Who will be the Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor?

Yesterday London Region chair Jonathan Fryer outlined the timetable for selecting the party’s London Assembly and Mayor candidates. But who will be in the running to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London?

As previously covered, Lembit Opik has publicly declared his intention to go for the selection. Regular readers of this site will have seen how controversial that is amongst many Liberal Democrat members (along with other commenters on this site). He has some keen fans along with many ardent critics. The number of fans of his Mayor selection bid page on Facebook has moved up only slightly over the last week, to 185 at the time of writing.

City HallAlthough no-one else has declared they are running for Mayor yet, there are several other names which frequently come up. Chatting to members around London in the last few weeks, many have said how, were it not for the party being in coalition, they would have liked to see Lynne Featherstone or Sarah Teather be the candidate. With both being ministers that is firmly off the agenda.

Susan Kramer’s run for Mayor in 2000 is the candidature remembered the most fondly by most people who have seen all three Lib Dem Mayor campaigns, but it would be a return to her past. Having been an MP in the interim, Susan Kramer would at least have a reason to argue why she might be a more successful Mayor candidate second time round. That would be a challenge too for Brian Paddick, who has a CV well suited for the role of Mayor and a record of taking on tabloid newspapers which are unpopular with Liberal Democrat activists. (He has sued the Mail for libel successfully and is currently one of those involved in taking legal action against the News of the World over phone hacking allegations.) With a distant third place last time, however, he would have to find a convincing answer to the question, “Why do you think you would do much better this time round?”

Leaving aside Guido’s excitement about Tim Campbell, the more interesting and far more likely high profile candidate would be Floella Benjamin. Recently appointed to the House of Lords, she has an impressive track record in educational and charity work aside from the memories of her as one of the country’s most popular children’s TV presenters. Relatively new to prominence in the party, her main challenge would be to persuade many who know of her TV work that she would also make an effective Liberal Democrat candidate. Many of those who have met her at Liberal Democrat events have come away enthused about her ability.

One question all of the actual runners will face as they emerge is, “Are you serious about trying to win?” For many activists, an enthusiastic “yes” to that question will in fact be off-putting, as the party’s chances of gaining seats on the London Assembly are much higher than those of winning the Mayor contest. But would a campaign whose headline figure isn’t upbeat about winning end up doing even worse?

Either way, the smart candidate will position themselves as an effective member of a team of candidates rather than as someone who is just about wanting to win votes in the Mayor contest.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in London and Selection news.
Advert

38 Comments

  • An advantage to having Lembit Öpik as the candidate would be that he’s much more well-known outside the party than the other potential candidates. Based on his reputation, which I’m unsure about, that might be a good or a bad thing, but if Boris and Ken are both standing for the other parties again, having someone well-known would be a bonus.

  • Wasn’t Helen Duffet standing? (Sorry, old twitter “rumour”) 😉

  • paul barker 6th Sep '10 - 12:03pm

    The point you make about activists not wanting a candidate who actually wants to win says a lot about our crippling lack of ambition. If we are going to take advantage of our place in Government we need to act as though we beleive in 3-Party politics.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 6th Sep '10 - 12:18pm

    The more interesting and relevant question is what if anything will be said about second preferences?

  • Why do I get the impression that Lembit is being “dissed” here – If people voted for Boris, then there is no real reason why people don’t vote for Lembit – they are both “larger than life” characters, and when they get down to the real nitty gritty, they can surprise you!

    Just my ten penneth – worthy of thought….

  • @jmb there is a difference, Boris makes jokes, lembit is a joke.
    He has repeatedly shown exceptionally poor judgement, most recently taking s job with an Iraqi tv station.

  • I would be very unhappy with Paddick as the candidate following his claim that he gave his second preference vote to Lindsay German in 2008.

  • The ideal mayoral candidate is one who, if they don’t win, at least presents a strong positive image of the party, and helps us increase our GLA representation and profile in London as a result. Susan Kramer was an excellent in every way, not least because she understood this and punched well above her weight for the party as a whole.

    From that perspective, I’m very impressed by the reports I hear about Floella Benjamin. On a personal level I like Lembit a lot, but it seems to me that Floella would bring a lot more to the party.

  • Chris Greaves 6th Sep '10 - 2:28pm

    Two points:
    1. We need a big name candidate with personality, who is known by the public. I’m therefore with Floella or Lembit. With Ken and Boris the likely opponents, how else can we catch and hold the public’s attention?
    2. We also need somebody who really wants to win. In my own ward, we lost a very good activist because following the election, Nick Clegg “acted like all the other politicians” and took us into government. If that is happening in my ward, it must be happening all around the country. Paul Barker made the point well in his post above. We have to have ambition! Politics is about winning power to be able to implement policies for the benefit of the people – nothing more and nothing less. Yet, if certain of our membership are upset about us being in office and actually implementing our policies, we may as well pack up and go home! If our Mayoral candidate does not really, really want to win, then why bother? We have to want to win. To those who want otherwise, the message is quite simple: “we all know that ‘www’ stands for world wide web; but it also stands for ‘wistful won’t work’!

  • paul barker 6th Sep '10 - 3:09pm

    It all comes down to what sort of Party we are. For a minor party like the Greens, having the same person as head of the Assembly list & Mayoral candidate makes perfect sense. If we really want to move from being 3rd to 2nd or 1st then we have to fight major Elections as though we beleive we can win. Given the personal nature of the job we need a “name”.
    Ken, Boris, Oona, Lembit or Floella; not Susan Im afraid.

  • Paul McKeown 6th Sep '10 - 3:12pm

    I agree with Dominic. The Liberal Democrats need a candidate who would give a good impression of the party, which precludes Lembit Opik. It is possible for someone to be well known and yet lack respect. If Opik was selected, I don’t think I would even bother to vote.

    As for the Labour comment asking about transfers, assuming that the Lib Dems put forward a sensible candidate, then my vote will probably be 1. LD 2. Green, knowing full well that the Green candidate is likely to be eliminated before transfers take place, but that will be my own little protest at the blatant stupidity of the Supplementary Vote system, which limits transfers to one, presumably in a desperate attempt to reduce the influence of any party other than Labour or the Conservatives..

  • Alex Macfie 6th Sep '10 - 5:27pm

    @toryboysnevergrowup: Nothing will be said about second preferences. The Lib Dems have not made recommendations for second preferences in previous London Mayoral elections, and there is no reason why they should start doing so now. Unless I’m very much mistaken, the Lib Dems have no agreement with any other party for the GLA.

    What’s most important for the Lib Dems in the Mayoral election is the Lib Dem candidate. For this, I’m not really in favour of ‘celeb’ candidates. It’s unfortunate that the Mayoral system encourages such candidates, but it does not mean that we should take part in such nonsense. Caroline Pidgeon has been mentioned, and I think she’d be an excellent candidate.

  • I know he isn’t interested, and is focused on winning Oxford West back, but I’d love someone like Evan Harris.

    You can agree or disagree with his individual ideas (I agree FWIW) but we need somebody who isn’t afraid to speak out and say things like they are. It’s continuing theme when I talk to people that they perceive the LibDems as “wishy washy” fence sitters. Someone competitive and forthright in the Harris mold would be just the ticket for a high profile, personality job like this.

  • The nominations have opened and Lembit’s campaign team have been working for several months to ensure that he is nominated and that he has the confidence of the party. The party must recognise that if Lembit is our candidate we can put together a strategy to win this election which will not be feasible with the other candidates mentioned to date. Primarily we need to recognise that this is an AV/SV election. This means that if we can come second in the first round we have a credible chance to win this election. The second place candidate will probably recieve 600,000 votes therefore we need about 300,000 additional votes over and above our core vote to win. We have put together a concrete plan as to how those votes can be found but we will need the party behind Lembit for this to work. As well as mobilising the core Liberal vote Lembit can reach out to East European voters who constitute a large proportion of the total potential electorate and could vote in significant numbers for the first time in this election. Additionally hard work could pull out more of the voters who supported us in the general election. Having a strategy does not guarantee success but it’s an essential first step. We have succeeded with our media campaign at shortening the odds on Lembit winning to 22-1, and the Lib Dems are 12-1 on Paddy Power. We need to continue this momentum to build a credible campaign.

    The issue of party unity is key. Behind Lembit 4 London are loyal party members who have been involved with the party for a long while. They are councillors and activists rather than MP’s and many are young but they are committed to Lembit, the Liberal Democrat party and to the values of liberalism We believe in and understand the need for unity. Although we are aware that there are ‘safe’ choices only Lembit has a chance of beating Ken/Oona and Boris. Politics has an element of unpredictability and having Lembit in the race would give us a good chance of taking advantage of events. The problem with the other candidates mentioned is that they don’t appear to want to do it or believe that they can win. We need a candidate who is fully committed. We need to work with the talent that we have and fashion a campaign that can challenge Labour and the Conservatives. That’s why we should rally behind Lembit and commit to an attempt at using his unquestionable profile – which still probably exceeds our leader in terms of spontaneous recognition – and which creates a generally positive impression outside the Westminster bubble.

    The divisive nature of Lembit’s profile is part of his appeal. Everyone has a point of view! We are in the process of contacting key figures including opponents to resolve their opposition. We are reaching out to all sections of the party. Lembit is committed to being a team player, and he won’t be any different now.

    Lembit adds “I’ve read Ed’s comments above and I agree with him. I’m keen to do this job, and anyone who looks at London for more than 5 seconds can see that my profile is going to deliver a good return in the London arena. I’m not going to write a big “sell” here, but I expect people to be grown up about all this. If members are genuinely liberal, then we’re in business.

    If the party leadership interefere, that’s not acceptable to me, and, I hope, to those who actually see the benefit of putting a bit of vim and verve to the mayoral campaign, with a view to winning. If the membership prefer someone else, I’ll respect it. Let’s have a fair fight, and see what happens. On those terms, I’ll happily accept the outcome and so should everyone else.”

    Ed Joyce
    Lembit 4 London

  • One has to admire Lembit’s energy; but unfortunately it’s syphoning off enthusiasm and committment which ought to be harnessed by a candidate who is known by the public as more than a chat-show buffoon.I’m afraid running Lembit as a London candidate could damage us nationally.
    As for the CENTRAL (not Eastern) European vote mentioned above, it’s nice to see people waking up to its existence after all this time. In this year’s municipal elections, we managed just one Polish candidate, in Ealing.To be convincing, we need to support the Liberal Democrat Friends of Poland much more energetically if we want to appeal to that community en masse.
    If there are Polish voters in your ward/constituency, why not join the LibDem Friends of Poland Group on LibDem ACT for starters, and find out ways in which they could help you make contact with Polish voters?.

  • Out of interest Ed why does Lembit always add an “add” to any postings made that promote his standing for Mayor?

    Can I suggest that in his own name Lembit writes his own article for LDV on why he wants to be Mayor? I am sure the editors would snap him up. At the moment though all we ever seem to hear from are his representatives and in what will be an internal Party election that , to me at least, appears arrogant of the man.

  • John Fraser 7th Sep '10 - 11:10am

    @Smcg … tell me motre about this Iraqi TV job that Lembit has got ? Are yiu objecting simply because it is Iraq or for some other reason. ?

  • Matthew Huntbach 7th Sep '10 - 1:21pm

    Paul Barker

    The point you make about activists not wanting a candidate who actually wants to win says a lot about our crippling lack of ambition

    Bollocks.

    In most of those places where we are winning now, we did it by carefully using our resources, targetting what we could win and not wasting them where we couldn’t. In this way, we grew and could then start winning what previously we couldn’t.

    The tactic of concentrating our resources on the GL Assembly is very sensible. A good team there can be the basis for a serious attempt at the Mayor next time.

    But …

  • toryboysnevergrowup 7th Sep '10 - 5:20pm

    @ Alex Macfie – “The Lib Dems have not made recommendations for second preferences in previous London Mayoral elections, and there is no reason why they should start doing so now. ”

    I can see a rather obvious reason – and I would be very surprised if the Deputy Prime Minister were not to be asked the question. And I can also imagine the follow up if he answered as you did. I think one thing the LibDems are going to find out very soon in this age of “new politics” is that the luxury of deciding who you do business (and the terms for such business) with until after the election will no longer be available. That is unless you want to commit electoral suicide. If you look at Continental Europe you will see a similar pattern.

  • Matthew Huntbach 7th Sep '10 - 5:38pm


    The nominations have opened and Lembit’s campaign team have been working for several months to ensure that he is nominated and that he has the confidence of the party. The party must recognise that if Lembit is our candidate we can put together a strategy to win this election which will not be feasible with the other candidates mentioned to date.

    and here we have it – this shows how LUDICROUS the executive mayor system is, and also how much it is against what are, or at least, what used to be all about.The argument put for Mr Öpik is not that he would be any good at the job, but that he is someone people will recognise because they have seen him in the telly. Mr Öpik has demonstrated no talent at all except for a self-promotional ability. If he had any other talent, Ed here who is campaigning for it would have mentioned it, but he hasn’t.

    A large part of the Mayor of London job is transport management, so what we REALLY need here is someone who has demonstrated talent in that. But the mayoral system won’t give us that. Those arguing for the mayoral system say that it is about “spreading power” but it quite evidently is not. It is about restricting power to one person,, and as we have seen here becoming that one person is thought to involve being someone who is recognised as being on the telly and having a big-mouth in-your-face personality. O tempora o mores (I am trying to please Boris) what has happened to true democracy – the idea that people band together to govern themselves, that the humble can rise to great things through the mechanisms of democracy?

    I do not want to be in a party which joins in this religion of the worship of celebrity against the old-fashioned democratic values which led me to become a Liberal in the first place. What inspires me is the idea of ordinary people showing their talent through being involved in mass membership political parties and through being councillors and the like, and in that way rising to important positions.

    Here is a demonstrations of all that has gone wrong in politics in this country that people here, who suppose themselves to be good liberals, argue that we should put winning by putting forward a useless buffoon whose every move in recent years has demonstrated his bad judgement before either proposing someone with real talent for the job, or putting a real case against the semi-fascist idea of a mayor in the first place.

    How noble and liberal it would be instead to make a principled stand against the cult of celebrity. Well, I’d rather lose and keep my principles than win by throwing them away.

  • Matthew Huntbach 7th Sep '10 - 5:51pm

    toryboysnevergrowup

    I think one thing the LibDems are going to find out very soon in this age of “new politics” is that the luxury of deciding who you do business (and the terms for such business) with until after the election will no longer be available.

    What luxury? We had no choice, the general election results in 2010 meant we had to do business with the Tories in agreeing to support their government. That does not mean we have to do business with them in any other way. It was for the good of the country that we agreed to form a coalition because any other such arrangement would have been unstable and so damaged our country; economy. We did that knowing we would likely to be damaged by the arrangement, as we have been. But in the end that is what politics should be about – putting country before self interest. I would not expect what is now called a “Tory” to recognise that, though the old-style and long-dead real Tories would have done so. The new Tories are the party of spivs and traitors, tax evaders and the like who would flee our country in its time of need if they are asked to give – and asked to give much less than those who laid down their lives for our country in the past. So of course the new Tories recognise nothing except personal self-interest, they lack even the connections in the brain necessary to think beyond that.

  • Alex Macfie 7th Sep '10 - 9:08pm

    @toryboysnevergrowup: The coalition agreement applies to the government and Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster. I think any Lib Dem figure, from the leader down, would have to answer a question about 2nd prefs for London mayor in the terms that I have. Clegg would be in some trouble if he did *not* do so — imagine the furore within the party if he answered such a question in terms that suggested that there would be a deal over 2nd preferences when no such deal had been agreed by the party. There’s nothing controversial or unusual about stating that whatever agreement the governing parties may have come to at the national government level does not automatically apply at any other levels of representation. For example, Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies has called the European Parliament a “coalition-free zone”, noting particularly that there the two parties belong to different transnational party blocs between which there is no special relationship.
    http://chrisdaviesmep.blogspot.com/2010/05/coalition-free-zone.html
    And there are Lib-Lab and even Con-Lab coalitions (as well as other conbination) in operation at local government level. What happens in central government does not automatically apply elsewhere. If it did, then my local borough Council would become a one-party state (all Councillors are either Conservative or Lib Dem).

    And we did NOT have a choice about whom to help form a government after the last election: as Matthew H has noted, we were forced into it by the electoral arithmetic. At the next election, the arithmetic might force us into a Lib-Lab coalition. Or it might give an overall majority to either Con or Lab, in which case the Lib Dems would have to stay out of government (even if we were offered seats in the government by the winning party, it would be incredibly stupid to accept under such circumstances). [Or we could win enough seats to govern on our own, of course…]

  • Alex Macfie 7th Sep '10 - 10:45pm

    @toryboysnevergrowup: Nick Clegg has already said explicitly that there will be no electoral pacts at the next general election. How would ruling out an electoral arrangement over an election for a municipal leader be a problem?

  • toryboysnevergrowup 8th Sep '10 - 12:00pm

    If the LibDems did not have any choices in whether or not to join a coalition, who their coalition partners were or which policies the coalition was to pursue – then perhaps you could explain why it took so long after the election to reach an agreement.?

    My main point, which is a simple one, is that if we are in a new age of coalitions the electorate are going to be a lot more demanding before the election about knowing ALL parties attitudes to coalitions and coalition partners before the elections take place. The LibDems and the Tories may have entered into one post election back room stitch up – with NIck Clegg now having said that he (silently) agreed with the policy of immediate public expenditure accounts at the time when his Party was saying the opposite to the electorate – but you will not be allowed a second opportunity. Post election coalition agreements quite rightly have a dirty reputation on much of the Continent. Openness and transparency with the electorate is all I’m asking for – although I appreciate that some LibDems may prefer the status quo.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 8th Sep '10 - 12:03pm

    “The new Tories are the party of spivs and traitors, tax evaders and the like who would flee our country in its time of need if they are asked to give – and asked to give much less than those who laid down their lives for our country in the past.”

    Is this a reference to Philip Green? What happened to the LibDem proposals on tax avoidance?

  • Matthew Huntbach 8th Sep '10 - 1:25pm

    toryboysnevergrowup

    If the LibDems did not have any choices in whether or not to join a coalition, who their coalition partners were or which policies the coalition was to pursue – then perhaps you could explain why it took so long after the election to reach an agreement.?

    Because the situation could not have been predicted in advance. The May 2010 general election shows us, which was not appreciated before, that what is possible in a coalition depends on exact circumstances. The coalition we have now came down to a number of factors. Most obviously the arithmetic of the newly elected House of Commons, but also the unexpected weakness of the Liberal Democrats because their support had dropped rather than grown during the election campaign so they were less able to be forceful in negotiations as they would be the main victims of another general election called early, the general feeling in the country that it was “time for a change” making a coalition involving Labour less viable, Labour’s own unwillingness to enter a coalition, and the feeling that we were in a time of economic crisis so a government without a firm majority would be particularly damaging.

    It took time for people to think this through and so reject as unviable all the alternatives except what we have now.


    My main point, which is a simple one, is that if we are in a new age of coalitions the electorate are going to be a lot more demanding before the election about knowing ALL parties attitudes to coalitions and coalition partners before the elections take place.

    Indeed, yes, this is one of the big lessons from May 2010. For decades, the media have been putting it as if the only question worth asking is to the Liberal Democrats and their predecessors “what party would you go with in a hung Parliament?”. Now we can see that it is just as important to ask the other parties about their attitudes to a potential coalition situation.


    Openness and transparency with the electorate is all I’m asking for – although I appreciate that some LibDems may prefer the status quo.

    Sure, but this is made more difficult by immature press coverage. Many of us in the Liberal Democrats having been thinking about this for years and years, but there is so much that it has not been able to get a serious discussion about to a large extent because all the press can do is throw this “which would you jump into bed with?” question. On expenditure cuts, it is very unfortunate that no party was willing to be completely honest about what would really be needed. All the parties knew that if they were, they would lose votes to those who were not.


    The LibDems and the Tories may have entered into one post election back room stitch up

    That is what Parliament is for, that is why we have elections. We elect people to represent us, and those people then work together to try and form a government agreeable to the majority. I really am sorry that so many people use pejorative language like “stitch up” to describe the basic mechanisms of representative democracy.


    with NIck Clegg now having said that he (silently) agreed with the policy of immediate public expenditure accounts at the time when his Party was saying the opposite to the electorate

    That is a matter for Nick Clegg and his party to sort out between themselves. The Liberal Democrats are a democratic party, therefore its members choose its leader to work for them and not vice versa. Anyone who lied to get a job is, of course, subject to instant dismissal. However, anyone taking on a job knows there may be unexpected things coming up once they are in it, and a mature attitude accepts that. If a contractor gives me a quote, and then on doing the job comes across problems he said he had not expected and which mean he must charge more, I must judge whether he was honest in that or not, and he must convince me, If I think he is dishonest – that he knew all along about the problems but did not tell me in order to get the contract – I may choose to ask another contractor to give me a new quote which bears in mind the new situation.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 8th Sep '10 - 2:23pm

    Matthew

    One problem I have with your analysis is that during the last election I got the impression that most of the electorate accepted the need for their to be cuts – and the much of the debate revolved around the extent of such cuts and their timing. The parties that got the most votes were against the deficit being reduced over the life of the next Parliment and did not want the cuts to take place until growth was established. Now look at what we actually got?

    Is this really respecting the electorate or putting the interests of the country first? Given that as you say LibDems have been thinking about this for years and years (and yet yu argue that the GE result could not be forseen?) I would have expected a rather better solution than you appear to be be proposing at present. I do of course have my own partisan political views, but just thinking as someone who believes in democracy there is something of a deficit here which needs to be addressed. There may also be some Tories who do not agree with some of the things that Cameron has given away without any previous notice that he was prepared to do so.

    Getting back to you original question I still don’t see why the LIbDems (or the other parties) cannot say who they would prefer to see as Mayor if a LibDem does not get elected and who they will work with in the GLA and on what terms. These are all questions that the electorate would have an interest in and would like to see answered before the election rather than afterwards, and may well have a bearing on how they vote.

  • A hung parliament was definitely seen as a possibility by some. I remember seeing on BBC Parliament a senior civil servant talking to a select committee about preparations being made.

    You say all the alternatives were unviable. A minority Conservative government was an option with the Lib Dems voting for things they supported. It might not last but that does not make it unviable. A second election after a few months might not be a disaster and the Lib Dem could even benefit if it was seen that they acted accordingly to desired principles.

    You may not like the term “stitch up” but people voted Lib Dem but ended up with a seemingly regressive VAT rise and Nick Clegg struggling to answer questions about Forgemasters at PMQs. There is going to be disappointment and it is due to Lib Dem choices, not the press.

    A bit of forward planning, telling voters what might be jettisoned in a deal, could work wonders.

    You might lose support from the left but honesty and openness should be part of the new politics. You might think that the way things worked was ideal but that reveals a real poverty of ambition.

    Being human is more than about making mistakes. It is about learning from mistakes and yes that is very hard at times but politics should be more than just visceral appeals. There should be an emphasis on intellect too

  • Alex Macfie 9th Sep '10 - 4:54pm

    @Voter: You do understand the principle about never revealing your bottom line in negotiations, don’t you? If the lib Dems had done as you suggested and stated what was “negotiable” before the election, then potential coalition partners would have taken our program minus the negotiable bits as the STARTING point of the negotiations, and even less Lib Dem policy would have been implemented in any agreement.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 9th Sep '10 - 8:19pm

    Alex

    Unfortunately these were not commercial negotiations between two private parties so the principles are not exactly the same, and even then anyone knows that in commercial negotiations it is quite common to state some, if not all, of the things you are prepared to negotiate. Perhaps you should also note that in commercial negotiations it is also quite common to state what is non negotiable.

    As I’ve said before look at those countries where coalitions are the norm and you will find that there is considerably more discussion of these matters before the election. The electorate as a whole are not that keen on giving near blank cheques to politicians.

  • Actually, transparency can be a plus and it allows for accountability. Let the electorate decide who to blame if negotiations break down.

    Remember what Nick Clegg said “And I think it’s liberal to be sceptical. Sceptical that central, controlling government gets things right.” If it is right to doubt central government, it is also right to question a central body of Lib Dems, the negotiation team.

    I for one am looking for certain things out of government. If I know that the Lib Dem bottom line includes the things I want, like, for example, actually answering the question in PMQs, then I will be more inclined to want to vote for the Lib Dems.

    I judge parties on results.

    This is supposed to be a coalition of the new politics. Yet we saw the same old politics when confronted with difficult questions from Labour about NHS targets.

  • Matthew Huntbach 11th Sep '10 - 10:04pm

    toryboysnevergrowup

    One problem I have with your analysis is that during the last election I got the impression that most of the electorate accepted the need for their to be cuts – and the much of the debate revolved around the extent of such cuts and their timing. The parties that got the most votes were against the deficit being reduced over the life of the next Parliment and did not want the cuts to take place until growth was established. Now look at what we actually got.

    Yes, but Parliament is not a proportional reflection of the electorate. The FPTP system distorted representation in favour of the largest party – the Conservatives – and they were keenest on quick deficit reduction. As I have said, both Labour and the Conservatives argue that FPTP is a good system BECAUSE it distorts in this way, and so gives more focussed government. So we have seen t his – we have basically a Conservative government with a little LibDem influence. This is because the distortion meant a Labour-LibDem coalition would not have enough seats in Parliament to be viable, even though those two parties combined had a majority of the votes.

    I might also add that though I have argued that the formation of a Conservative-LibDem coalition was the only viable outcome, that does not mean I agree with the way the LibDem leadership handled this AFTER the coaltion was formed. I do think the LibDem leadership have given the impression they wanted this Tory economic policy all along, and in this way their behaviour has been despicable and an insult to their members and voters. They SHOULD have been more honest about this being a compromise they were forced to accept. Or if they did want this all along, they should admit they were liars to us and go off and join the Tories.

  • it’s about time we campaigned for the abolition of the mayor. Prove that cuts should include pointless politicians. A scrap the mayor campaign making the election are referendum on the role iself would be distinctive and appeal to more than the 10% of voters we will otherwise attract

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarkeith orrell 4th Jul - 11:14am
    It's a different Tory party now than it was in 2010. Almost totally anti EU and with a PM who is an international embarrassment -...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 4th Jul - 10:59am
    "Rather, while we grapple with the challenges of reducing poverty, we should be willing to learn from anyone." Sounds promising! However, George hasn't been too...
  • User AvatarBarry Lofty 4th Jul - 10:46am
    Yes I can only endorse John Marriotts' comments on "Geoffreys" post. It makes me angry and rather sad that such thoughts and beliefs exist in...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 4th Jul - 10:46am
    @ Neil Sandison "Interesting to note many of those around that cabinet table are no longer active in current politics .They have moved on so...
  • User Avatarneil sandison 4th Jul - 10:31am
    Interesting to note many of those around that cabinet table are no longer active in current politics .They have moved on so should we ....
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 4th Jul - 10:22am
    Well said, John. You've highlighted the worst sort of cold blinkered utilitarian Benthamite heartless Darwinian stuff that marred the mid 19th century Liberal Party....... and...