Category Archives: Parliamentary by-elections

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

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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