Davey: We won’t step aside for Labour in West Lancashire but…

Labour MP Rosie Cooper who has represented West Lancashire since 2005 has announced she is stepping down as an MP after 17 years to chair the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Speaking Kay Burley yesterday, Ed Davey paid tribute to Cooper and said the Lib Dems would not be stepping aside to give Labour a clear run.

What we don’t do is waste money putting it into elections where we are not convinced we can win. We target our resources. We will always give electors a choice. Of course we will have a candidate. That’s the democratic thing to do.

In the 2019 general election, Rosie Cooper took 52.1% of the vote with a majority of 8,366. The Lib Dems came fourth with 4.9%.

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  • If you do not make the effort we will suffer accordingly.

  • Another stonking win for the Tories yesterday at Coventry Sherborne, a previous marginal now seemingly safe for them. Things appear to have moved since the death of the Queen. Labour suffering.
    Similar swing at West Lancashire, Tory MP?

  • Ed is right, we should always stand a candidate, even if it looks likely that we can’t win. We should at the very least send out an election address using the freepost. We should also be reminding possible Tory voters that yet another Tory MP is not the best thing for the country. After all, we will want the Labour Party to be doing that at the next General Election in seats we can win and they can’t, as in 1997.

  • Theakes,
    I think the Stoke result counters the Coventry result, effectively a Labour gain from the Tories.
    Plus a Green gain from the Tories in leafy, affluent Sussex.
    Looking at one local by-election result hardly predicts the next general election outcome.

  • Andy is right ….I wouldn’t judge anything on a council by-election – or for that matter a parliamentary one .
    Spectacular they might be at the time . Come the GE they seem to revert back to the status quo…
    Even so polls can be wildly out at times…The 2017 GE poll of polls 48 hrs before polling stations closed, had the conservatives on a 60+ majority …They ended up losing their majority…

  • Jason Connor 23rd Sep '22 - 2:35pm

    The party really does need to put an effort into these labour facing seats. If the Lib Dems don’t bother it gets picked up by the Greens with their divisive policies, who are then are seen as the main challenger. A task force needs to be set up with a strategy on campaigning in labour held seats to offer voters hope and a progressive social liberal alternative. I would be more than happy to go up and support the candidate in West Lancashire or contribute financially when the details are announced.

  • @ Jason Connor, ” it gets picked up by the Greens with their divisive policies,”.

    Sorry, Jason, but in England, the Green MP, Caroline Lucas, seems to have a very good relationship with the Lib Dem parliamentary group, She sits with them on the Lib Dem bench, has attended and spoken at fringe events at the Lib Dem Conference, and was well received.

  • John Lib Dem 23rd Sep '22 - 4:53pm

    @David Raw – Caroline Lucas may be a good MP but the Green Party, on the whole, has completely lost the plot. Beyond some quite silly but under scrutinised policies, they have some very extreme and authoritarian activists. The party is currently being sued by three senior members (or ex-members in one instance) for discrimination – and in Scotland, the Green Party there, actually in government, are completely nuts.

    We should work with the Greens to an extent, but we shouldn’t be giving either them or Labour a completely free pass absolutely everywhere and in all circumstances. We do need a strategy to try and stop potential voters from needlessly drifting to them and to build at least a presence for the future in some of our desolate areas.

    In this by-election anyway, Ed Davey is right to talk about resources (obviously we have no chance whatsoever of winning), but seeing as Labour still managed to hold the seat quite comfortably in the Tory landslide of 2019 and the Tories nationally are well behind in the polls atm – if Labour were to somehow lose the seat that’s really their problem, not ours. We don’t owe them anything.

  • William Townsend 24th Sep '22 - 9:55am

    It is simple really, the LibDems must give voters a choice in every election but if we start attacking Labour in elections we cannot in a month of Sunday’s win how on earth can you expect them to back off in the seats we need to take from the Conservatives? Resources are limited and they need to be targeted sensibly. Unless or until we get a Proportional voting system it will always be the case. It strikes me that people pushing for us to challenge Labour hard in seats like West Lancashire would get seriously annoyed if Labour challenged us hard in seats they cannot hope to win. You can’t have your cake and eat it too! We get a proportional voting system and then the gloves are off in all elections, but not before alas.

  • Jason Connor 24th Sep '22 - 4:19pm

    You’re not really giving people hope though who want a progressive alternative to labour. That’s how seats like Bermondsey and Brent were won in the past despite what you may think. Labour put a lot of effort in terms of resources, leaflets canvassing etc into the last 3 by-elections Lib Dems won from the conservatives except for shadow cabinet visits. So your penultimate point is already happening. It is rather patronising to suggest that voters only want a binary choice between Labour or Conservative. The Greens don’t seem think so and are close to overhauling Labour in my area with their divisive politics at local elections. If you look at the West Lancashire result the LDs came a credible 3rd but from a very low base. At least the Party should be maintaining or building on that third, not just giving up and giving in to Labour. And one thing is for sure, you won’t be getting PR from a future Labour government, those with power in that party are dead against it.

  • Denis Loretto 24th Sep '22 - 4:32pm

    Like William Townsend says. No-brainer.

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