Last push: Thursday 27th May Thirsk and Malton residents go to the Polls

Howard Keal’s campaign is gathering momentum, so please help us with the final push before close of polls on Thursday.

With a Labour candidate who was working in London till recently and so is not well known, the election is between the Tory candidate so unpopular in her own party they tried to deselect her at the end of last year, and Howard Keal who has a local profile leading the Liberal Democrat group on Ryedale District Council.

Having secured an additional £9.5million in funding for flood defences in this area, Howard Keal has a consistent track record as a local champion over the past decade. This is now a winnable seat for the Liberal Democrats and we need all the help you can can offer; we can make the difference and with your help we can bring real change that builds a fairer Britain.

I encourage you to come and visit the picturesque towns of North Yorkshire: Easingwold, Filey, Helmsley, Hummanby, Kirkbymoorside, Malton, Norton, Pickering, Thirsk and the rural communities surrounding them.

Our local message is ‘Vote Howard Keal for a fairer deal’.

Any help you can give us delivering or telling across the constituency would be much appreciated – we can make a difference with your help. If you need somewhere to stay, let us know and we should be able to help you. For further details contact Di Keal on 01653 694546 or 07593682402, Betty Denton on 01347 811162 or Mike Beckett on 01653 691402.

If you can’t come in person then please canvas by phone – let Stephen Preston know your experience on 01653 695788. Other ways to help include Twitter, promoting ‘Howard Keal for Thirsk and Malton’, Lib Dem Act, and Facebook.

Any cheque donations to the campaign should be made out to “Thirsk & Malton Liberal Democrat Campaign Account” and sent to Betty Denton, Howard’s agent, at, Lucy House, North Back Lane, Stillington, York YO61 1LL .

We got Elizabeth Shields elected MP in the 1986 by-election, we came a close second in the share of the vote across the constituency in the County Council elections last year and we have just won the local council by-election in Norton on the 6th of May.

With your help we can help Nick Clegg to have a 58th MP at Westminster – Thirsk and Malton’s very own Howard Keal.

Mike Beckett is Chair of Thirsk and Malton Liberal Democrats

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This entry was posted in Parliamentary by-elections.


  • Grumpy Old Man 26th May '10 - 9:15am

    I thought the new politics eschewed negative smearing of opponents for positive proposals of one’s own.
    Maybe the Thirsk and Malton LibDem Taliban haven’t caught up with events yet.

  • Maybe the Thirsk and Malton LibDem Taliban haven’t caught up with events yet.

    I thought the new politics eschewed name-calling of political opponents

  • Andrea Gill 26th May '10 - 9:47am

    @Grumpy Old Man John – What in this article constitutes name-calling or negative smearing? If you’re not talking about this particular post then could you please let us know what you *are* referring to?

  • Do you have HQ or committee room details for polling day on Thursday in case people can drop in?

  • Andrea

    I am guessing GOM is talking about the reference to the Tory candidate.

    It would be refreshing if the campaign was more focused on selling the benefits of the Lib Dems in government and suggesting that electing a Lib Dem MP would strengthen the party’s hand in government. But I guess the habits of permanent opposition die hard.

  • “It would be refreshing if the campaign was more focused on selling the benefits of the Lib Dems in government and suggesting that electing a Lib Dem MP would strengthen the party’s hand in government. But I guess the habits of permanent opposition die hard.”

    Agreed. I think Vote Lib Dem to stop the Tory has passed its sell by date.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 26th May '10 - 3:51pm

    “I think Vote Lib Dem to stop the Tory has passed its sell by date.”

    But isn’t it interesting that the Conservative candidate is being criticised on the basis that the Tories don’t like her!

  • The Lib Dem’s just helped to stop the Tories from winning a majority in the House of Commons, then they stopped them from forming a Minority Government, which would have lead to another General Election within one year, which would most likely have lead to a Conservative Government, so there is two stops in one!

    David Laws just stopped most of the Tory Ministers being driven around in chauffeur driven Jaguars.

    I can see plenty of Tory-Stopping going on myself.

    Obviously as a Lib Dem, I’d prefer to have stopped any other party from having anything to do with it, but without more people voting for us, there is a limit to how extensive this Tory-stopping can be. They got more votes and more seats than anyone else – to ignore that and stop them completely anyway would be quite outrageously undemocratic.

  • @John, it is CERTAINLY something we need to start getting used to for future elections, no more bar charts, more focus on providing good, “desirable” PPCs in all constituencies. In Switzerland where I am from, and where I still vote, we get 1 envelope with info from all parties, and on all candidates. I sincerely hope we get AV through and change elections to be about selecting the best candidate to represent the region, rather than about slanging matches etc.

  • @RCM – Hear, hear!!! Well said!

  • Andrea

    In switzerland parties are so indistinguishable from the state that they all share government posts. I definitely do not want that kind of corporatist model imported into the UK!

    Parties and candidates should be given the maximum freedom to campaign how they see fit, not coralled into putting their messages on to a single piece of paper that is delivered by the state so that competition can be suppressed and new entrants kept out.

  • @John – pardon? Just because we don’t have a system of opposition does NOT make all parties the same. Seriously that was a massively uninformed comment there.

  • I did not say all the parties were the same. I said they had all been co-opted by the state in return for the state throwing up barriers to competition to their cartel.

  • Andrea Gill 28th May '10 - 1:39am

    @John – they haven’t been co-opted, Switzerland is a very direct democracy where the people get a say on most things, although some may say too many things.

    It is merely a different system to the UK’s where coalitions are the norm and there is debate WITHIN the government rather than between government and an opposition. Although as my father put it, with the nationalist party having more recently become the majority party, and them being oppositional in nature, there is an in-build opposition of sorts!

    It is not one piece of paper that is handed out, merely that for elections, all party leaflets – party lists etc – for all parties are distributed in 1 envelope alongside the voting documents needed for postal or direct/polling station voting/elections. For referenda, proposed changes to legislation and popular initiatives, arguments from all sides, e.g. the government’s and those of the proponents or opponents, are listed in a small booklet and the exact paragraph(s) of legislature that are proposed for change are listed.

    The people, not ministers or MPs, decide…. although IMHO it can go into too much detail and voter turnout is low because of the sheer amount of things we regularly have to vote on.

  • Dave – what’s an undemocratic socialist?

  • Paul McKeown 28th May '10 - 2:42pm



    Are you sure Naomi Long of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland is sitting on the government benches. I believe that the Alliance Party, although it has strong links with the Liberal Democrats, have chosen to take the opposition benches. I’m sure co-operation will remain strong despite this, though.

    Paul McKeown

  • Paul McKeown 28th May '10 - 4:00pm


    Yes, there are “continuity” Liberals, who sulked when the Liberal party and the SDP merged. One of the main differences concerns the EU, the “continuity” Liberals are rather Eurosceptic in outlook. They have some interesting ideas, but are very much a minority party, with successes only in a specific few areas.

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