Good luck, everybody!

As this post goes live, indefatigable Liberal Democrats the length of England will have been up for hours delivering last minute leaflets in the local elections.

They have a tough day of more leafletting and knocking up (which is nowhere near as exciting as it sounds) ahead of them.

One of the best smells in the world is the breakfast roll cooking when you come in from your good morning leaflets.

But after that, there’s still a good 12 hours of work left.

And usually after the local elections, you can put your feet up for a week or so. Well, that didn’t happen in 2017 because some woman had a rush of blood to the head on a walking holiday in Wales and called a general election. It’s not going to happen now either because of the impending European elections.

The polling day operation is a crucial part of the campaign. Voters in local elections aren’t always inclined to go to the polls – the turnout is usually pretty small compared to a general election. Getting more of ours out than the opposition gets of theirs is crucial.

However tired you may feel, hold on to the idea of how brilliant it will feel if we win these elections. It will give us huge momentum going in to the Euros.

Keep going up until 10pm tonight. I’ll be on the phones for candidates across the country this evening.

Special good luck to our regular contributor Ed Fordham who is seeking elected office for himself for a change in the Brockwell ward in Chesterfield, to the North Devon team led by our Kirsten Johnson, to April Preston in Manchester Withington and Tom Gordon in Wakefield’s Knottingley and Ferrybridge ward.

April has the support of Jo Swinson in this video recorded a couple of months ago.

I hope so much that April gets to bring her unique perspective to Manchester’s awful Labour council. She would be such a strong representative.

I almost crashed the car last night when I heard Tom Gordon on Radio flipping Four! He was talking about how he had been assaulted on the campaign trail. I knew about it because my friend is heavily involved in this campaign, but now the whole country does.

Tom has run a stellar campaign against a neglectful and nonchalant Labour Council and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that he gets in.

We have so many hard-working, brilliant candidates who will fight like hell for their communities. Let’s go out there and get them in.



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

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This entry was posted in News.


  • John Marriott 2nd May '19 - 8:22am

    Yes, good luck to all Lib Dem candidates wherever they are. As far as where I live is concerned, there aren’t very many. In my home town of North Hykeham where, twenty years ago, we took all five District Council Wards, there’s now just one candidate, and not in my Ward. I’ve got a choice between a youngish male Tory and a lady ‘Independent’.

    My wife, also like me a former Lib Dem councillor, and I will not be staying at home. We shall be going to the Polling Station this morning and spoiling our ballot paper, as I have done in the last two PCC elections. I shall vote for ‘neither of the above’ and I shall add something like ‘Scrap District and County. Bring in Unitaries’. There, that makes me feel MUCH better.

  • John Marriott 2nd May '19 - 5:38pm

    Well, I did it. Went to vote and spoiled my ballot paper as the choice was between a Conservative with a large ‘c’ and a Conservative with a small ‘c’ (aka a Lincolnshire Independent).

    When I entered the Polling Station, in addition to the Polling clerks, I was greeted by the sight of the Independent candidate and her agent, both clearly sporting Lincolnshire Independents rosettes with logos. Now, in my day that was not allowed. I guess times have changed as the clerk told me that this was in order. Personally it smacks of intimidation to me.

  • I sadly suffered from Electile dysfunction today * The inability to be aroused by any candidate standing for election.

    This is the first time I have not voted in an election and it felt very strange for me.

  • Yeovil Yokel 2nd May '19 - 8:35pm

    John Marriott – as far as I’m aware the rules governing behaviour around polling stations hasn’t changed. This afternoon I was telling in a Somerset village and no-one who could be identified as linked to a candidate or party was allowed either inside the polling station, or to try and see what was going on inside, or to converse with voters entering in any way which could be construed as trying to influence them. Clerks are not necessarily full-time local authority employees or professional civil servants – round these parts they can be casually employed for just this job alone. You should report your observations to the local Returning Officer.

  • Daniel Walker 2nd May '19 - 9:14pm

    @Yeovil Yokel, @John Marriott

    I was given to understand the the only people permitted to wear rosettes inside the polling station were the candidates and their agents. There’s no actual law on it:

    There is nothing in electoral law about the wearing of rosettes. However, campaigning is not permitted inside the polling station; it is up to the Local Returning Officer to decide whether a rosette could be construed as being campaigning.

    Electoral Commission advice says that any rosettes, inside the polling station, should be plain. The benefit of allowing rosettes means that electors are able to distinguish between polling staff and candidates/agents/polling agents. from a training document on the Electoral Commission’s website.

  • Sean Hyland 2nd May '19 - 9:38pm

    No Lib Dem candidate to vote on. Been this way for a while. The local party has been in a decline that predates the coalition. Once,not too many years ago, was a serious prospect to run the council now barely exist.

  • John Marriott 2nd May '19 - 9:42pm

    @Yeovil Yokel
    I’ve taken your advice and have just emailed the Returning Officer for North Kesteven DC.
    @Daniel Walker
    In my opinion, the law needs tightening up. I remember an occasion a few years ago , when I was the agent for the successful Lib Dem candidate in the same ward and, visiting one of the Polling Stations, discovered the UKIP candidate and her agent actually handing out leaflets inside the building. I objected and the Polling Clerk gave them their marching orders straight away!

  • My memory of the polling station hand book is that rosettes are supposed to be simple. I recall one election where representatives of one particular party had a whole variety of rosettes, with some more simple than others, and them seeming to grow as the day progressed and us all having a good laugh about what it said about those who went for the flashier rosettes.

  • Rosettes are not allowed to have the candidates name or party so should be just party colours. I have found most polling clerks are helpful if there are problems but most make sure you only approach voters as they are leaving, rather than arriving. Some are definitely not helpful, making us all stand out in the rain. I have also found some other party tellers quite cooperative if I have missed a voter leaving the polling station.

    No elections here in Wales this year except, hopefully, a parliamentary by-election in in Brecon and Radnorshire in a few months.

  • Ian Patterson 3rd May '19 - 12:15am

    LAB losses to LIB DEMS, Greens, Con and UKIP in Sunderland! Magnitude 11 on Richter Scale.

  • Labour are getting battered in Sunderland, they are losing seats to all comers
    Anyone but Labour it appears.

  • 3 gains I see in Sunderland and a UKIP gain too from Labour – BBC reporting 8 losses. Also a Green gain off Labour in the Wirral +34.2%. It MIGHT be something of a pincer movement for Labour in SOME mets between Lib Dem/Green and UKIP.

    Doesn’t look great for Labour in terms of vote share.

    An interesting night!

  • Ian Patterson 3rd May '19 - 12:23am

    Sunderland part 2. Lab losses now off the Richter scale!

  • Now in South Tyneside the Indpendents are rolling over Labour. Not a good night in the North East for Labour. Their fence for all seasons seems to be falling to bits.

  • BBC have compared to 2015 on share of the vote

    Con -1%
    Lab -7%
    Lib Dem +7%

    If that maintains that would mean a vote share (from memory!) of
    Con 36%
    Lab 22%
    Lib Dem 18%

    Compared to last year
    Con 35%
    Lab 34%
    LD 16%

    which would be horrendous for Labour and actually quite good for the Tories!

    You have to ask yourself whether that maintains as it is mainly the city mets that are in at the moment and it might turnaround substantially when the tory shires come in. You can understand that it may be younger/graduates voting Lib Dem/Green and the older working class vote in cities voting UKIP (some Tory) or staying at home!

  • Sky News 5 am headlines: “The pattern of the night show the voters turning on both Labour and the Conservatives. The Lib Dems have had a revival.”

    Laura Kuenssberg, BBC Political Editor on the Lib Dems winning the Cotswolds: “We can’t overstate it. That is quite something. That should be absolutely solid Tory territory.”

  • Sky News: “The Lib Dems are the voters’ new favourites.”

    Sky News, political correspondent, Lewis Goddall: “The political landscape is not a happy one for either Labour or the Conservatives… The Conservatives are particularly losing ground to the Liberal Democrats in Southern England… Some really bad results [too] for Labour – they have lost Bolsover for the first time ever. The Lib Dems have won the Cotswolds for the first time. The Lib Dems are the undoubted winners of tonight… The story of night is real Lib Dem success… It’s the Lib Dem night – their best since 2004… The Lib Dems are the voters’ new favourites.”

    Dr Michael Thrasher, political analyst, Sky News: “The two main parties are both losing ground. The principal beneficiary are the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats are advancing. The Conservatives are haemorrhaging votes and seats to the Liberal Democrats.”

  • John Marriott 3rd May '19 - 8:48am

    Well done! Despite my criticisms of the Lib Dems I have always felt that they did not deserve the fall in their fortunes that took place around ten years ago. However, one swallow doesn’t make a Summer. There are still places like Lincolnshire.

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