#ldconf 101 – attending as a voting member of conference

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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This is the second in a short series of top tips for conference-goers. Our first, yesterday, told you that you don’t have to register as a delegate to attend fringe and training events at conference.

Today’s tip is for those planning to attend conference, who are not voting members of conference.

Many local parties have not elected as many conference representatives as they are entitled to. Even those local parties that have both a full complement of reps and reserve reps may find themselves in the situation that not all of their representatives are able to make it to conference.

This is where you come in – you can offer to attend as a substitute member. Your local party exec will need to approve this first, and you will need to bring with you a signed letter from your local party chair or secretary indicating that they have agreed to you serving as a substitute voting representative. Once at conference, you can swap the letter for a voting rep badge.

The full rules for this are available in the Conference Agenda, available for download here, and they say:

Voting status and voting / non-voting photo passes

You will only be able to register as a voting representative if the Party’s Membership Department:

1 has already received written notification from the Returning Officer of your local party that you have been elected as a voting representative*; or

2 has already received written notification from the Returning Officer of your local party that you are a substitute elected by your local party Executive after a voting representative has informed them that s/he is unable to attend*; or

3 receives at the Membership Desk at conference (in the Windsor Lobby on the ground floor of the BIC) written notification from the Returning Officer of your local party that you have been elected as a voting representative or as a substitute.

* For a voting photo pass to be sent out before conference this information must have been received by 7th August 2009. Otherwise you will be sent a non-voting photo pass.

If you have received a non-voting photo pass and believe you are a voting representative, you need to get an officer of your local party to inform Membership Services (see below) in writing of the elected representatives of your local party. Your voting status cannot be changed over the phone.

If you have received a non-voting photo pass but are attending conference as a substitute voting representative, you need to get an officer of your local party to write to Membership Services with the name, address and membership number of the representative you are substituting for, as well as your own full details, before 12.00 on Friday 11th September, and bring a copy of this letter to the Membership Desk at conference.

You may then collect the appropriate pass from the Membership Desk in the Windsor Lobby on the ground floor of the BIC.

Write to: Membership Services, 4 Cowley Street, London, SW1P 3NB or email [email protected]

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This entry was posted in Conference.


  • The good news is that the Scottish party is proposing (for its conferences, at least) to move back to a “one member, one vote” system, so all members can attend conference and vote on policy without having to be nominated by their local party. Hopefully this will be adopted at the conference in Dunfermline at the end of October, and I also hope that the Federal party would look at this for the future (yes, I know it impacts on some of the voting for the various committees, but it does in Scotland too and the Scottish party has addressed these.)

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