Caron’s Brecon and Radnorshire Diary – Day 2

I woke yesterday morning to heavy rain. Knowing that the jacket I had bought was not up to the job, I headed to the local charity shops to see if I could find something better.

I had almost given up hope when I found something perfect – for a fiver! I am not an outdoorsy type so I didn’t realise that I had got an absolute bargain until Pete Roberts, who is running the Llandrindod office, pointed it out as he sent me off with some letters to deliver.

Once those were done, I was sent off with a wonderful lady called Margaret from Cheadle to deliver in the gorgeous town of Rhayader. Round every corner and up every hill (and there are a lot of hills), is another view that brings joy, even in the rain.

Margaret told me that this was her first by-election. She joined the party shortly after arriving at Edinburgh University to study medicine sixty years ago. She saw a poster saying “What do Liberals believe?” and thought she might like to find out.

A young man was speaking at the meeting about how we should have more co-operation with our European friends and look after the environment. We are nothing if not consistent. Margaret liked the sound of that and signed up on the spot.

She hasn’t had the time to get involved in active politics but an email from James Lillis inviting her to go to Brecon came at just the right time and she has thrown herself into the by-election since Tuesday.

I only hope that my utterly crap navigation skills have not put her off for life.

She had intended to go home yesterday but stayed over to come to the Pint with Peers featuring Kate Parminter, Dorothy Thornhill and Chris Humphries.

This photo, taken early in the evening shows Margaret at the bottom left and two more people who will forever feature in “tales from by-elections.”

Someone has asked them if they were  Lib Dems when they came in and invited them to join us when they said yes. They had misunderstood and were actually German tourists. It was lovely to meet them though.

I am sure there some long walks are scheduled for me today but first thing I am off to meet our candidate. Tonight there is a Lib Dem Pint in Brecon featuring Sheila Ritchie MEP! Thanks to the kindness of John from Sheffield, who is giving me a lift, I will be there.

I am so glad I came. It has been hard work but lots of fun and laughter with amazing people too. And it is clear that people who have voted for other parties all their lives are choosing to vote for Jane this time. But we shouldn’t under-estimate the scale of this challenge and all of us need to do our bit and get Jane into Parliament. Many of you on this site are always and rightly talking about how we need to be talking about poverty and inequality more. So what are you doing to elect an MP who cares so passionately about these issues?

Jane’s campaign is going well but we need to speak to more people and persuade them to vote for her on 1st August.

As Margaret says, this by-election is an important one for our country. If we can further deplete the Tory/Brexit capacity to cause chaos by careering into a no deal Brexit, then that has to be a good thing.

All you need to know about coming to help can be found here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Andrew Deuchar 20th Jul '19 - 7:49am

    It is a sign of the times that the Conservative candidate and former MP, who holds 100% responsibility for the calling of this byelection, did not bother to turn up to the hustings arranged in Brecon last night (nor did the Brexit Party or UKIP. The Conservatives spend much time complaining a out the tactics of other parties, as if it’s our fault that Chris Davies did what he did. Their arrogance is breathtaking.

  • Richard Underhill 20th Jul '19 - 9:14am

    Bookies should not be accepting bets on parties which do not have a candidate after nominations closed.
    Offering different prices to new customers is also unfair.
    (I remember a huge mortgage lender doing that to me.)

  • Richard Underhill 20th Jul '19 - 10:19am

    ” … the website, frequently reminds his readers that “leader ratings are a much better guide to electoral outcomes than standard voting intention polls.”
    On the Newsnight white board on 197/19 one of the pundits forecast four parties emerging from a general election with 150 MPs each.

  • Sue Sutherland 20th Jul '19 - 1:45pm

    I’m so glad that Jane Dodds is passionate about poverty and I have donated to her campaign. I wish I could do more and it’s great to see the Lib Dem family in action.

  • An Opinion Poll tonight puts Jane 15% ahead of the Conservatives…

  • The Poll is great news but it will allow The Tories to use the classic “Wasted Vote” argument against The Brexit Party; this is along way from over.

  • Here is the poll. I total agree with Paul – it’s nice to see us so far ahead but this is very far from over.
    LDM: 43% (+14)
    CON: 28% (-21)
    BXP: 20% (+20)
    LAB: 8% (-10)
    MRLP: 1% (+1)
    UKIP: 1% (=)
    Via @NCPoliticsUK, 10-18 Jul.
    Changes w/ GE2017.

  • This poll is unfortunately good news for the Tories since it will help them finish a strongish second place (by squeezing BP) and then be in a good position to win the seat back in any snap GE this autumn. My fear is that Jane will be an MP for only a few months.

  • Mike Read;
    That might be the case in a seat where we come from nowhere to win but there is a good tradition of voting for us here. If Jane wins doubters back, as I think she will from what I have heard on the doorstep, she could make this seat safe for us in the future. If the boundary review ever resurfaces it would add the most Lib Dem part of Montgomeryshire to this constituency. Jane will not be the sort of MP who ignores the constituency between elections and will quickly build up a personal vote.

    In any event, to stop the Tories closing the gap get to B&R to help if you can.

  • Andrew McCaig 21st Jul '19 - 12:21pm

    By-elections are strange things and my feeling is that the poll will help the Brexit Party more than the Tories. Boris may shore up their vote but on the other hand Brexit voters may want to hold his feet to the fire, and this poll shows they can come above the Tories.

  • I’m minded to agree with Andrew, the Brexit Party need to beat the Conservatives, not just split the right wing vote, both will scare the Tories, who have had the right wing to themselves for decades, but being beaten by them will scare them more… if I were in B&R I’d be talking up BXP in those households not minded to vote for us…

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Jul '19 - 8:00am

    21st Jul ’19 – 9:18am
    It may be necessary to win Brecon and Radnorshire twice in quick succession.
    Please be very nice to the local people, even if they are saying that we are providing them with too many leaflets, or that that they have already voted by post.

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