Category Archives: Parliamentary by-elections

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

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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Brecon campaign: Mountaineers welcome!


I knew I’d walked into a very geographically distinctive campaign this morning. The Brecon HQ gurus showed me the position of my delivery rounds using a large “Mountain Map” on the wall.

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VIDEO: The LDV team is helping now at Brecon and Radnorshire – please join us asap!

As you can see from the above video, I am Brecon and Radnorshire, busy helping Jane Dodds and her team over the next few days.

We can win this one. Please get yourself down here as soon as possible. We need help now. Help given early in the campaign is inordinately important.

There are two HQs – one in the south at Brecon and one in the north at Llandrindod Wells. They are both open every day from 10am until 7pm:

Brecon HQ: 26 High Street, Brecon, LD3 7LE

Llandrindod HQ: Haslemere, Park Crescent, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 6AB

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Three new things you can do in the next six weeks

In Brecon and Radnorshire, we present you with a potential number of new campaigning experiences.

One is campaigning in a rural constituency covering the entire Brecon Beacons with endless accommodation for Liberal Democrats. A rural constituency with Young Farmers Clubs Rallies (for those aged between 10 and 26) with sheep shearing competitions, singing and dancing opportunities, and the infamous tug of war between warring clubs. A Welsh rural constituency with Eisteddfods for children and adults – competitions in the Welsh and English in recitation, choirs, duets and a unique Welsh cultural activity called Cerdd Dant. A Welsh rural constituency built …

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+++Lib Dem vote quadruples at Peterborough. Labour wins while dumbstruck Farage leaves hastily by back door

Many congratulations to Beki Sellick and her team on nearly quadrupling the Lib Dem vote share at Peterborough. We won 12.3% of the vote – up from 3.3% at the 2017 by-election.

Here’s the full result from yesterday’s parliamentary by-election, following the recall of Labour’s Fiona Onasanya:

There was much campaign hoo-haa from the Brexit party about them gaining their first MP at this election. They failed, despite all the publicity surrounding their European election performance.

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Welsh Lib Dems Announce Ryan Jones as Candidate for Newport West

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have announced Ryan Jones as their candidate for the Newport West Parliamentary by-election on April 4th.

Ryan Jones, 32, lives in The Gaer, having been brought up in Cwmbran. He runs his own construction business in Newport employing 30 people in the city. As a local employer, Ryan is very keen on supporting young people who aren’t fulfilled within the traditional workforce.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Candidate for Newport West Ryan Jones said:

It’s an honour to be selected as the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for this Newport West by-election.

I look forward to opposing our Conservative UK Government, a government

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Paddy rallies the troops at Lewisham

It was great to spend a day campaigning for Lucy Salek in Lewisham East yesterday. It was my second time helping the campaign, greatly assisted by an off-peak Travelcard, which allowed fulsome use of the train, tube and bus. Tragically, there was a fatal incident on the line yesterday around Hither Green and Lee stations, meaning that I ended up, to my surprise, in New Eltham, at one point.

Anyway, our enormous HQ was brimming with volunteers all day. A hive of industry. There were people there from as far afield as Falmouth. It was particularly good to join in the traditional Blue envelope addressing work!

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Lewisham East – more news from the frontline

Every by-election has a tipping point. You either have the momentum, or you do not. I know I was closely involved in the Bermondsey by-election, where we proved that one of Labour’s fiefdoms could be demolished by Liberal activism. I must tell you that this weekend the Leegate Centre had the buzz of a Party whose Liberal philosophy, which fights against Labour state control or Tory neoliberalism, is unstoppable.

Liberal Democrat activists were dedicated and inspired.

I spent Saturday afternoon on the doorstep in a former Conservative ward. I can tell you that most began as undecided but were happy to listen …

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++Copeland by-election – Lib Dems more than double vote share and move up to third place, beating UKIP

Congratulations to Rebecca Hanson and the team for an excellent showing at the Copeland by-election, caused by the resignation of Labour’s Jamie Reed. Our vote share more than doubled from 3.5% at the 2015 general election to 7.25%. We moved up from fourth place to third – beating UKIP.

Dramatically, the Tories won the by-election in this normally rock-solid Labour seat. Psephologist John Curtice told the BBC that this was the biggest gain, in share of the vote, by a governing party in a byelection since the Hull North byelection in 1966.

Here is the result in full, plus some bar charts from the Press Association’s Ian Jones:

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++Stoke on Trent by-election – Lib Dem vote share more than doubles

Congratulations to Zulfiqar Ali and the team at Stoke-on-Trent for more than doubling our share of the vote at the by-election caused by Tristram Hunt’s resignation.

Labour held the seat.

After the result was announced, Liberal Democrat president Sal Brinton said from Stoke:

The Potteries decided there was no need to have UKIP’s official leader in parliament when UKIP’s unofficial leader is already in Number 10, pursuing a hard Brexit. We would have done even better but for many voters, drawn to the Lib Dems, who felt they just couldn’t risk being represented by a UKIP MP, so reluctantly backed Labour. Paul Nuttall called this seat Brexit Central but it turned out to be the end of the line for UKIP.

There is also little comfort for Labour, whose vote share has more than halved here in less than two decades. This is on top of an incredibly tough night for them in Copeland. It shows that if we are to turn out this divided and uncaring Conservative Brexit government, the Liberal Democrats will be the ones making the progressive case to keep Britain open, tolerant and united. We started from a low base here but our vote is picking up and this is yet another sign that the Lib Dem fight-back is on.

Here is the result in full plus some sexy bar charts tweeted by the Press Association’s Ian Jones:

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Last weekend – big push for Sarah Olney in Richmond Park

kingston-office-montage

Yesterday I spent all day at Richmond Park. In the morning I was delivering Gazette newspapers in New Malden. Then in the afternoon I joined our very hard-working clerical team in the Kingston office. I bumped into LDV colleague, Mary Reid, who has a crucial top secret role at the Kingston office, which she fulfils every evening. I could tell you what this role involves, but I’d have to eat you afterwards.

It was great to see the streets teeming with orange diamond posters and busy LibDem volunteers.

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‘Within 48 hours of Goldsmith’s standing down on Tuesday, the Lib Dems had leafleted the entire constituency’ – Guardian

richmond parkThe Guardian have a great article which liberally quotes Sarah Olney, the Lib Dems’ “prospective candidate” for Richmond Park and has this passage:

Within 48 hours of Goldsmith’s standing down on Tuesday, the Lib Dems had leafleted the entire constituency and were trying to find a bigger office from which to mastermind their campaign.

Nassar Kessell, a party activist who was out on the streets on Friday, admitted that Goldsmith, who fought an unsuccessful campaign to become mayor of London earlier this year, was popular locally. But he was still beatable.

“There’s no doubt that people like him. He’s been the MP for a very long time. But there is certainly a part of the constituency that is upset about the issues he’s championed – Brexit, for example. We can absolutely provide the alternative.”

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The David Rendel Award – helping young people to get involved in by-election campaigns

David RendelDavid Rendel was MP for Newbury from 1993 to 2005, winning the seat in a famous by-election with the largest majority ever attained by a Liberal Democrat. A campaigner of renowned energy, he was greatly admired both locally and nationally. At the time of his death in 2016, he still inspired huge loyalty within and beyond the Newbury and West Berkshire (NWB) Local Party and area. One of David’s key strengths was his ability to inspire other people, particularly young people, to become actively involved in politics.

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Sal Brinton congratulates Labour’s Tracy Brabin on being elected in Jo Cox’s old seat

There was another parliamentary by-election last night. Batley and Spen in Yorkshire was contested to elect an MP to replace Jo Cox, who was murdered going about her MP’s duties in June this year.

The Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Conservatives did not fight the by-election, as a mark of respect to the late Jo Cox. Labour’s Tracy Brabin won with 17,506 votes – a majority of 16,537.

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Witney: great result – thanks team!

Well, that was a great result at Witney. Congratulations to Liz Leffman who was an astonishingly brilliant candidate.

This was the biggest swing from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems since the Winchester by-election in 1997.

We moved from 4th to 2nd. In 2015 the Guardian described the 25,155 Tory majority at Witney as “ultra safe”. Liz and team reduced that majority to just 5,702 with a very high turnout for a by-election – 47%.

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Witney scale swing to Lib Dems would wipe out Conservative majority

The huge swing to the Liberal Democrats of 19.3% per cent would wipe out Theresa May’s majority and hand 26 seats from the Conservatives to Tim Farron’s party. The swing rivals many that were seen in famous by-election wins under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy.

Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

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+++Witney result: Biggest Con to Lib Dem swing since the 1997 Winchester by-election.

Con 17,313
Lib Dem Liz 11,611 😃
Labour 5,765
UKIP 1354
Green 1363

CON: 45.1% (-15.1)
LDEM: 30.2% (+23.5)
LAB: 15.0% (-2.2)
GRN: 3.5% (-1.5)
UKIP: 3.5% (-5.6)

Turnout 47%

19.3% swing from the Tories to the Lib Dems.

The Greens and UKIP lost their deposits.

The Tory majority was slashed from 25,155 of “ultra safe” for the Tories to 5,702!

Lib Dems rise from 4th to 2nd.

Via Neil Fawcett’s Live Facebook broadcast, Liz Leffman said:

This is a really great result. Thank you to everyone who helped in any way. This is a beginning for us – we can still go on and do even better.

You can read the 2015 result here.

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Liz Leffman gets 11,611 votes in Witney

Liz got just over 30% of the vote.

Con 17,313
Lib Dem Liz 11,611 😃
Labour 5,765
UKIP 1354
Green 1363

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Witney turnout estimated at 47%

So much for the “low turnout” that was forecast earlier!

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