Baroness Jenny Randerson writes…Optimism and determination of Welsh campaign teams is impressive

When I am travelling around Wales I take every opportunity as to go out campaigning with our Welsh MPs. Last week I was out knocking doors with Mark Williams and his team in Lampeter. I am a seasoned Ceredigion campaigner- I don’t think I have missed an election there in the last 15 years. So I know what to expect, and the atmosphere hasn’t changed. Mark is known by almost everyone and regarded with huge respect for his constant hard work in a constituency where local issues are particularly important.

In Brecon and Radnor the “Williams Team” are equally well known and Roger is particularly well established in the farming community. Campaigning in such a sparsely populated area is never easy and elections in B and R are not for the faint hearted. But once again we have the benefit of a well-liked and respected candidate and a strong local party able to support him.

Cardiff Central is about as big a contrast as you can imagine: it is geographically the smallest Welsh constituency but, as an inner city seat it has a big turnover of population. I live in the area so it is no surprise that I campaign there regularly. As a Labour facing seat it will obviously be very closely fought and Jenny Willott’s Labour opponent is particularly well funded as she is a Trade Union lawyer. Jenny and our team are working as hard as it is possible to do and, once again, her name is well known and her reputation for hard work is frequently mentioned. Labour infighting on the Council and their plans to close libraries and reduce bin collections have persuaded a lot of local people that they cannot be trusted. The core Lib Dem team in Central are experienced, tough campaigners, but there are also a lot of new members, many of them young, for whom this is their first general election as activists.

Lastly to Montgomeryshire. It is no secret that the local Lib Dems are still angry that we lost the seat in 2010 and anger is a great motivator. I was out with a group of them in Welshpool one recent snowy evening. They are organised and determined and in Jane Dodds they have a brilliant candidate. The moment the door is opened Jane shows how good she is at relating to people and their problems. Jane and her Constituency Chair Richard, are out campaigning every day, and she thoroughly deserves to win. When I visited the offices of their local paper I was asked why Nick Clegg had visited one week, and Paddy the next. I explained that it was a sure sign that we have realistic hopes that Montgomeryshire will once again become an orange blob on the electoral map.

We are fighting hard in all our Welsh target and held seats but the three rural constituencies I mentioned are particularly tough for campaigning. If you can help them with telephone canvassing please get in touch because they need you (contact details are below). And Jenny faces a very well-funded Labour campaign in Cardiff Central so please help to tip the balance either by coming to Cardiff yourself (it couldn’t be easier as the main Cardiff railway station is in the constituency) or by sending Jenny a donation.

Life has been tough in Wales in recent years for Lib Dems. Labour domination has been very strong. But across Wales I have been impressed by the resilience of our campaign teams and by their optimism and determination. So they deserve all the support you can give.

If you can help any of these seats, here are the contact details you need:

Jane Dodds & Montogomeryshire Lib Dems

Haydn Taylor – [email protected] (07506 122 228)

Jenny Willott & Cardiff Lib Dems

Michael Wallace – [email protected] (07469 714 839)

Mark Williams & Ceredigion Lib Dems

[email protected] (01970 615 880 or 07581 123 776)

Roger Williams & Brecon & Radnorshire Lib Dems

Sam Bennett – [email protected]  or [email protected] (01874 625 739)

 

* Jenny Randerson is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, and is the party's front bench spokesperson on transport.

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3 Comments

  • Good positive stuff. I wish all four of these candidates well.

  • Richard Church 25th Feb '15 - 6:39pm

    As the ‘Richard’ referred to by Jenny, I’d like to thank her for coming out on what was a particularly cold and blustery night in Welshpool. A bit of weather didn’t put her off though, and Jane and the team are out almost every day. Help us to bring Montgomeryshire home to the Liberal Democrats.

  • Harry Hayfield 26th Feb '15 - 3:19pm

    I should remind members that Wales is the spiritual home of Liberalism. During the dark days of the 1950’s, when we could “fit the Parliamentary Party in a taxi”, three of them were Welsh. In 1992, we still had a Liberal Democrat presence (Montgomeryshire) and between 2005 and 2010 Wales had a “smashing Jaffa orangey bit” in the middle and this is why I will be helping the Montgomeryshire campaign on March 7th as well as leading the action day in the village where I am a community councillor on March 23rd and would welcome anyone from neighbouring constituencies who would like to help to do so and between us all we can return four Liberal Democrat MP’s in Wales.

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