivalent Voote Share” to be around 23-24%, compared to 13% the last time these seats were fought. That would imply much bigger gains than we got last year, over a hundred Seats certainly. Whether that will be enough to grab the attention of The Media I dont know.
    On “The Polls” we are currently averaging about 10%, slightly behind UKIP & about 2.5% above where we were 5 Months ago. We have to remember that Local Elections only involve small numbers of voters & get very little publicity. This May will probably see about 1 in 15 voters actually taking part & maybe 1 in 10 getting a leaflet or seeing a poster ? That still leaves 90% of voters dependent on The Media to tell them about The Libdem Revival.
    Most voters still think we are dead or irrelevant because they havent seen any evidence that we are “back”. Polling will follow our succsess in real Elections but slowly, we just have to be patient.

  • Small world, we probably have met, if only in passing. It deeply saddens me that the efforts of Edna Sherlock over decades was trashed by a head long rush to jump into bed with the Tories, just so the Leadership could say we are grown up politicians; it saddens me even more that the efforts of other Edna’s I don’t know were similarly trashed. All that effort so casually thrown away.

  • I’m going to side with Robin on the polls debate. We cannot and should not ignore the absolute figures, but it’s far more meaningful to consider the trends, especially if you drill down into the figures to evaluate what’s happening at a local level.

    Some polling companies consistently give us a higher percentage than others, but all of them have us on the up, and the trend is steady. It might be slow, but anything else would be unrealistic given the coverage we have. Most people just aren’t that engaged with politics to change how they’d vote unless specifically challenged to, and that becomes our challenge. It’s the opportunity that local elections present.

    Polls are somewhat confused by having pockets of support, and areas where we’re struggling to gain traction, but I do think that once we get visible success in certain areas, it gives us a boost everywhere. One of the notable bumps in our polling figures came after the Richmond Park win, and all of the positive publicity that came with it.

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