Caroline Pidgeon elected in London …

Caroline Pidgeon… but not as Mayor of London – that will be Labour’s Sadiq Khan, although it has yet to be announced officially.

Instead she has won a seat on the London Assembly from the party list. Sadly she will be our only Assembly Member.

The constituency seats have been shared between Labour (9) and Conservatives (5). The final result for the London Assembly, including the seats allocated from the party lists, is:

Labour – 12

Conservative – 8

Green – 2

UKIP – 2

Lib Dems – 1

The names of all 25 Assembly members can be found here.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames where she is still very active with the local party.

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45 Comments

  • Eddie Sammon 7th May '16 - 12:11am

    Congrats to everyone who stood for election and helped out. It would be interesting to hear from the local party why they think such a supposedly liberal city is such a difficulty for Liberal Democrats.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 7th May '16 - 1:13am

    Congratulations to Caroline Pidgeon on her election to the Assembly.Well deserved,and commiserations to the other candidates.The campaign was definitely positive and friendly , that our party ran , and that is a very good achievement after the appraisal of the fear campaign that Sadiq Khan alluded to , referring to the Conservative tactics , in his very decent acceptance speech.We are , as a party , at our best when we speak the truth as we see it , and that can include strong criticism of the policy or record and judgement of candidates.Goldsmith let the Lynton Crosby approach in , and lost !There goes his knighthood !You have to let sleaze win to get one .Or you can let it ride and change parties and end up on the Welsh Assembly !

  • Stevan Rose 7th May '16 - 6:47am

    “a partial success for the “Caroline Pigeon’s London Liberal Democrats” strategy”

    I think it lost votes for being gimmicky and sounding like a breakaway party not the official one. Interesting experiment but let’s not repeat it. Good to see Caroline elected though, my parents will be pleased their votes counted.

  • Eliane Patton 7th May '16 - 7:58am

    Well done Caroline and her team cannot be faulted for their dedication and hard work. We have a long way to go but our message will be well represented and defended by Caroline in what will be a hard job at times. Congratulation

  • Graham Evans 7th May '16 - 8:07am

    I think it was a mistake to describe the Party on the ballot paper as “Caroline Pigeon’s London Liberal Democrats”. Not only did it make it more difficult to find the Party on the ballot paper but it also suggested that they were some sort of breakaway group. Moreover there is no evidence that Caroline has the same name recognition as Boris or Ken, and even Boris’s success last time had little impact on the Assembly vote for the Tories. Let’ s stick to describing ourselves as ” Liberal Democrat” or if we must “Liberal Democrat Focus Team”.

  • Graham Evans 7th May '16 - 8:25am

    Another thought. We are being far too complacent in our reaction to the London result. Ever since the GLA was created our vote has been in decline, and we are regularly beaten by the Greens in London wide elections – and of course now UKIP. While the community politics route has helped us regroup in parts of the country where we have relative strength, we are simply far too weak for this approach to work in London wide elections. I have no simple solution, but I wonder whether we should perhaps choose a single number 1 candidate to fight the next Euro,GLA, and Mayoral elections. This person should be chosen in the near future and be promoted by the local parties in their literature over the next two years leading up to the 2018 Euro election, and for the two years after that leading up to the GLA election in 2020.

  • Bill le Breton 7th May '16 - 8:34am

    At home, the house martins are back! When Tim Farron likened us to cockroaches, I thought house martins a better analogy. Spring sees them repairing their nests after the ravages of winter. They do it every year – coming back to the same haunts. So like Lib Dems shoring up their local government base.

    Thank the stars we have our local government house martins. Three gains in Liverpool. John back in Manchester. Watford resurgent. Our own House rebuilding in Eastleigh. But the demands of their northerly migration against severe head wins will have depleted their reserves. They need more than mud and precarious cliff-face-resembling eaves to cling on to.

    Nationally, we have been irrelevant this year … and more of the same nationally in the year to come will ensure that irrelevance continues. One year soon even the house martins of May will fail to turn up.

    Yet our competitors are not in great shape. Sure, if the economy stutters back to a little more life and cameron hands over to someone who has a good honeymoon, the Tories will be back in in 2020. But what if Britain, Europe and the US follows Japan into decades of economic stagnation?

    What if nothing changes the grip the SNP has over a Scotland keen to distance itself from the failures of the Westminster establishment? What if Corbyn firm by standing still and leads the Labour Party’s new membership into the 2020 election? What if the Greens sequester our reputation for radicalism?

    This summer Tim Farron has to totally reform the Party’s outward face. That means a total break from the economic policy of the last leadership. It means Farron as Lloyd George and Cable as Keynes. It means getting Giles Wilkes in to draw up a new macro-policy, to be presented by Cable and Farron.

    It means taking the side of ‘the people’ against the elite, everywhere their palid hands groom ‘the new normal’. It means attacking that new normal as oppressive and favouring the few, favouring the haves.

    It means proving that we have learnt our lesson, when we bought into that elitism and ‘posh boy’ image. It means celebrating the Preston roots. Rejecting Putneyism.

    We have nothing to lose but our irrelevance.

  • It is kind of ironic that our party, the historic advocate of Proportional Representation, is so singularly poor at elections fought under PR.

  • You read my thoughts, Alan Jelfs. In truth I have noticed over many years, since I fought in the first Welsh Assembly elections in 1999, about this issue. As a party we have at least two faces, both descended from the community politics, and the attempts to rebuild the Liberal Party in the 60s and 70s. One is high principle and Liberal Values (and since the creation of the LDs as we know them today, Social Democratic values), and one is localism, the best for people locally, and often EXPLICIT rejection of party, or values as an electoral standpoint. When we were at the high point of our party success (1993 – 97/8) we attracted many in to the party who were there on the back of winning campaigns. Many were attracted by a localist “independent” stance. They were not, or at least not necessarily, people with fervent connections to party values, and they did not show these in thei decisions when they were elected councillors.

    This has over the years often resulted in fighting campaigns based on successful electoral personalities (eg Caroline Pidgeon, Kirsty Williams etc – I do not, incidentally, question the values and credentials of either of these fine politicians) NOT on the values we have supposedly subscribed to. When you are fighting PR elections, you have to have a message based on values – look at UKIP’s spectacular success under PR – even the Greens in their underfunded and amateurish way have a lesson for us.

  • Ruth Bright 7th May '16 - 10:43am

    Caroline is a complete star and has shown true grit and stamina.

    We are not talking about organising Little Bogthorpe in the Maltings ward here with a leaflet run of 1000 homes. We are talking about a “ward” of one of the biggest cities in the world where you need a million votes to win. The state we were in after the London elections in 2014 means we should be hugely relieved to have clawed back to holding a seat on the GLA at all. Thank you Caroline.

    Bill le Breton – you have totally lost me with all the Housemartins stuff. Wiki says they were an indie band most active in the years leading up to 1988. Kind of sounds like the old Liberal Party x.

  • Bill le Breton 7th May '16 - 11:03am

    Ruth – sure … forgot that there were no house martins in Houghton St

    Once upon a time ‘sea cliff martins’ nested on sea cliffs .. Their nests, made of mud were cup shaped.

    Then they realised that the eaves of houses were rather live cliffs and they started getting mud from nearby rivers and plastering them to the walls below the eaves and nesting there.

    Each year they return to the same nests, but have to patch up their old nests after the rigours of winter (which they sensibly spend in southern Africa).

    They are sensational aeronauts, too. It is not clear who owns this house, us or the house martins.

    Why the old Liberal Party …. is it because, in their new party of Liberal (Democrat) Party, Laws, Marshall, Clegg and Co decided what our supporters ‘wanted,’ even when it was obvious to all that this was not what they wanted?

    And why is Tim Farron and far too many others persisting with that opinion.

    Any clearer?

    B

  • I think a name change, clarifyingbthe brand really, would be timely. The ‘Democrat’ bit in the party name has always seemed superfluous, and the whole clunky as a result.

  • Eddie Sammon 7th May '16 - 1:21pm

    Ruth makes a good point on the difficulties of campaigning in such huge wards.

    The point about Lib Dems struggling under PR is also a good one, but I suspect that is only a temporary problem.

    However I have to disagree with Bill le Breton’s formula for a big jump leftwards on economic policy. The evidence shows that the public trust the Tories most on the economy, so why do something likely to alienate the public?

    We need to find which social liberal policies the public likes and goes for them. The public probably want to help the vulnerable more, but it can’t be presented in some kind of Bernie Sanders us against them style. It has to be about compassion, not division.

  • Jayne Mansfield 7th May '16 - 1:42pm

    Those I know who were eligible to vote in the London mayoral election, voted for Sadiq Khan with Caroline as second choice. Why?, I suspect that it was because they put values before policies.

    If I lived on London I would have made the same choices. The campaign against Sadiq Khan was absolutely disgraceful and today, I feel the same sense of elation that he was elected as I did when Obama was elected. I feel proud of my capital city and the people who live there.

    The Liberal Democrat Party needs to analyse why it isn’t the leading party in our most liberal, multicultural city.

  • Paul Holmes 7th May '16 - 2:54pm

    Ref the comment about us not doing well under PR. I have not checked the details so do correct me where I am wrong, but I do recall us doing quite well under PR at various points in the past -12 MEP’s for example and decent numbers of MSP’s and others.

    But when reduced to 7% or less in national standing by the mishandling of 2010-2015, then of course we suffer in PR elections too. Even in a ‘purer’ PR system the German FDP found that the more ‘Economic Liberal’ they became the more they fell under the German 5% threshold and lost everything at a National level.

  • Tony Greaves 7th May '16 - 3:17pm

    Yes well, it seems that the people who have done really well this year are largely refugees from what Ruth dismisses as “the old Liberal Party”. Richard Kemp and the team in Liverpool, Dorothy Thornhill and the team in Watford, Keith House and the team in Eastleigh, Cheltenham, one or two others (not to mention Tim Farron and the team in South Lakeland). They are people who realise that to have any future we have to dig in at the local level with Liberal community campaigning. But many of us in the face of massively funded populist and ad hominem attacks are having to fight hard just to survive. Still, our Pendle-based candidate Graham Roach saved his deposit in the Lancashire police election. Our base vote might just be creeping up a bit. The problem is that we are not in a good state to take any advantage of that.

  • @ Alan Jelfs
    “It is kind of ironic that our party, the historic advocate of Proportional Representation, is so singularly poor at elections fought under PR.”

    Very true. I think is because of targeting. We deliver 4 or 5 leaflets to one area (ward) and nothing anywhere else. We win the ward with say 40% of the vote, but get less than 10% elsewhere. I remember attending discussions on campaigning in a Euro election and the plan was to target our leaflets to our held areas. We need to do some research on PR elections and try to discover if we would get a higher vote if we delivered one leaflet to everyone rather than 4 or 5 to less than 25% of the area.

    We need to achieve a higher vote share than our national opinion poll rating in PR elections.

    It is possible that we already know this lesion in our UK parliamentary target seats we do deliver to everywhere and if we can’t we know we will not win.

    @ Bill le Breton

    Cable is no Keynes and the party passed a new economic policy at the spring conference which Cable assisted in writing according to Gordon Lishman (http://www.socialliberal.net/in_favour_of_a_fairer_economy_in_a_stronger_society)

    It includes too much of the traditional view on public finances and implies that deficit reduction was the right policy. It is all about tinkering round the edges not facing the issue of inequality and the power of employers and the lack of power of employees.

    For me the best way to decrease the power of employers and increase the power and freedom of employees is to have an economic policy to achieve full employment. Our new economic policy lacks this commitment even by 2025 – the end of the next Parliament. Full employment would create the right environment to tackle other social problems as well an increased tax revenue. No more zero hour contracts, a reduction in the number of those not in work for long periods of time, as marginal employees become employable again. If labour is more expensive there will be greater incentives to increase productivity.

  • Paul Holmes 7th May '16 - 4:13pm

    @MichaelBG. The studies have been done. There is no sign that delivering a single leaflet makes any noticeable difference (ie increase) in the LD vote.

    Remember we have to batter through the effect of a) The Daily Media being almost entirely against or at best dismissive of the LD’s b) The fact that even now up to a good 70% of Voters regularly vote Con/Lab and will tell you how their Gran/Dad etc would ‘turn in their grave’ if they didn’t stay ‘loyal’. We have few areas with that sort of century long tradition of voting Liberal and only concentrated effort can produce a critical mass to overcome that.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 7th May '16 - 4:46pm

    When I see mention of a name change getting rid of Democrat , I am in despair at the lack of common sense and common decency !
    The first point , democratic is the very word that resonates .It is what we should be promoting .In fact , if we talked even more about creating a more democratic society as well as a more Liberal one , we might be using language people would understand and we could back it up with policies that show it , democraticing parts of our culture , undemocratic at present.Too often people think it refers only to constitutional processes , nonsense .In many countries people are far more engaged with input involving areas we leave to elites.Not that we have a good record there , with , in my view a stick in the mud approach to mayors and police and crime commissioners.

    Secondly , we are Democrats because of the legacy of the Social Democrat Party , which, though before my time as a member , is a valuable party of our history and philosophy !

    As for the other comments above , how about less of the us and them divisive stuff. Putney vs Preston is the most pitiful thing I have read , apart from its aliteration !And I say it as someone who cannot afford to live in Putney or London , despite being from both !Inverted snobbery and class warfare are not Liberalism or democracy !

  • paul barker 7th May '16 - 5:17pm

    Some history needed here, the Libdems have always done badly in London, I dont know how the old Liberals did, cant say thet I ever noticed them.In London both Labour & The Greens market themselves as “liberal” Parties & there is nothing we can do about that till Labour split. Trying to seem more Corbynite would just confuse the voters even more. More emphasis on our greeen agenda might help, alongside pushing our libertarian side, decriminalisation of drugs would resonate here I think.
    I am not sure that thinking about the tactics now would be of any use, the situation in 4 years time is going to be so different. Almost certainly there will be two Parties claiming the Labour tradition & we may be in an alliance with one of them.

  • Ruth Bright 7th May '16 - 7:55pm

    Tony – just listen to yourself petal. Why always assume the worst? I did not dismiss the old Liberal Party. It was an affectionate reference to Bill about the party I joined when I was 18 years of age in 1985. I have got through two faiths and two marriages in my nearly 50 years on this planet but only one party! I voted against the merger in 1988 and would like nothing better for the party to still be called the Liberal Party. Happy?

  • @ Paul Holmes

    There is no need for a large “critical mass” in STV elections, just a need to get over the quota. It therefore seems that you might still be talking of FPTP elections rather than PR ones. In the Euro elections we achieved 13% of the vote in 1999 (c. 15% opinion poll), 14.9% of the vote (c 18% opinion poll) in 2004 and 13.8% of the vote (c. 15% opinion poll) in 2009. We always achieved less than our opinion poll rating!

    I know that Liberal Democrat mythology states that delivering one leaflet has no effect, but I would be interested in knowing if this is true. What is the evidence? How recent is it? I know in the past delivering one before the election and one during the election can increase our vote.

    @ paul barker

    The last thing this party needs is more libertarianism. We should always remember we are liberals not libertarianists and there is a huge difference between the two even if on the freedom of the individual there is some overlap. Is the phrase you were looking for “socially liberal side”?

  • Paul Holmes 8th May '16 - 1:15am

    Michael -do we have STV elections?

    Ref leaflets – Euro results are available by Local Authority area. Areas where a single Freepost is delivered have little difference in result from areas where none is delivered. Areas where mutiple leaflets are delivered have a much better result.

  • Graham Evans 8th May '16 - 11:25am

    @Paul Holmes. I agree that one leaflets delivered at election time is of little value. But surely most parties could deliver a couple each year, year in year out, with content which was not date limited. In that way the leaflets could be delivered if necessary over a period of a few months, rather than days or weeks.

  • Paul Holmes 8th May '16 - 11:40am

    Michael -to answer my own question from early this morning! No we do not have STV elections. Last Thursdays London, Welsh and Scottish elections used mixed Constituency and List system methods. The Euro elections use a closed Regional List system counted by De Hondt. So you do indeed need a ‘critical mass’ although much less of a one than under FPTP. But as I originally noted if a Party is doing badly in the relevant ‘national’ opinion polls then it can’t expect to do well under even semi PR systems.

    On the ‘thinly spread leaflet against concentrated leafleting’ issue I mentioned the studies that have been done of Euro results. Similar desk top analysis has been done of Westminster constituencies in the same way. Dave Mc Cobb -newly appointed Deputy in the Campaigns Department – also did an intense study of the effect of different levels of activity in different voting areas in Hull during the 2012 PCC elections. I have detailed analysis of numerous Council elections by Ward in my home constituency ever since the 1980’s. All show the same basic truth.

  • Paul Holmes 8th May '16 - 11:46am

    Graham – All Local Parties could in theory do so and nothing (but money, organisation and the person power to deliver say 40,000 leaflets) is stopping them doing so. Where those things are lacking then it is more effective electorally to deliver say 10,000 houses 4 times in the year rather than 40,000 houses once. Although if you want to have a real electoral impact then 4 leaflets a year is usually a starting point rather than a high point.

  • @Alan Jelfs and others

    Yes, Lib Dems do badly in PR systems. The national share of the vote is under 10%…with many if not most areas below 5%!

    It’s interesting to note the party did marginally better in FPTP sections of the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament and in London Mayoral than in the List PR sections of any of those institutions.

    I would argue the FPTP and Mayoral elections have a large personal element – and the LIst PR system – what people truly believe in shows Liberal Democrats suffer worse.

    Yes, I think “Caroline Pidgeon’s London Liberal Democrats” was a mistake.

    A disastrous election. Fifth place in London!

  • Graham Evans 8th May '16 - 12:25pm

    @ Paul Holmes “Even in a ‘purer’ PR system the German FDP found that the more ‘Economic Liberal’ they became the more they fell under the German 5% threshold and lost everything at a National level.” The FDP have always tended to the economic right. Indeed in the 1960s they were perceived as the party of big business. Moreover they have often hovered around the 5% threshold, but until the arrival of the Greens they could reply on some voters of their pre-election proposed coalition partner to “lend” them the second party vote to get them over the 5% barrier. This was complicated by the rise of the Greens whom the SPD saw as a better partner and came spectacularly awry after regional elections in NRW. The FDP did so well, and as a result of the vagaries of the electoral system their coalition partner the CDU actually lost power. In the subsequent federal election the CDU/CSU therefore made it clear to their voters that they should use their second vote to vote for the CDU/CSU. The FDP fell below the 5% barrier but the CDU/CSU failed to get an overall majority and so were forced into a Grand Coalition with the SPD.

  • James Graham 8th May '16 - 1:38pm

    @Paul Holmes We do have STV elections to fight next year at the Scottish local council elections, where we will be looking to bounce back from the rather awful results in 2012 where we got only 71 seats down from 166 seats in 2007.
    If people thought that the era of the SNP of making great gains were over then I’m afraid that next year could well see another surge since in 2012 they they were only narrowly ahead of Labour and obviously a lot has changed since then.
    As for the leafleting part I totally agree that a concentrated leaflet campaign is going to get better results in constituency and local elections. You can effectively target the right areas to try and get the right results. However if this is done at the expense of ignoring the wider electorate then this risks losing votes on the wider list votes as has been seen in both Scotland and Wales in this election. I think that we need to have a more constant leafleting plan throughout the year in the areas that we are strong to keep reminding those voters that we are about and are doing things in their local area. During the devolved election campaigns we need, whilst obviously making sure that we try to do well in target seats, not to neglect the other seats where we have little chance of winning the seat but try still to get as many votes as possible for the list seats.
    For example in Scotland this time although we won seats in the Mid-Scotland and Fife and also the Lothian regions on the FPTP part of the election with big increases in our vote in those 2 seats however in both regions our list vote hardly changed at all. In the Fife area this means that we have got the same result (1MSP) by a different means but no closer to getting a 2nd person elected. Until we can get an approach that helps to increase the list votes, and to be honest there are not many FPTP seats that we can realistically gain at the next election, we are going to be stuck on roughly the same number of MSPs and this is also going to be the same in Wales.

  • @Paul Holmes
    “Michael – do we have STV election?”
    Yes in Scotland for local authorities as James Graham has pointed out.

    Your position therefore means that if we had STV election for local authorities, as many members would like to see, this will result in a reduction of councillors.

    This is not what many believe. For example in 1993 we had 4123 councillors but had 25% of the vote which would have given us 5284. In the past we did better in non-target areas than we do now. I think this is because we have become better at targeting and we put out less leaflets in non-target areas than we did in the past leading to a reduction in our overall vote share.

    There has to be a more thoughtful answer to this problem than just carrying on fighting FPTP elections under PR systems. There must be a point where an extra leaflet in a good area will produce less of an increase in our vote than a leaflet in a less good area. Another question seems to be how many leaflets need to be delivered before the vote is increased. It seems you are suggesting four across the year. I am suggesting it might be three or two depending on when they are delivered.

    I wonder why we did so badly in South Scotland. Could we have put effort into gaining a regional seat where we do not have one and still gained the two constituency seats?

  • Paul Holmes 8th May '16 - 10:53pm

    Michael -what position?

    Westminster elections are FPTP. Council elections for the vast vast majority of the UK population are FPTP. Therefore the vast majority of elections are best fought by the methods that offer the best chance of success in such elections.

    Different types of PR and semi PR systems are used for other elections and if different approaches work better under those systems then they should be used. But it remains a clear fact that as a general rule 10,000 houses getting a sequence of 4 leaflets gets a better electoral result than 40,000 houses getting one leaflet.

    Neither did I suggest 4 leaflets a year as some sort of target -I said it was a starting point. Certainly in my area we have never won elections on such a low level of activity!

    For those who advocate also delivering more widely outside the areas we are seeking to win as Targets there is of course a very simple answer -raise the extra money to pay for those leaflets and recruit the delivery teams to put them through letterboxes.

  • @ Paul Holmes
    “Michael -what position?”
    Your position in our discussion!

    We are not discussing FPTP elections. So raising it as an issue is a red herring!
    However it is good you have finally recognised campaigning in PR elections as if they are FPTP elections might not be the best way to maximise our result – “if different approaches work better under those systems then they should be used”.

    I did not write that you suggested that 4 was a target. I wrote that it SEEMS you were suggesting that it is only after delivering 4 leaflets that there is any increase in our vote, while I was suggesting it might be lower say 2 or 3 depending on when they are delivered. I expect there are no PR elections in your local area, so again you raise a red herring by writing “Certainly in my area we have never won elections on such a low level of activity”.

    To be clear I am not suggesting we should not carry on targeting and delivering lots of leaflets during the year and lots during the election campaign when fighting elections under FPTP, but we were discussing why we seem to do less well under PR than we do under FPTP. The reason for this I am arguing is because we fight PR elections as if they are FPTP elections and we need to consider alternatives when they are PR elections.

  • Paul Holmes 9th May '16 - 1:56pm

    Michael, is it really true that we always do less well under PR than FPTP? If EU elections were still fought under FPTP -as they used to be when I was running my first election campaigns -would we ever have won 12 MEP’s? As I recall it the best we ever did under FPTP was two? If MSP’s were elected purely by FPTP would we have ever reached a total of 17? If London Assembly elections had been by FPTP would we have ever previously elected 5 Assembly Members, 20% of the total possible across London? Surely the reason we are currently doing so much worse in PR elections is because our level of National or Regional support is so much lower 2011-2016 than the levels we fairly consistently won for some decades before, when we averaged 20% of the national vote share across the 10 General Elections from 1974 -2010?

    As for Scottish Council elections under STV I am no expert. Yes a smaller ‘critical mass’ is needed to win election than under FPTP but you do still have to reach that critical mass -across a larger geographical area which will inevitably therefore have more weak areas for a smaller Party such as the Lib Dems. Within the STV Ward/area a Lib Dem vote is worth exactly the same whichever part of the geographical area it is cast in so is it more effective to suddenly spread your available activists thinly everywhere or to concentrate on your best areas where that activity will produce more ‘bang per buck’ in terms of votes? Which brings us back to the only ‘position’ I have been arguing which is that all the evidence is very clear that a sequence of leaflets in one area will generally produce a better vote than one leaflet spread thinly everywhere. Of course it would be much better to deliver multiple leaflets and knock on doors everywhere but if we had the strength to do that we would and this debate would never arise.

  • @ Paul Holmes
    “…is it really true that we always do less well under PR than FPTP?”
    Good question: with the Euro elections our share of the vote is always lower than our opinion poll rating (as I posted above) and in PR regional elections it is lower than our national share. The question is then is this because we are bad at PR elections or is it because it just happens that where there are PR elections our support is lower? This is not a question of representation but a question of getting our supporters to vote.

    I don’t understand why you couldn’t leave the discussion where you were open to the idea of doing more in some areas and less in great areas and I was accepting that one leaflet would have little effect. We are discussing how to get a marginal voter out to vote, my position is that each leaflet in our great areas has a diminishing effect but every leaflet where we are delivering fewer has a greater effect. So yes it is a question of maximising the return in votes for each leaflet delivered.

  • Sue Sutherland 9th May '16 - 8:56pm

    Before we got into the number of leaflets debate, Paul Barker mentioned that both Labour and the Greens market themselves as Liberal parties. There was a time when some Tories tried to do that too. Surely the only way to tackle this is to show them up as illiberal, attack their illiberal policies and their illiberal votes in Parliament or their lack of robust environmental policies on local councils. The Liberals were green before anyone had ever thought up the word and as their successor party we must lay claim to our history of environmentalism way before climate change was accepted.
    It is quite easy to get records of Parliamentary votes I believe, so let’s keep putting them in our literature and showing up other parties for what they are, ignoring their complaints. We have had encouraging results in local elections and now is the time to build on those and fightback even harder.

  • Paul Holmes 10th May '16 - 3:13pm

    Michael – I think that doing more in weak areas is a great idea. If you have the people (and Money) to do so without undermining campaigning in stronger areas. That is where the problem tends to arise.

    I would be interested in your research on what point multiple leaflets lose their effect and at what point – two or three or four or five? – increasing leaflet delivery to weak areas starts to produce benefits. As I say there is ample research evidence that one or two leaflets at election time makes little or no discernible difference on electoral out turns.

  • @ Paul Holmes

    I am surprised you have not heard of diminishing returns. I am disappointed in your attitude where you wish to emphasise our differences rather than accepting my summary that had us quite close together but not in agreement. Do you really believe that delivering the tenth leaflet of a campaign increases our vote by the same amount as the fifth? You keep asserting that research exists regarding delivering a few leaflets and I would interested in seeing it and the evidence that the control area is the same as the delivered area.

  • Michael – of course I know about diminishing returns which is precisely why I asked you about your research on the level at which this kicks in with literature delivery.

  • Note that 2 in 5 of Caroline’s second preferences taken into consideration in the final round went to Zac Goldsmith.

    Our voters are not as our members and activists are…we forget this at our peril.

    http://www.ncpolitics.uk/2016/05/london-whose-second-preferences-went-where.html/

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  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 23rd Feb - 7:37pm
    Much as I enjoy trying to categorise political thinking, Tony, I don't see many politicians in either the Tory or the Labour party actually fitting...
  • User AvatarJohn 23rd Feb - 7:07pm
    Little englanders have been forecasting the end of the EU since early EEC days of 6 countries in the early 70's
  • User AvatarJonathan Coulter 23rd Feb - 6:56pm
    @Lorenzo Chirin: "I am fed up with people continuously saying antisemitic claims are made up, fake or smeared". Lorenzo, to get to the point, please...
  • User AvatarTony Venezia 23rd Feb - 6:28pm
    'The horrible truth is that there are people, together with the Government of Israel who are using false accusations of AS, alongside the IHRA definition,...
  • User AvatarTony Venezia 23rd Feb - 6:24pm
    Not much here for social democrats.