Category Archives: Parliamentary by-elections

15 September 2023 – today’s press release

Ed Davey to make fifth visit to Mid-Bedfordshire

Tomorrow (Saturday 16th September), Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey makes his fifth visit to Mid-Bedfordshire, where he will speak to voters in rural villages.

The Liberal Democrats have become the challenger to the Conservative party in this rural Blue Wall constituency which consists of almost 50 villages. The Liberal Democrats opened their second office in the constituency this week.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

It is time for change and lifelong Conservative voters are turning to the Liberal Democrats to send this government a message. Rural communities in Bedfordshire are fed up with

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Helping Emma and team in Mid Beds

Stephen (left) and François at Flitwick by-election HQ this morning

I’ve helped at the odd by-election (!) but normally I don’t see the candidate during brief visits to the HQ to pick up bundles of Focii.

At Mid Beds this week, I have had a double candidate “I Spy” score. As we were watching “Rookie” on Sunday evening, Emma Holland-Lindsay actually phoned me on our landline phone (which these days is a bit like the Carlsberg complaints phone).

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Somerton and Frome diary – Libby alights on our spatulas!

Photo above – In the Frome HQ, showing off Sarah Dyke’s image and their spatulas, are Holly Gunning (l) and Councillor Emily Pearlstone (r)

2015.

It doesn’t seem a long time ago. That was when I last visited Somerton and Frome to campaign for my good friend, David Rendel, in the general election. It was a mark of the chutzpah of David Rendel that he took on the challenge of Somerton and Frome after being MP for Newbury for 12 years.

In the event, the seat was won, with a large majority, by a Conservative newcomer, one David Warburton.

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Emma Holland-Lindsay selected to fight the Mid Bedfordshire by-election

After a three-cornered contest, Emma Holland-Lindsay has been selected to be the Liberal Democrat candidate in the (presumed) upcoming Parliamentary by-election in Mid Bedfordshire. Emma was elected to Central Bedfordshire Council last month, coming top of the poll in Leighton Linslade South ward. Professionally, she is a member of the senior leadership team at a nationwide women’s charity and has previously worked for national disability charities.

Following the result of the contest to select our candidate, Emma Holland-Lindsay said:

It is an honour to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for my local area, and I am determined to be

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By-election result – House of Lords

We covered the announcement of the candidates to fill a hereditary peer vacancy on the Liberal Democrat benches in the Lords a fortnight or so ago and we now have a result.

212 Peers voted as follows:

  • Lord Belhaven and Stenton – 34 votes
  • Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor – 55 votes
  • Earl Russell – 123 votes

Accordingly, John Russell is the newest member of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party in the Lords, and we wish him well.

* Mark Valladares is the Lords Correspondent of Liberal Democrat Voice.

Also posted in News and Parliament | Tagged and | 6 Comments

By-election news: House of Lords

It’s been a very long time since a new Liberal Democrat peerage was created, in fact, my perhaps sketchy research suggests that the last Liberal Democrat life peer to take their seat was Andrew Stunell on 26 October 2015, whilst the last by-election for a Liberal Democrat hereditary peer was in April 2016, when John Thurso was elected to replace Eric Avebury.

But, following the retirement of crossbench peer Viscount Falkland in March, a vacancy has arisen. As he was one of the hereditary peers elected to be a Deputy Chairman of the House in 1999, the vacancy is to be filled by an election of the whole House. And, as he then sat on the Liberal Democrat benches, the expectation is that his replacement will sit on the Liberal Democrat benches.

Accordingly, three candidates have emerged, two of whom come from undoubtedly liberal backgrounds; Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor and Earl Russell (Conrad’s son, John), whilst the third, Lord Belhaven and Stenton, has offered a perfectly acceptable manifesto.

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Welcome to my day: 10 February 2023 – we didn’t win in West Lancashire…

I’m standing in for Caron today, so today will be slightly different to a usual Friday…

So, we had the overnight result in the West Lancashire Parliamentary by-election and it wasn’t exactly one of the great Liberal Democrat by-election triumphs…

  • Ashley Dalton (Labour) – 14,068 votes (62.3%, +10.2%)
  • Mike Prendergast (Conservatives) – 5,742 votes (25.4%, -10.9%)
  • Jonathan Kay (Reform UK) – 994 votes (4.4%, +0.1%)
  • Jo Barton (Liberal Democrats) – 918 votes (4.1%, -0.8%)
  • Peter Cranie (Green) – 646 votes (2.9%, +0.5%)
  • Howling Laud Hope (Monster Raving Loony) – 210 votes (0.9%, new)

Firstly, thanks to Jo for flying the flag in a constituency where we are unrepresented …

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Four ways you can help us win Tiverton & Honiton

As you might be aware, there is a ridiculously important by-election going on in Tiverton and Honiton, in our former heartlands of the West Country.

More than that, we can win it and deliver the death knells to Boris Johnson’s premiership and get our country back from the quasi-mob outfit currently running the show.

However, to get a decent government of the United Kingdom back that doesn’t deport refugees to Rwanda, we badly need to get down and volunteer in Tiverton and Honiton.

Here are four ways you can help:

  1. Get down yourself, there are members willing to host volunteers, so your cost of

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North Shropshire: We’re using actual staples on our leaflets so this is serious


I’m just resting up before another blitz of Focii-ing in North Shropshire early this morning.

The constituency is similar to Brecon and Radnorshire in that you can drive for what seems like hours and still see orange posters, denoting that you are still in the constituency. – A vast and beautiful rural area with some wonderful towns.

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Guardian – vote Liberal Democrat in North Shropshire

It would be fair to say that the relationship between Liberal Democrats and the Guardian has been somewhat lukewarm for some time. The likes of Polly “that Liberal Democrat idea is very good, vote Labour” Toynbee have given us a thorough kicking for doing a bunch of things in coalition that Labour would have probably done had they not lost in 2010. But I digress…

Today’s Guardian editorial, headed “The Guardian view on a byelection test: Labour voters should back the Lib Dems”, is perhaps a sign that the pragmatists are at the editorial helm. In a forceful piece, they note;

But

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UPDATED – two North Shropshire Conservative Councillors defect

Well, well, well, what is happening to the Tories in North Shropshire? It is reported this morning that Anthony Allen, a Town Councillor in Market Drayton, has defected to Reclaim, who have claimed him as their first elected councillor.

Now, as a parish councillor myself, describing Mr Allen as a top Tory councillor, as Reclaim have done, is a bit like describing me as a senior figure in Suffolk local government, but it does give the impression of a Conservative campaign in disarray.

As reported by the Independent;

The 54-year-old cab company owner said his former party had “gone soft on illegal immigration,

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PHOTO FEATURE: Behind the scenes at Chesham & Amersham

Simon Foster has kindly permitted us to share his following photos from behind the scenes at Chesham & Amersham. All photos are All Rights Reserved by Simon Foster.

Went staking, found a Daisy

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A tale from Chesham & Amersham – double or nothing


All photos: All rights reserved by Simon Foster, used with kind permission

I’d never done stake boarding before on such a large scale. Yes, I’d put up the odd stake. So when the chance came to visit Chesham and Amersham, I thought I’d just pop in and show my face.

However, our by-election team doesn’t quite work like that.

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WATCH: Sarah Green is sworn into Parliament


It was a big occasion yesterday! After an announcement by Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Sir Ed Davey escorts in Sarah Green, who bows three times and then swears the oath of allegiance in English and Welsh. (Sarah is the second consecutive MP for Chesham and Amersham who is Welsh-born). She then signs the register and is congratulated by the Speaker, while a cheer goes up. Wonderful stuff!

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Why you should help our campaign in Batley and Spen

Now that Chesham and Amersham is triumphantly over, attention will turn to the by-election in Batley and Spen on July 1st. There has been plenty of discussion about the Tory vs Labour battle but not much about the excellent candidate standing for the Lib Dems, Tom Gordon.

Tom is a local man, born and raised in West Yorkshire, who is a Councillor in the neighbouring Borough of Wakefield – the first Lib Dem councillor there in a decade. With a background in biochemistry and public health, and a stint working as a health economics research assistant, he is well placed to understand why local residents are so fed up with a Labour Council that doesn’t care and a Tory Government who see Northern Labour voters as people they can bamboozle with empty promises.

Tom spent a considerable amount of time in Chesham and Amersham and, as he says:

I had life long Labour voters in Chesham and Amersham who were voting for us because Sarah and the campaign had a strong message and they knew what we stood for, whereas in Batley and Spen they say they don’t know what Labour locally, or Keir Starmer nationally, stand for.

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Going down to the wire at Chesham & Amersham

Today I again went to Chesham & Amersham to help Sarah Green and team. I helped to deliver targeted letters to residents in Great Missenden and Chalfont Saint Peter.

My task was greatly assisted by my excellent co-deliverers, Baroness (Liz) Barker and Mukta Patil from Chesham & Amersham Young Liberals. They both greatly helped in plotting our various routes and in making the task a great pleasure in the sunshine! The selfie above shows us with our suitably coloured conveyance!

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The Economist talks up Lib Dem revival in Chesham and Amersham

There is a buzz of excitement down in South Bucks. The Lib Dems are fighting hard in in the Chesham and Amersham by-election. Sarah Green, our Liberal Democrat candidate, is gaining ground. While not going as far as suggesting she will win, this weekend’s Economist makes much of the leafy commuter belt in South Bucks becoming more socially liberal as younger people move out of the capital.

We could win this by-election. Ways everyone can help are detailed below.

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Chesham and Amersham needs YOU

Maddi Crickmay, Liberal Democrat Youth and Student Development Officer and Shrewsbury Councillor Alex Wagner at Amersham party HQ today

I spent today helping Sarah Green‘s campaign at Amersham.

What a great day! I don’t think I have had such a beautiful delivery round since the heady days of Littleborough and Saddleworth in 1995.

Then, I had to walk several miles up to a farmhouse to deliver one leaflet. But it was blazing sunshine and the surroundings were idyllic – so I didn’t mind.

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Sheffield diary – the campaigning importance of Fry’s Chocolate Cream four packs

Laura Gordon in the Sheffield campaign HQ

Yesterday morning I caught the bus out to the HQ. After a most welcome cuppa, I packed up my rucksack and went off with a full load of leaflets and targeted envelopes.

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Taking a lead from the family friendly Sheffield campaign HQ

Politics and families don’t always go well together. Being active in politics, whether as a volunteer, team member or candidate often means spending time in the campaign headquarters. When you have a child with you, that often becomes a barrier that prevents you from taking part.

Here in Sheffield Hallam we have Laura Gordon as our PPC and she has a one year old little girl. That has prompted us to take a much more proactive approach to becoming a family friendly campaign HQ.

In the clerical room we have a playpen in the corner, with a playmat for newborns to lie on. In the canvass area, we have a little toddler sized table and chairs with a load of toys, books and colouring they can do. In the refreshment room we have a table for older kids to play Jenga or do colouring in too. We’ve put a changing mat in the ground floor bathroom and a high chair for feeding in the area between canvassing and clerical.

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Brecon diary epilogue: Chocks away, Nigel!



The Brexit party plane over Brecon and Radnorshire yesterday

After an early night on Wednesday, my alarm went off at 4:50am on Thursday. I successfully managed to switch it off, disenabling the “snooze” function. So, of course, I then went back to sleep and woke up at 5:25am, leaving myself exactly 30 seconds to get dressed and into the car to meet Kirsten Johnson, North Devon PPC and LDV colleague.

The Llandrindod Wells office team gave us an exceptionally well ordered and tightly-knit set of “Good morning” leaflets which we delivered very quickly. Only about seven dogs started barking.

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Good morning!

Good morning!

We were up at 5am to support Jane Dodds!

Please remember to come today to Brecon and/or Radnorshire if you can. If you can’t please do some phone knocking up.

Details are here.

Thanks!
Kirsten and Paul, LDV team in Llandrindod Wells

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Brecon diary: The rain stopped

I’m enjoying camping just outside Llandrindod Wells in beautiful surroundings. The photo below shows the first tent I have erected since I took my Duke of Edinburgh award training some 45 years ago! My “yellow peril” vehicle is just on the left hand side of the photo.

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Brecon diary: It’s not a proper election until you have a delivery injury

Liberal Democrat Voice team members Kirsten Johnson and Paul Walter in the Llandrindod Wells HQ office yesterday
Rain.

And more rain.

That was the hallmark of yesterday.

After a tentside Porridge Pot, I descended on the Llandrindod Wells HQ to find the place humming with activity.

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Brecon diary – a gorgeous holiday with delivery thrown in

Talgarth, Powys – What’s not to like?

I arrived at Brecon this morning. After parking, I wondered round to find the Lib Dem HQ (the whereabouts of which I vaguely remembered from my visit back in June).

As I was walking down the street, I was aware of a hubbub. There was the sound of people talking and generally great activity coming out of one shop front.

Well blow me down! It was the Lib Dem office in full swing as volunteers arrived to be given their marching orders.

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Highlighting the need for better broadband connectivity across Powys

If you haven’t already been to Brecon and Radnorshire to help, please do so as soon as you can. Details are the foot of this post.

Jane Dodds and team have been out in the sun in Presteigne. It’s very good to see some distinguished members of the House of Lords in Jane’s coterie:


We can win this by-election, but we need your help! Please come to this lovely constituency NOW!

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+++The six candidates standing at the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election

The River Wye near Builth Wells in the Brecon and Radnorshire Counsituency

The BBC reports that there are six candidates standing at the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.

As expected, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Green Party have, admirably, agreed not to stand candidates in order to have a united “Remain” candidate in the shape of Jane Dodds.

The six candidates are:

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If you’re not at Brecon and Radnorshire today, this is what you are missing….


And this:

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+++August 1st is date of Brecon and Radnorshire by-election – LDV video from the constituency

https://twitter.com/paulwalteruk/status/1144170404635979777?s=12

The government have just moved the writ for the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election – to occur on August 1st.

As I say in the video above, please come and help here as soon as you can! We can win this and it is a beautiful area to campaign in!

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“Sorry. I’m not a biker, I’m a Liberal” – Brecon campaign diary

Brecon and Radnorshire is an enormous constituency. By my reckoning it takes up about a seventh of Wales. Geographically, it is the largest constituency in Wales and England.

There are two HQs for the Brecon and Radnorshire campaign. The Brecon HQ is perhaps most accessible for those coming from the south of England. The HQ in Llandrindod Wells is probably a better bet for those coming from the north.

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