++ And the new President of the Liberal Democrats is…

Sal BrintonSAL BRINTON!

Many congratulations to her and well done to all three candidates for competing in an excellent campaign. This post will be updated with fuller details and reaction in due course.

Special thanks also to the staff and volunteers who have been counting in Liberal Democrat HQ since early this morning. It’s been a bit of a marathon with initial problems in getting the votes verified but they’ve all done a great job.

Results in full:
1st Round

Sal BRINTON: 7865
Daisy COOPER: 4530
Liz LYNNE: 4389
Spoilt Ballots: 25

Liz Lynne is eliminated in the first round

2nd Round

Sal BRINTON: 10,188
Daisy COOPER: 6,138
Ballots not transferred or spoilt: 458

Total Ballots Cast: 16,809
Overall Turnout: 38.9%

On her election, Sal said:

I am honoured to have been elected President by the members of the Liberal Democrats. Over recent months I have met thousands of Lib Dem members, all of whom agree on three things. Firstly, the Liberal Democrats need to be able to show the public the positive and beneficial things that we have done for people whilst in government, much of which would not have happened with a single party Conservative majority government. Secondly, the party is the only liberal and tolerant party around, and politics today needs that voice to be heard. Thirdly, our party processes and constitution are overdue for reform. This must be a priority after May 2015.

My role will be to represent the members, and make the changes that they want happen. My first priority will be to move the renowned campaign fighting ability of the Lib Dems into top gear, so that we win more seats in both Westminster and in councils across the UK in the General and Local Elections next year.

Tim Farron, the outgoing President, said:

I want to congratulate Sal on winning this election and becoming the next President of our party. Sal has helped and supported me throughout the last few years. She has the skills, experience and temperament that is needed to steer our party through the next stage. She is a wonderful parliamentarian, friend and will be a fantastic president for our party.

I want to commiserate with Daisy and Liz. They have both run campaigns which have done the party proud.

A wee touch of envy around from Tory commentator Tim Montgomerie

 

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46 Comments

  • Joshua Dixon 29th Nov '14 - 5:32pm

    An impressive victory for Sal. I wish her luck and I look forward to working with her on the Federal Executive.

  • Well done to Sal, and comiserations to the others. I’m not used to voting for the winner! But I’ve felt her experience profile and temperament are what we will need in what could be a turbulent time after the general election. Baptism of fire coming up!

  • Eddie Sammon 29th Nov '14 - 5:35pm

    Congratulations to Sal. I was watching the result eagerly. The other contenders shouldn’t feel too disheartened because they raised their profile and contributed towards the debate. Many thanks to all.

    A thanks to Tim Farron, for being a good president and importantly speaking out on some issues that meant a lot to me and by taking what I think is the right side on some key moments in the party’s history.

    Regards and good luck to Sal

  • 16,809 votes cast.

    Membership figures said to be more than 44,000.

    So 60% of members did not vote? I am not putting any spin on this, I do to know how this compares with previous elections for president. Can anyone give turnout figures from earlier elections ?

  • Conor McGovern 29th Nov '14 - 5:38pm

    Wanted Daisy to win, but well done to Sal.

  • Congratluations to Sal and commiserations to Liz and Daisy. We are lucky to have a party with such impressive candiates.

    Had personally hoped for a President outside of the parliamentary party, but absolutely certain Sal will do a superb job.

  • Sadie Smith 29th Nov '14 - 5:52pm

    Congratulations to Sal and many thanks to Liz and Daisy for giving us such a strong field. It is not going to be an easy job to do but it is a very important one. And so nice to have to choose between three such excellent women.

  • Teena Lashmore 29th Nov '14 - 5:55pm

    Fantastic news and well done Sal. As a ‘newbe’ I have enjoyed the hustings and felt Daisy, Lynne and Sal were all brilliant!. I’m looking forward to working with Sal as Party Leader and Lynne and Daisy in the future, as I’m sure they will continue to give their skills and passion to the party and ‘neebes’ like me will continue to be inspired by them and all the members generally.
    Well done Sal!

  • paul barker 29th Nov '14 - 6:32pm

    40% does sound low but its roughly the same as last time & broadly comparable with The Members section of Labours NEC which is about the neares analogy I can think of. I know a lot of people found it very hard to choose or felt they didnt know enough.

  • According to my maths, if the turnout was 38.9% and there were 16,809 ballots cast, there were 43211 Lib Dem members eligible to vote in the Presidential election. IIRC any member of the party by the close of nominations can vote, so that’s a pretty close proxy to the number of members currently in the party.

  • …for interest, that’s a net fall of about 240 since the end of last year. https://www.libdemvoice.org/lib-dems-end-year-with-historic-membershipgrowth-37755.html

  • Jonathan Brown 29th Nov '14 - 7:11pm

    @Ruaraidh, I believe you have to have been a member for at least a year to have a vote, which might explain the discrepancy. I believe the party’s membership has been growing, albeit slowly, for something like 2 years now.

  • Jonathan Brown 29th Nov '14 - 7:13pm

    Oh – and congratulations Sal!

    And heartfelt thanks to the other candidates – including those that didn’t make it to the final contest – for putting their money where their mouth was, and giving the membership options.

  • @Jonathan Nope, according to the Presidential Election Regulations at the end of the Constitution it’s everyone who was a member at close of nominations, plus those who lapsed three months or less beforehand (so it could be even lower, though I doubt it makes much difference).

    2. The electorate for the purpose of the election shall be those members with current
    membership of the Liberal Democrats on the closing date for nominations, including those
    members whose subscriptions were due not more than three months before the closing
    date.

    Source:http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/libdems/pages/376/attachments/original/1389636747/Constitution_-_December_2013.pdf?1389636747

  • I haven’t followed this election closely though I’m interested in what sort of direction the Lib Dems are going in. What does Sal Brinton believe in? Or does none of this stuff matter anymore?

  • Frank Booth
    Yes it matters and the answer to your question is Liberalism.

  • Regarding the question of turnout in the last election for party president I didn’t get my ballot in time. This time I was able to send my ballot paper back as soon as I received it.
    Congratulations Sal.

  • Having experienced a few of these contests (I’m getting old!) this was probably the most interesting, and the most impressive slate of candidates. Well done to all three.

  • I must admit as a member and deliverer of Focuses I was uncertain who to vote for, all the candidates came over very well

  • Rabi Martins 29th Nov '14 - 10:55pm

    I join with all those who have congratulate Sal Brinton on her decisive victory . I also thank Daisy and Lynne for running such a vigorous campaign It bodes well for the Party that four individuals (I include Linda Jack in here) felt moved to want to dedicate their time and energy to take on a key demanding UNPAID job simply because they believe Liberal Democrats values are worth protecting and promoting
    @FrankBooth
    I can only assume you belong to one of the Parties
    If you really want to know why Daisy, Linda, Liz and Sal stood for election as Party President and what Sal Brinton plans to do for the Party now she has been electedParty President just look up their respective Websites

  • Congratulations to Sal, but what a tiny number voting for the Presidency of a party of governmwnt!
    A key aim must be to see internal democracy restored and the membership engaged.

  • I’m afraid this, and the comments below the line, provide perspective. Wrong name, corrected by nobody. Almost unanimous view that nothing the Lib Dems say or do could possibly be of any worth whatsoever.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/29/sarah-brinton-liberal-democrats-elected-president

    So we need a new political party, don’t we?

  • Dave G Fawcett 30th Nov '14 - 1:06am

    Congratulations Sal. you weren’t my first choice – I suspect that, as a disabled person myself, I tried not to let that issue influence me, and perhaps did let that issue decide my vote . However I knew any of the candidates would do a great job.. I expect you to uphold the views and expectations of the members and I know you that you will.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 30th Nov '14 - 1:30am

    @ David,

    Actually, Sarah is her first name, it’s just that, in the same way that Rosalind Scott means rather less to people than Ros Scott does, nobody in the Party ever calls Sal by her given name. Do try and be a little less Eeyore-ish from time to time, won’t you?

  • Stevan Rose 30th Nov '14 - 1:35am

    @David Allen… “Wrong name…”

    Not corrected by anyone because Sal Brinton’s full name is Sarah Virginia Brinton. Interesting comments on that link – I got sidetracked onto the disturbing story of Michael Parnell in Stockport.

    Sal wasn’t my choice but I hope she does a good job.

  • Tony Dawson 30th Nov '14 - 7:44am

    The Party President is meant to speak for the Party as a whole. Will Sal Brinton control the parliamentary ‘leadership’?

  • Tim Farron: 14,593 votes
    Susan Kramer: 12,950 votes

    A total of 65,861 ballot papers were issued and the turnout was 41.9%.

    Total ballots returned 27,607.

    I have managed to answer my own question by looking back through the LDV archive to 2010
    The % turnout is roughly the same as 2014.
    However, it is a sad reflection on what has happened to the membership of the party in recent years.
    Only four years ago we had more than 27,000 members voting for party president.
    Now we are down to less than 17,000 members voting.

  • Well worth reading this on the outgoing president Tim Farron —

    http://andrewhickey.info/2014/11/30/so-farewell-then-timfarron/

  • Peter Moody 30th Nov '14 - 9:46am

    Re Turnout.
    When the candidates sent their last minute statement emails I realized that I had not received a ballot paper. I contacted the party and I was allowed to vote online. I propose a follow up survey to check the number of ballot papers which were actually received for members to vote with. Hopefully my situation was a one off but it would be useful to know for future elections.
    Thank you to all three presidential candidates who answered my emails to them and congratulations to Sal.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 30th Nov '14 - 10:11am

    Congratulations Sal – it was a great contest and an important one for LDs everywhere. I’m sorry that more members didn’t vote and trust more do so in the coming GE. It occurs to me that as the contest was so good and the contestants united with a will to serve the party, the other two could join you to form your back-up team. Presumably we have a team of workers at Party HQ who will do the backroom jobs and leave the front team to travel and support our weary activists of all varieties. Stay on top of everything Sal, and use other members to make a first-class campaigning team.

  • Angela Davies 30th Nov '14 - 10:45am

    I am disappointed that daisy did not win. I wish Sal Brinton well but I wish someone young and fresh had won.

  • Yes Angela, think we have missed the boat again. It is all about image, we do not appear young and dynamic. Staid I think is appropriate. I suspect the age profile of the membership probably has something to do with it.

  • I didn’t vote. Why? Because I saw nothing from any of them which suggested they they understand the existential crisis the Party faces. In 2005 we came within 963 votes of gaining Oxford East: in by-elections in three wards on Thursday we polled a total of 59 votes. I’m not interested in what the President will do the day after the General Election next year with regard to coalition negotiations because there are no circumstances under which we should consider entering a coalition after the election. We did the brave and right thing after 2010 for the sake of the stability of a country in crisis, and despite the cost to the Party we have governed in coalition with tenacity and discipline. But Britain needs a liberal party, and if we go into coalition again it won’t have one by 2020.

  • Edward Reach 30th Nov '14 - 12:33pm

    I voted for Sal Brinton and I’m pleased she won. I thought Daisy Cooper ran an energetic and dynamic campaign – I do think we need to be careful about suggesting ‘young and fresh’ should be a decisive factor though, @Angela. Sal has experience inside and outside politics and, refreshingly, doesn’t talk like an automaton. Those were big factors in my decision to vote for her.

  • peter tyzack 30th Nov '14 - 1:27pm

    At least Daisy will be available to stand next time, meanwhile lets make sure she is active in the Party so that everyone gets to know her. Perhaps Sal should be authorised to appoint her as a deputy. And as regards Rabi’s comment that the job of Party President is unpaid, I do trust that the Party will ensure that full expenses are paid, and that Local Party visit costs will be covered by the Local Party concerned.

  • SIMON BANKS 30th Nov '14 - 6:36pm

    Just slightly disturbed to see at least two commenters referring to “Daisy and Lynne”. This should either be “Cooper and Lynne” or “Daisy and Liz”.

  • Richard Fagence 30th Nov '14 - 10:24pm

    I congratulate Baroness Brinton on her victory. I didn’t vote for her, I voted for Daisy with no second or third preference. I can’t help feeling that this party – or at least the minority of its members who cast a vote – have missed a real opportunity to select a young president to inspire the young supporters who are unquestionably out there. My constituency has attracted two in the last month and, compared with some constituencies, we are definitely in League Two! I hope Daisy will stand again in two years’ time. I have a feeling we are going to need her.

  • David Allen 1st Dec '14 - 1:23pm

    Mark Valladares, “Do try and be a little less Eeyore-ish from time to time, won’t you?”

    That’s an ad hominem attack of course, which has been allowed on this site, I wonder why?

    I am not “Eeyore-ish”, I am appalled at the manifold failures of this party’s leadership, as are most independent observers outside the Party. If just a few people clicked the Guardian link I gave, they will have seen almost nil public interest in who the Lib Dem President might be, almost universal agreement that the Lib Dems are just a busted flush. It might be more constructive to take note of that message than to abuse the messenger.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 1st Dec '14 - 7:50pm

    @ David Allen,

    Probably because the moderation is generally done by computer, which is hardly likely to pick up an ironic comment such as mine. The comments policy should point you towards how such issues should be dealt with…

    However, it was not my intention to offend you, merely to gently chide you for what seems to be your repeated assertion that absolutely everything is awful. Accordingly, I apologise for offending you. Perhaps, in return, you might cease accusing me of being just another apologist for Clegg – as I’ve said on a number of occasions, I don’t wholly agree with you on that subject. That doesn’t mean that I wholly disagree with you.

    But, returning to your point, how many people outside the Party have ever bothered about who the Party President is? How many of them could tell you who chairs Labour’s National Executive Committee? The internal workings of political parties are a massive turnoff to virtually the entire UK population and whilst I might wish that this wasn’t so, I am not naive enough to think that it would change regardless of who we elected as President.

  • George Carpenter 1st Dec '14 - 9:37pm

    How can it be representative democracy when only those who attend conference can vote?
    Ridiculous

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 1st Dec '14 - 9:51pm

    George,

    No, all members can vote. Only conference delegates can nominate though…

  • Simon Hebditch 2nd Dec '14 - 10:15am

    Tony Hill
    I agree completely. We are simply not getting the extent of the problem we are facing. The major difficulty now is that no-one listens to what we have to say. Your point about any future coalition agreement is crucial. If the Lib Dems perform anything like the current ratings, we should not be seeking any coalition arrangement and instead concentrating on both renewing the party and linking up with extra parliamentary movements.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 3rd Dec '14 - 11:20am

    @ john smith: I don’t think you really understand STV. Spoiled papers are those that don’t transfer. So if people vote for one candidate and don’t vote for any further candidates, they can’t go any further.

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