Ed Davey: The Conservatives can be beaten anywhere

You have to hand it to Ed Davey. The poor man has had Covid since Monday but he hasn’t let it stop him contributing to and celebrating our historic by-election victory in North Shropshire.

He might have been stuck indoors but he maraphoned like a trooper.

Perhaps the only benefit of his self isolation is that he is unlikely now to get a Council Tax Bill from Shropsire Council given how much time he has spent there in the past month.

Covid is not much fun, even when you are fully vaccinated and boostered as Ed is, but he has stepped up to the plate. And this morning that involved an interview with Trevor Phillips on Sky News.

He talked about how proud he was of the Party and how our victory in North Shropshire, hot on the heels of Chesham and Amersham, showed that  the Tories could be beaten anywhere:

It’s seemed at times that we are stuck with this appalling government, but Ed said it was possible that they could be beaten, 1997 style, at the next election. He even used that Alex Cole-Hamilton phrase, “new hope”:

Trevor Phillips had a bit of a go at him about our campaign in North Shropshire. Apparently we didn’t talk so much about sleaze and devoted a lot of space on our leaflets to talking about the dire state of local health care and ambulance delays. It was a bizarre attack given that that was what people there were really exercised about. Ed said that the Westminster bubble were preoccupied with party gate and Peppa Pig, but the most important things for people on the ground were their public services.

Ed ruled out a Progressive Alliance saying that voters were best placed to judge who was best to beat the Tories. We would put resources where we could win.

His attitude was pretty much similar to Labour’s Wes Streeting. Though we need to see Labour doing well where they are strong.

Ed did very well, but he wasn’t given the chance to repeat his performance on the Andrew Marr Show. Typically, the BBC continued its tradition of having Lib Dems on in inverse proportion to our relevance to the news agenda that week. Lib Dem Peer Olly Grender took them to task on Twitter:

Complaining about this sort of stuff is important because producers and editors will take note if enough people do it. Here’s the form.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • John Marriott 19th Dec '21 - 5:18pm

    I’ve watched a bit of news today and you would have thought that the invisible man/woman had beaten the Tory candidate in North Shropshire. That, in a nutshell, is the problem the Lib Dems face. The media appears happy to use the party as a kind of litmus test as to a) how popular the present government is or b) how well the Labour Party is doing at the moment. Like the public in general the media is just not prepared to recognise that British politics is pluralistic in a way that the current ‘two party’ system not only does not reflect but also, would be quite happy for it to stay that way. Can we really be sure that the public in general really feels like that? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS!

  • Peter Martin 20th Dec '21 - 10:47am

    @ Caron,

    “…..our victory in North Shropshire, hot on the heels of Chesham and Amersham, showed that the Tories could be beaten anywhere”

    Sure, if the Lib Dems won then it means the Tories can be beaten. This is self evident. But ‘anywhere’? The original tweet didn’t include that word.

    Anywhere would include former seats like Southport, Burnley, Rochdale and Redcar.
    Lib Dems are a long way from winning those back those more working class constituencies. Is it much different in former West Country strongholds?

    Lib Dems have hit on the successful tactic of localism, but which only works in relatively prosperous Tory constituencies. Previously that would have been only Remain inclined Tory constituencies but as Brexit drops off the list of voter concerns this is now less important. That is, if Lib Dems don’t mention the topic themselves.

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