Bath Lib Dems choose short-list to succeed Don Foster

don fosterThe Bath Chronicle reports the news of the contenders seeking to succeed Don Foster as Lib Dem MP for Bath:

The party has this week decided on a shortlist of contenders who will battle it out for the Lib Dem nomination. Mr Foster announced in January that he would be standing down from the seat he has held since 1992.

Several hopefuls turned to Twitter to announce they had made the shortlist including Chris Lucas, Steve Bradley, former Bath City chairman Councillor Manda Rigby (Lib Dem, Abbey) and former mayor Councillor Andy Furse (Lib Dem, Kingsmead). …

Chair of the Shortlisting Committee for the Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bath, Shaun McGall, said the party had received numerous applications that had now been scrutinised but he said he would not confirm the shortlist until party members had been officially notified.

“As you would expect we had a strong field of applications. We look forward to announcing our successful candidate in mid-May following an internal members only hustings, which will be the culmination of a thoughtful and good natured internal campaign and debate about who is best placed to build upon the legacy and public service of our fine Member of Parliament, The Right Honourable Don Foster.

“Our successful Parliamentary Candidate will work with Don Foster, Councillor Paul Crossley and our Lib Dem led-local council to outline to the residents of Bath how the election of another Liberal Democrat MP will benefit all. Not only to help to continue the work of Lib Dems in Government and locally on the council, but also to build a stronger economy and a fairer society for all our residents and communities in the city.”

Don Foster was first elected for Bath in 1992, beating the then Tory chairman Chris Patten. In 2010, his majority was 11,883 (25%).

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  • Radical Liberal 19th Apr '14 - 11:27am

    All too late. Tory gain.

  • Tony Greaves 19th Apr '14 - 2:03pm

    Don’t be daft.

  • peter tyzack 19th Apr '14 - 2:18pm

    .. they can’t announce the shortlist yet as there are at least two appeals to be sorted out first…

  • David Evans 19th Apr '14 - 7:01pm

    Ah well, there goes another seat in 2015. Sadly even in a strong seat like this, incumbency was by far our best chance.

  • @Caracatus – Right on, although I think we will take between 30-40 seats, including some gains from Conservatives. Sadly, we will hold Sheffield Hallam.

  • “Internal members only hustings” why the cloak and dagger secrecy and why not an open hustings like the Conservatives were brave enough today?

  • I’ve lived in Bath for just under a year following 35 years in Winchester so I know when the feeling is positive, not only do we expect to hold Don’s seat but we expect to take overall control of Bath and North East Somerset Council. Call yourself a Radical ?

  • If Ray Love says as much then that’s good enough for me.

  • Doug Oliver 20th Apr '14 - 8:53pm

    @johninnes Re: Sheffield Hallam, I’d say “happily”.

  • Helen Dudden 20th Apr '14 - 10:07pm

    I have lived in Bath for 20 years and I would say, things could change.

  • yes Helen but i’m on the BLDExec and believe me it’s very positive.

  • Helen Dudden 21st Apr '14 - 7:41pm

    Even, before the vote is done.

  • Christopher 24th Apr '14 - 4:15pm

    Last election 88% voted for either Lib Dem or Conservative in Bath. 56% for Lib Dem. So you’d need to see a lot of people decide that they didn’t like Lib Dems in coalition and therefore vote Conservative, or an even greater number shifting to the other parties. Given that the Tories will lose some votes to UKIP, the gap is even wider.

    Of the PPCs announced so far, Labour and Conservatives have probably the weakest (if you came at it as an outsider), whilst the Greens and UKIP probably come across well, but they both had less than 2% at last election.

    Lib Dems will hold but with a much smaller share of vote. Labour, Green and UKIP will end up with 8-10% each, possibly more depending on the relative success of campaigns.

    Council will remain hung, with probably some Green candidates winning seats.

    Anyone saying the Conservatives will win here doesn’t understand the constituency and is probably just having the usual casual dig at the Lib Dems.

  • Christopher 24th Apr '14 - 4:23pm

    For what it’s worth (and it’s definitely flawed) I posted this on the Chronicle article. My analysis with a year to go!…

    The coalition between them has 88% of the vote currently (Lib Dems have 56.6% and Conservatives 31.4%). Labour had 6.9%, Green 2.4% and UKIP 1.9%. Therefore:
    1) If voters of all the other parties went Conservative the Lib Dems would still have a majority.
    2) If people ditched the Lib Dems they’re unlikely to head to the Conservatives, at least in great numbers.
    3) The Lib Dems would have to lose 25.2%points (almost half their vote share) to be equal with the Conservatives (slightly less severe if the Conservative gain votes, but even more severe if the conservatives lose votes to UKIP).

    I think the most likely outcome is:
    1) A large number of Lib Dem voters go to Labour and Green. If the Greens create a significant campaign I think they could gain a lot as the Green candidate has arguably more gravitas (NHS responsibilities vs student) and also because Labour still have baggage from being in government. Also, those who saw the Lib Dems as the alternative and a kind of protest vote, or possibly as the anti-authoritarian party, are more likely to back the Greens over Labour, particularly as Labour aren’t seen as a serious contender and so there isn’t the danger of splitting the vaguely leftish vote that might put people off voting Green.
    2) The Conservatives will lose voters to UKIP. I do believe that other parties’ backers can switch to UKIP, but with 88% backing the coalition parties and the Lib Dems one of the least likely parties to shed votes to UKIP, the Conservatives are most likely to lose votes. Some people will be so fed up with the Conservatives that they don’t care if the Lib Dem gets in (or figure they’re so far ahead) they’d rather just vote UKIP,
    3) Those labelled dis-engaged might be re-engaged, but probably only by UKIP and possibly the Greens and Labour. UKIP will be able to focus on the impact of immigration, whilst Labour and the Greens will be able to pick up voters around issues like the bedroom tax. However, Labour are still pretty tainted by government and seen as part of the establishment that many despise, whilst the Greens have a reputation for being white, liberal, middle class, which will require sensitive and informed campaigning to break past.
    4) The candidates themselves will have an impact, and I think that Dominic and Julian and the Lib Dem candidate likely to come across as having more experience than the other two. However depending on who is chosen in the Lib Dem race will impact whether they are seen as a career politician or come across as a member of the community that people can relate to.

    These things combined mean I reckon that the Lib Dems might get 37/38%, Conservatives 27/28%, and Greens, UKIP and Labour all around 8-12%. I could honestly see Labour last and either Greens or UKIP third, or on the other hand.

    It’s worth saying that I think who the Lib Dems choose will impact their vote share. It’s possible that having an ethnic minority candidate would make the Lib Dems more favourable in comparison to four white men, although this depends on how well voters know the PPCs or whether they just turn up and vote according to the party names. If a woman was chosen then women voters who turn up on the day might be inclined to vote for the only female candidate? Conversely, sexists might be less likely.

    A large baring on the vote percentages (but probably not the winner) will be how open and prominent the campaign is. This will likely be the most politically engaged election ever, and certainly the most social-media, etc. The big question will be whether people are past the point of despair or whether they still have energy to commit to investigating the options and to investing in the democratic process. The more his occurs the more likely it is that the smaller parties do better, and most importantly that whoever is elected will be held accountable post the election.

  • Christopher 24th Apr '14 - 4:26pm

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