Jo: A General Election? Bring it on….

Jo Swinson was on Newsnight talking about the new Cabinet. She said that she had written to Jeremy Corbyn asking him to call a Vote of No Confidence. When asked about whether she wanted to see a General Election, she said: “Absolutely. Bring it on.”

You can watch the whole programme here.

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  • I approve of this new leader. So far.

  • John Marriott 25th Jul '19 - 10:26am

    I watched Ms Swinson’s performance on Newsnight on catch up this morning and I like what I see. However, the idea that we all want a General Election to sort out the mess we are in is wishful thinking. Just go and ask ‘Brenda of Bristol’. I’m glad that Jo is pressing for an EDM in an attempt to get something moving before the recess. I would hope that Labour might support a Motion of No Confidence, at least to test the waters just to dare some of those disappointed Tories at least to sharpen their knives.

    I personally, fool that I probably am, would not rule out a government of National Unity (Ed Davey style) being attempted before voters are asked to give their opinion in the ballot box. A test will undoubtedly come next week. If the Lib Dems do take back Brecon and Radnorshire – and don’t discount a possible Boris bounce – the PM’s options become even more limited.

    And then there’s the ‘People’s Vote’. Now I know that most Lib Dems reckon that Remain would walk it. But what happens if it doesn’t and either Leave wins again, or the result is as close either way as before. Tony Blair is on record as saying he would accept the result either way. Would Jo Swinson and the majority of Lib Dems? Remember the old proverb; ‘You should never put all your eggs in one basket’.

    You see, we are very much still in the Cleggian ‘more or less the same’ mind set as regards the EU, which is one of the reasons why the more cerebral of Leave voters rejected our membership of the present institution. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we need a much more nuanced and sophisticated referendum this time if we get one. A binary choice just will not do if we are to break the logjam and try to form a consensus.

    As for a General Election, the experts amongst us will surely point to the fact that Opinion Poll ratings are often sacrificed on the altar of FPTP. Look what happened to the SDP/Liberal Alliance in 1983.

  • David Becket 25th Jul '19 - 11:53am

    Jo’s PMQ question was brilliant, and got onto the 6 o-clock news.
    We need more events like that.

    However we must be very clever and avoid knee jerk reactions. It is obvious we need a General Election, but the timing to ask Corbyn for a Vote of No Confidence does not look wise.
    Far better to wait until the problems Johnson faces come to make life difficult, and the number of Tories prepared to put country before party increases.

  • Roy Pounsford 25th Jul '19 - 11:53am

    Please remember that Jo is our Prime Minster candidate.

    Britain Elects
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 25% (-)
    LDEM: 23% (+3)
    LAB: 19% (-2)
    BREX: 17% (-2)
    GRN: 9% (+1)

    , 23 – 24 Jul
    Chgs. w/ 17 Jul
    5:06 PM · Jul 24, 2019·TweetDeck

  • Roy Pounsford 25th Jul '19 - 11:53am

    Please remember that Jo is our Prime Minster candidate.

    Britain Elects
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 25% (-)
    LDEM: 23% (+3)
    LAB: 19% (-2)
    BREX: 17% (-2)
    GRN: 9% (+1)

  • Sue Sutherland 25th Jul '19 - 12:18pm

    Over on the post about Jo’s PMQ Bill le Breton mentions that Dominic Cummings has already started a Facebook campaign with a targeted survey. Boris is going for a General Election and is planning for it already. Jo is doing brilliantly but do we have the capacity for a high tech campaign? We may have to involve members with these skills on a voluntary basis. At the moment I’m feeling that we might be lambs led to slaughter if we don’t watch out for the big bad wolf disguised not as a granny but as a buffoon.

  • Bill le Breton 25th Jul '19 - 1:01pm

    “We’ve tabled an early day motion tonight (against the PM)…

    “I have absolutely no confidence in Boris Johnson,” says Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson

    Another good move by Jo and in contrast with the time six months ago or so when we held back.

    Noticeable also that BoJo behaved with courtesy to her question to him in the ‘Vision Thing’ statement to the House this morning. Good choice of question which every Lib Dem campaigner can quote plus an element of leg pulling which robbed him of any other come back.

  • John Marriott 25th Jul '19 - 1:01pm

    If we have a General Election sooner rather than later, remember what happened to the SDP/Liberal Alliance under FPTP in 1983.

    If we get a ‘People’s Vote’, which is inconclusive either way, what happens then? Those advocating another referendum would do themselves a massive favour if they accepted at least in private that a Remain win is not guaranteed in spite of what the opinion polls might indicate at the moment and, in public, agreed to accept whatever result emerged.

  • Bill le Breton 25th Jul '19 - 1:13pm

    Sue, our messages crossed or otherwise I would have responded to it in my comment above.

    Yes, we have to set our campaigners free to campaign for themselves and we have to encourage volunteers and self-starting.

    The revival of the Party in the 70s and 80s came when the Party was made to decentralise its campaigning.

    Now is not the time to wait and hope that staff will do everything for us providing campaign material in which local candidates just fill in two blanks ie name and local community.

    A thousand flowers must be encouraged to blossom. The mantra has to be “redesign, publish, involve, report back,share, redesign, publish, involve, report back, share.”

    And every MP and councillor needs to keep an eye open for these ideas and reinforce them through the platforms and opportunities they have.

    It has to be bottom up integrated campaigning.

    Ads are still ads and as such powerful, but less powerful than personal interaction.

  • Richard Underhill 25th Jul '19 - 1:22pm

    Jo Swinson was also on BBC TV Politics Live interviewed by BBC’s Jo Coburn from Central Lobby. she was rudely interrupted by Clive Lewis MP (Labour) who wished to brush aside issues about Jeremy Corbyn’s Leaver attitudes and problems about anti-Semitism, with which we do not want to be tainted.
    Theresa May is watching the cricket at Lords.

  • John Marriott 25th Jul '19 - 1:41pm

    For those who bothered to read my 1pm post and are wondering whether I am repeating myself, I would answer that, at the time of my posting, my original post had got sucked into the ‘Moderation’ box and I assumed that it would not appear.

    I saw the confrontation between Swinson and Lewis on Politics Live. Lewis was not rude. He was making a valid point. I for one am getting pretty fed up with attempts at points scoring from all sides. Jo Swinson had better get used to far worse if she is going to make an impact outside her comfort zone.

  • Jo has said she is a candidate for Prime Minister and wants the party to be the biggest party after a general election. Please can the membership be told what plans we have to make this possible?

    Please can someone remind me how many target seats we had in 2015? In 2017 we were second in only 38 seats a fall of 25 from 2015. Election Polling list 100 seats by size of swing needed to win them for us – To be the biggest party in the House of Commons we need more than 158 MPs. This could mean adding another 70 seats to this list.

    Looking at possible seats there are 12 Labour held seats in list of 100, but in a forecast which gives us 170 gains there are 28 including Reading East where we achieved 6.12% of the vote and Warrington South where we achieved 5.39%. Looking at Conservative held seats within the 100 there are 66. The expanded list includes Basingstoke where we achieved 6.09% in 2017 and Copeland where we achieved 3.27% in 2017.

    I expect these type of seats will need a lot of help; a shared paid agent and funds to produce literature and get it delivered by commercial companies.

  • Richard O'Neill 25th Jul '19 - 4:50pm

    Just the sort of style that suits the party well. In this time or rancour and angriness, slyly clever stiletto-like questions are much more effective than the tribalist bludgeoning which is what we will have between Johnson and Corbyn.

    Liberals should be the positive party, rather than the angry one.

  • Looking at opinion polls it’s very obvious to me that a LibDem-Green arrangement is needed at the next election for the LibDems to do well. I advocate such an arrangement in the strongest possible terms. I am very much at the other side of the LibDem spectrum from the Greens – a socially conservative, balanced budget, moderate taxation person but it is essential.

    In the latest poll in the comments, LibDems are on 23%, Greens are on 9%. Few LibDem voters will be put off by an arrangement with the LibDems. Some Green voters may be put off, but no more than 2% out of that 9%. A 30% combined LibDem/Green vote would make huge gains.

    (1) LibDems don’t run a candidate against Caroline Lucas and Greens don’t run candidates against sitting LibDem MPs.

    (2) LibDems and Greens divide up winnable seats between them. In practice, this means LibDems giving Greens a free run in seats in which there was a strong Green vote at the 2017 election such as Isle of Wright (17% Green vs 4% LibDem), Bristol West (13% Green vs 7% LibDem, even though LibDem candidate was former sitting MP), Sheffield Central (8% vs 5%).

    (3) LibDems and Greens agree to joint policies, i.e. separate manifestos but where policies are close include joint statement in their respective manifestos.

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