For new and infrequent commenters only: What do you think of the leadership election so far?

This is one of our occasional posts where we reserve the comments for those who don’t comment very often. Anyone who has made five or fewer comments in the past month is welcome to take part.

The subject for debate today is the leadership election. Liberal Democrat Voice is taking an entirely neutral stance and are doing our best to give equal and balanced coverage of the contest.

We just wondered what you thought of it all so far.  Have you seen the candidates in action? Are they talking about the things that you want to hear about? What do you think of their campaign websites, videos and themes? Do you have any questions for them?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

If you haven’t seen the two in action so far, you can always have a look at the New Members’ Hustings. A big thank yo to James Wright, too, for pointing me in the direction of these videos shot  by his Dad Andrew Cambridge hustings last week. They are really good quality.  Here they are:

Tim Farron

Norman Lamb

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • I haven’t heard any discussion about foreign policy or human rights on the part of either candidate. Would be glad to directed to somewhere where their views are recorded.

  • We are so lucky to have two such strong liberal candidates to be our leader.

    I have just watched these two, high quality, videos of Norman Lamb and Tim Farron at the Cambridge #LibDemhustings.

    Both are clearly capable of leading our party.
    Both make me proud to be a Liberal Democrat.
    Both spoke directly to the audience in the room and in the country of Liberal Democrat principles, vision, values and leadership.

    Having heard both before on the conference stage, on TV and radio, and indeed in person on campaign trails, I was reminded again why my instincts are to vote for Tim Farron. Both candidates spoke from the heart, yet Tim’s good humour, great sense of timing in delivery and his more convincing call to arms edged it for me.

    Have I decided yet? No! Thank you both for such an inspiring electoral choice.

  • I like Tim’s positive campaign.

  • When I hear Norman he makes me think about why I am proud to be a Lib Dem. When I listen to Tim, he makes me FEEL it. Tim can electrify a room in a way I’ve not felt about any of our leaders since Charles. He has a way of cutting through to people – both inside the party, and outside. That’s a rare gift and one we can’t afford to waste right now. Norman is a great asset to our party, but Tim is the right person to lead this fightback.

  • I’ll be voting for Tim in the upcoming leadership election because I believe, at this point, we need someone to energise and rejuvenate the party. Tim’s passion for everything liberal comes through every time I hear him speak and for this reason I’m convinced he’s the man to lead the LibDem Fightback!

  • Duncan Borrowman 18th Jun '15 - 12:57pm

    Having gone to the hustings last night, my support for Tim is endorsed. Norman performed better than I expected, but Tim gives you that fire in your belly to go out and sock it to them. We need a motivator at the helm.

    I recorded this little vox pop last night:

  • @John Kelly – Tim has spoken about foreign policy:

  • I was very interested to go to hustings. I found out that the campaign is not what I though.

    From the initial billing I expected a straightforward social democrat v classical liberal fight. So I was all geared up to hear why we need to reach out to the voters we lost to the reds, or to our base who care about liberal issues. Not at all what I saw. The question the hustings presented was which of two styles is the right way to fight out of the wilderness.

    I saw Farron arguing not for leftish ideas but for simple ideas, “primary colours”, three key polices and nothing else, for passion, and for fighting. Tim spoke loudly enough to be heard at the back of the room unamplified, he triped over his tongue, he moved me, he was carismatic.

    I saw Lamb arguing not for classically liberal ideas, but for big ideas, for radicalism, for intellectual leadership, and for restructuring of the party to improve our internal debate. Norman spoke quietly, calmly, and in full sentences, he was convincing.

    Damned if I know which approach is right. On the one hand, Tim will get us up in the polls faster, get us more momentum, get us closer to the edge of the wilderness. On the other Norman will make us a better and stronger party more fit to lead debate. My inclination is to give Lamb the leadership for 4 years, but campaign under Tim. I really doubt that’s sensible though.

    In short, it’s not the campaign I expected.

  • Alisdair Calder McGregor 19th Jun '15 - 7:50am

    I simply haven’t decided yet, nor will I until tomorrow at the Hustings.

  • Head says Norman, heart says Tim. Both would be great but think Tim edges it as more likely to get us winning again sooner.

  • I am a new member. I thought that my vote was already secure, but after being at the hustings in London on Wednesday, I am not so sure! Both candidates are formidable and have their own edge which will take the party forward. Thankfully, I will be away on holiday for the next fortnight, as I am going to need it in order to come to my decision!

  • Julie Maxon 19th Jun '15 - 3:54pm

    I’m a new member and this is my first comment on Lib Dem Voice. We cannot get to a hustings so were glad to have the opportunity to watch the full hustings video from Tower Hamlets and these intro speeches from Cambridge. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.

    I feel very proud that we have two such strong candidates given that we only have eight MPs. I am also proud that it feels like a really positive leadership campaign where candidates are winning support based on what they personally stand for, their track record and their personal style, without resorting to the nastiness, dirty tricks and name calling which is sadly so often a feature of modern politics and which is such a turn off for the public. It’s a pity we couldn’t have a televised hustings event – we could demonstrate how it should be done!

    Having voted LibDem for many years, I finally joined the party after the General Election because it suddenly felt like the right thing to do. I’ve never joined a political party before, I’ve never felt the need to, but the Election result and Nick Clegg’s resignation speech were wake-up calls. Above all, I joined because the values of the LibDems are my personal values and if the fight is on to keep liberalism and those values alive, I want to be part of it.

    So, who do I feel is best placed to lead the Party? I have to say that it is Tim who grabs my attention and who gives me the feeling that he spoke of in the pit of my stomach that fires me up to want to make a difference. Norman made some very good points too of course, and I very much admire his work in mental health for instance, but it was Tim who spoke to my values and to my heart. He spoke on my level, he spoke with passion, a normal bloke who’s not afraid to admit that he cries when people are hurt. For once, a politician who I wanted to carry on listening to! Tim also has the advantage of having voted against some of the toxic issues on which the Party lost the trust of the public and therefore I believe will find it easier to win back their trust.

    I am very conscious that I am speaking as a new member and I have much to learn. However, when I listen to Tim, I get very excited about the future potential of our Party and the possibilities that lie ahead for liberal values to truly make a difference in our communities, our country and our world. So if I am feeling like that, then without doubt others can and will feel the same.

  • Angela Davies 19th Jun '15 - 3:57pm

    So far the leadership campaign has been civilised and dignified. Both candidates have made clear their visions for the Party in the future and their feelings on different policy issues.
    Their difference is of style.
    Good campaign

  • sally haynes-preece 19th Jun '15 - 10:31pm

    I had the pleasure of meeting both candidates the other week. Both spoke well and passionately, and both made time to chat with members at the event. I feel we have two very different candidates to chose from and I haven’t quite made up my mind.. But it is clear both are capable of being strong leaders. I feel both are able to be sincere and passionate about what they want….unlike the candidates for the labour party who you feel need to pander to the unions and moderate what they say. I personally feel we are showing labour how it should be done!

  • I must confess that I have started from a biased position- one of the reasons I joined (though of course not the only one) was because I thought it was most likely that Tim would eventually become leader and I think he would be superb. I had read his contribution to ‘Reinventing the state’, the manuscript of his Beveridge Memorial lecture and had seen a number of his speeches and I felt he was very much a product of the kind of Social Liberalism which I cherish. In the contest I have been further impressed by his perspicacious speech to the Gladstone Club, his fantastic manifesto and his action plans to improve diversity within the party.

    What I did not expect is how fond I would come to grow of Norman, too. Previously I knew very little about him; I am very pleased that he has demonstrated such commitment to the cooperative movement. It had previously escaped my notice that Norman had threatened to resign over the health and social care bill without its amendment- something which reflects well on his integrity and judgement.

    I am pleased that- at least in my experience- the vast majority of members are not engaging in the contest in a tribalistic fashion. Along with the candidates, most ostensibly recognise that we cannot afford, especially now, to allow it to degenerate into a nasty, personalised, gutter campaign. It is disappointing that this cannot be said of everyone, however: Greg Mulholland’s sniping tweets are uncalled for; the couple of Norman campaigners violating data protection laws whilst push polling are a disgrace; the occasional unwarranted aspersions cast about Tim’s faith and past voting record (which he defends quite convincingly) are unpleasant.

    My biggest concern about the contest is the omission of economic issues. My biggest criticism of the Liberal Democrats is that Keynes’ economic insights appear to have been forgotten. Farron says that we must be open to new economic ideas which are consistent with a realistic understanding of markets- whilst I doubt anyone could oppose this, he offers little by way of clarification of what this might entail.

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