Get Ready For Our Three-Yearly Internal Elections

Our three-yearly round of internal party elections gets underway when nominations open this Thursday (12 September), ahead of the party conference at Bournemouth – which is traditionally the opportunity to gather signatures on nominations. (A new online nomination process is also being trialled, alongside the old-fashioned paper method).

Every member of the party gets the opportunity to vote in these elections, which are largely on-line.

Top of the bill is Federal President, to take over from Sal Brinton on 1 January and serve for 2020, 2021 and 2022.  This is a major role, chairing the party’s Federal Board, protecting and representing members, and acting as guardian of the party’s interests.  Hustings will be held throughout the country during the two-month campaign, and candidates may raise and spend £20,000 campaigning for the job.

The party’s senior Federal Committees for the next three years are also up for re-election:  Federal Board members (15); Federal Policy Committee members (15); Federal Conference Committee members (12); and Federal International Relations Committee members (6).

These elections will run concurrently with the Presidential election.  There are no hustings or campaign budgets for committee places, but candidates are entitled to submit a short manifesto which will be posted on the election pages of the party website and on a ‘click-through’ when members cast their votes.

Members in each of England, Scotland and Wales will also elect one State Representative to the Federal Board.

We are also electing our delegation to our European party’s ALDE Council (6 representatives – including one from each state and one under age 26).

Members in Scotland will also be electing the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ party committees for 2020 on a broadly concurrent timetable and using the same online voting platform.

Members in Wales will be electing the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ party committees this autumn, but their own rules may a slightly different timetable.

To all those considering running for these elections, there will be a briefing on Sunday 15th September at 6.15pm in the Branksome Suite in the Bournemouth International Convention Centre to guide you through the process so do please come along.

I wish all candidates the very best of luck.

* Sir Nick Harvey was the Liberal Democrat MP for North Devon from 1992 until 2015 and Minister of State for the Armed Forces from 2010 to 2012

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This entry was posted in Party policy and internal matters.


  • Stephen Mullen 12th Sep '19 - 12:36am

    Would it be possible to post some info online (as many can’t get to the briefing) about how much time is required in each role and if travel costs are covered especially for those outside London.

  • I hope in three years time when the Registered Supporters scheme has bedded in and been evaluated at least some voting rights in these elections can be extended. Either by allowing registered supporters to vote in some catergories or have a registered supporter rep on some bodies or a dedicated registered supporter body. Apart from allowing registered supporters’ voices to be heard it’s a relatively painless way to lure folk into internal participation.

  • Thank you for this information. Why haven’t I received it as part of the emails I keep getting as a member asking for money? Or perhaps I have. I just glance at them now as the seem to be content free, except to ask for money.
    I am living in hope that I will see in them the start of a campaign to give the facts about the EU, as the only democratic international organisation we are a member of as a country.

  • David Warren 12th Sep '19 - 10:09am

    Good comment from Stephen Mullen. I think I know the answer which is that you have to pay your own way. Which in reality means that for posts like Party President you need to have a fair amount of disposable income and quite a bit of spare time!

    All that excludes a large proportion of party members.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 12th Sep '19 - 3:50pm

    You can get travel costs to London minus £15 per meeting.

  • Andrew Tipler 16th Sep '19 - 5:24pm

    Where do we go to find these papers for those of us unable to attend conference this year?
    I can’t find anything online, and only allowing those who attended conference to apply, results in a very self-selecting makeup of candidates.
    Those who have children, are disabled or cannot afford to attend are excluded from applying in the current set-up.

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