Ed Davey: Lib Dems will turn the blue wall yellow


Ed Davey has put Conservative MPs like Dominic Raab (majority over Lib Dems 2743), Steven Brine (majority over Lib Dems 985) and William Wragg  (majority over Lib Dems 4423) on notice that the Liberal Democrats are coming after their seats at the next General Election.

He set out what we are doing to turn the blue wall of Conservative seats in the south west yellow and emphasised our importance in getting the Tories out of office. As we are the sole challengers in these areas, he said, we are a key part of depriving the Tories of a majority.

The party is beefing up its ground campaigning ability in areas including Dominic Raab’s constituency of Esher and Walton in Surrey, Steven Brine’s seat in Winchester, and William Wragg’s Hazel Grove, all areas where Conservative MPs are defending wafer-thin majorities.

The party’s campaigning blitz will include a new fighting fund being launched this week, which will take donations to expand ground operations in key marginal Conservative seats.

The party has also set up a crack team of battle-hardened activists who played a key role in both the Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire by-election wins. The activists are being sent to key ‘Blue Wall’ seats to train up fellow campaigners ahead of the next election. The top campaigners, some of whom knocked on over 1,000 doors each during the North Shropshire by-election, will also regularly feedback to senior figures in the party on key issues coming up on the doorstep.

Finally the party is holding a ‘Blue Wall summit’ this year with activists from around the country, to learn from its campaign by-election successes and how to repeat them in marginal Conservative seats across the country.

Ed Davey said:

The North Shropshire by-election confirmed the Liberal Democrats are back as a formidable campaigning force in British politics, and that millions of disaffected Conservative voters are looking to us as an alternative.

We are now on battle stations and getting ready to turn the Blue Wall yellow at the next election.

Our thousands of campaigners are buoyed by our stunning wins in former Conservative heartlands, from Shropshire to Buckinghamshire.

We will now be looking carefully at how to replicate these stunning wins in dozens of marginal Conservative seats across the country.

Last month showed the Liberal Democrats are the only credible challengers to the Conservatives in their traditional heartlands. There is no route to removing Boris Johnson’s Conservatives from power without us winning many more seats.

The photo above is by Simon Foster with kind permission, showing posters at Chesham and Amersham.

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19 Comments

  • I presume Southend West is part of the “blue wall”.

  • Neil James Sandison 1st Jan '22 - 3:47pm

    Good to see we are” going for gold “once again in these marginal blue wall seats . Hope this will encourage candidates to come forward .Note Helen Morgan Parish Councillor and MP was in third place at the last general election perhaps we should also be encouraging hopefuls to stand in next years parish and district elections as a learning curve and training ground for the next general election .

  • This You Tube Ch. has some interesting points about Brexit, transportation and farming with regard to the new customs arrangements, which look like another disaster for Agri and food businesses, making the industry open to voting LibDem.

    Will Businesses Fight Back Against Brexit in 2022?
    A Different Bias.

    The damage that brexit has caused a lot of British businesses in 2021 can hardly be overstated, yet very few seem to have demanded better protection from the government. As 2022 releases another wave of brexit trade barriers, will people finally stand up for their livelihoods, or continue to do nothing?

  • Will Businesses Fight Back Against Brexit in 2022?
    A Different Bias.

  • While it is not exactly targeted to constituencies, there should be LibDem votes in. campaigning via trade bodies for better trading arrangements. Any regional based bodies would be targeted.

  • Yeovil Yokel 1st Jan '22 - 9:52pm

    The Lib Dems’ top target seat is not held by the Tories but by the SNP: Jo Swinson’s old seat of East Dunbartonshire requires a mere 0.14% swing to reclaim it. Is it still thought of as winnable, or do the party leadership regard it as a lost cause? Despite the crushing humiliation she suffered in December 2019, I for one would like to see Jo’s forceful character back in Parliament.

  • Brad Barrows 1st Jan '22 - 10:35pm

    The SNP took East Dunbartonshire from the Liberal Democrats in 2015 only to lose it in 2017 before taking it back in 2019. Considering how Unionist voters seem to be gradually switching to the Unionist Party best placed to beat the SNP, there must be a good chance of the Liberal Democrats being able to benefit from this at the next election so long as a credible candidate is selected – Jo would certainly be credible. Against this, electoralcalculus is currently predicting the SNP to hold the seat with a majority of 12.3%.

  • Chris Moore 2nd Jan '22 - 7:31am

    Brad, electoral calculus is not a reliable guide to what will happen in individual constituencies.

    1.They have no more data than the rest of us.
    2. They discount tactical voting.

    If you run plausible vote scenarios WITH tactical voting, it’s a highly winnable seat.

  • Matt Haines 2nd Jan '22 - 8:33am

    Turn the blue wall yellow…. Or Orange?

    It was Orange bricks and hammer for the photo op after the Chesham by-election victory. It was Orange diamonds as the backdrop for the North Shropshire photo op. Yet we wear yellow ties, scarves, rosettes and socks, and talk about turning seats yellow.

    Isn’t it time we chose a colour and stuck with it?

  • Alex Macfie 2nd Jan '22 - 9:06am

    Jo Swinson lives and works in south London now. She is active in her local party and she visited C&A during the by-election campaign, but she seems to have stepped back from front-line party politics. So I’m not expecting East Dunbartonshire (or whatever becomes of the seat after boundary changes) at the next GE to be a rematch of 2019.

  • On the bigger picture, this was in today’s Mirror:

    The Government has blown £14.7billion of public money on “wasteful” projects, crony contracts and duff deals, research based on official figures claims.
    Analysis reveals around £3.6bn in public contracts have been handed to firms linked to individuals in government or the Conservative Party since Mr Johnson became Prime Minister.

    And in the same period, the Best For Britain campaign group said a further £11.1bn had been “spent wastefully or funded government excess”.
    Examples it gives include £73,000 spent stocking the Westminster wine cellar and a £30million Covid test vials contract awarded to a firm run by the landlord of Matt Hancock’s local pub without a proper tendering process.
    It also includes a £122m deal for medical gowns that failed safety standards. The £14.7bn could have paid the combined salaries of 60,000 nurses, 65,000 teachers and 77,000 police over the two and a half years since Johnson took charge.

    A staggering £900,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent painting the PM’s plane on top of £100,000 decorating No.10 with works of art bought through the Government Art Collection fund.

    Last March it was revealed the Government spends more than £500,000 a year ferrying ministerial papers around Whitehall in chauffeur-driven cars.

    In February, the Tories approved spending up to £600,000 in legal fees defending its decision to award a Covid-19 opinion polling contract to Public First run by associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings.

    £73,000 was spent restocking the Government’s wine cellars
    The contract itself was worth £840,000 and was not put out to competitive tender. The same goes for a further £580,000 of political polling by Hanbury Strategy – also run by associates of Mr Cummings.

    Best of Britain says ‘duff deals’ also include £10billion for the NHS Test and Trace programme, an amount described as “astonishing” by Chris Ham, former chief of the King’s Fund health think tank.
    Then there were a raft of contracts handed to firms with links to the Tory Party, MPs or ministers.

  • Peter Davies 2nd Jan '22 - 10:17am

    We need to be able to win seats whether the boundary changes happen before the next election or not. That means in many cases, we need to be targeting the wall and not just a few bricks in it. Hazel Grove for instance would take in parts of Stockport (a seat we used to hold). Winchester would gain a bit of rural Meon Valley (Lib Dem distant second) and lose some good areas to Eastleigh. Eastleigh itself would lose a substantial area to a new Hedge End seat and might itself become more winnable. Hertfordshire is an example of an area where the map would be substantially redrawn but where we have good prospects either way if we fight across a broad front.

    We also need to be able to take advantage of campaigning opportunities like those that @John suggested which are not specific to a specific to a constituency but might resonate across many target constituencies, potential constituencies and target wards in non-target constituencies.

  • Yeovil Yokel 2nd Jan '22 - 10:39am

    Brad, Chris & Alex – thanks for your responses re. East Dunbartonshire / Jo Swinson. I thought she was working at a Scottish university and assumed that she still lived in her old constituency.

    I agree with Matt, we should stick with orange, a unique and distinctive colour in British politics. I associate yellow with the SNP.

  • John McHugo 2nd Jan '22 - 10:42am

    Surely, Brad, Chris, Alex and Yeovil Yokel, Gold is a much better colour than either orange or yellow.

  • @ Matt Haines

    Really it should be orange. The SNP already had yellow, and being as the Libdems also stand is Scotland, well 2 parties with the same colour can get confusing.

    Interestingly, the Liberal party used orange for the very same reason that the Irish unionists and Orange Lodges do; ’tis the old Whig heritage, supporters of the House of Orange, King Billy and all that.

  • Chris Moore 3rd Jan '22 - 9:37am

    @Ian. You haven’t been dumped, Ian.

    But you haven’t got target seats currently.

    Neither Solihull, nor Birmingham Yardley are forgotten, the latter particularly given the atricious behaviour of the current MP and local Labour party towards John Hemming.

    They have never expressed any remorse, as far as I’m aware. And I note that the said Labour MP has made a name at Westminster as an opponent of bullying.

  • Alex Macfie 4th Jan '22 - 7:58am

    The original Lib Dem hue (Pantone 123) is much yellower than the current “Gold” or “orange” Pantone 1375C.

    Anyway the national standardisation of party colours is a fairly recent phenomenon, with many contradictory local traditions existing within living memory of (probably) many commenters on this blog.
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/the-staggers/2019/11/the-evolution-of-party-colour-schemes

  • Yeovil Yokel 4th Jan '22 - 8:10am

    Thanks for those details, Alex. Wasn’t that the name of a New York-based hostage thriller, “The Taking of Pantone 123″….?

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