Come and taste the coffee

Some of the local election candidates in Kingston upon Thames (plus an MP)

I have been rather quiet on Lib Dem Voice recently – and for very good reason. Two high profile election campaigns having taken up a great deal of my time and attention.

In last year’s snap General Election I headed up the digital campaign to get Ed Davey re-elected in Kingston & Surbiton. We developed new ways of working, made excellent use of many of our new members, and created a social media campaign that has been quoted as a model for other local parties to follow. And this May we intend to take back control of Kingston Council, having lost it to the Tories four years ago. With a longer lead time, and all the experience we had gained in 2017, we have been able to plan a full digital campaign, which we have never before attempted for local elections.

So that’s my excuse!

But I am editing LDV today, so I am shamelessly using this platform to call for support. And it is not just for Kingston. In the three South West London boroughs of Sutton, Kingston and Richmond the Lib Dems are all aiming to take control from the Conservatives (or hold on to it, in Sutton’s case) in May. We want to see that yellow banana on the map again. Since last June we now hold three of the five constituencies that make up the three boroughs, and we lost Richmond Park by just 45 votes, so it appears the voters like us.

Of course, many of you are entrenched in your own local elections, but if you are having a fallow year, or if you are in a bit of a black hole and would like to find out what (hopefully) success feels like, or if you’d simply like to play truant, then do come along and help. We can offer accommodation, as well as good company, coffee and cake, and some decent pubs.

This is how you can contact us:

Kingston: Sapphire Bleach on [email protected]

Richmond: Alice Bridges-Westcott on [email protected]

Sutton: Drew Heffernan on [email protected]

It goes without saying that we are fielding a full slate in all three boroughs – but with an interesting, and possibly unique, exception. In six of the wards in Richmond we are putting up just two candidates and the Greens are standing one (all wards elect three councillors).


* 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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This entry was posted in Campaign Corner and News.


  • Louise Harris 11th Apr '18 - 10:57am

    I’ll be visiting my Lib Dem home weekend after next, really looking forward to seeing you all 💛

  • nigel hunter 11th Apr '18 - 11:25am

    I will be ‘mucking in’ in my local area this election. Whilst I am on, all this talk of a new centralist party, WE ARE IT AND PEOPLE MUST BE TOLD SO.

  • Small Correction from a pedant: We hold 3 of the 5 constituencies. Sutton & Cheam and RP are Conservative.

  • Interesting about the pact with the Greens in Richmond.

    If I am not mistaken, the only Liberal Democrat councillor within the constituency of Richmond Park & North Kingston is in the ward of Ham. If I remember during my time canvassing for the 2016 byelection, Ham was an excellent ward with high level of support for Sarah. I’d have thought the Liberal Democrats would have reasonable confidence in winning all 3 seats in that ward, especially since the lower turnout at a local election compared to general election tends to benefit the Liberal Democrats. But I guess local strategists will have their reasons.

    I notice in my own borough, where the Greens put up a full slate in 2014 and were second place in nearly half the wards, are only managing about half the number of candidates required this time around (no pact as far as I am aware). If they are struggling in my borough (which has a lot of historic Green support, and was where Jenny Jones was first elected as a councillor before entering the House of Lords), they must be struggling everywhere.

  • CQ – my silly mistake. Now corrected.

  • I’d been wondering what was going on with our candidates in Richmond – reassuring to see it was a strategic decision. Surprised at agreeing to a pact in Ham though, we held all 3 seats prior to the last election – presumably the Greens considered that ward non-negotiable?

  • Sitting at 7% in the polls, it must be defaf.

  • Alex Macfie 12th Apr '18 - 4:47pm

    jay: this is about Kingston, not nationally. and it’s about campaigning on the ground, not a couple of thousand people answering an abstract question on how they’ll vote in a general election.

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