Lewisham East – more news from the frontline

Every by-election has a tipping point. You either have the momentum, or you do not. I know I was closely involved in the Bermondsey by-election, where we proved that one of Labour’s fiefdoms could be demolished by Liberal activism. I must tell you that this weekend the Leegate Centre had the buzz of a Party whose Liberal philosophy, which fights against Labour state control or Tory neoliberalism, is unstoppable.

Liberal Democrat activists were dedicated and inspired.

I spent Saturday afternoon on the doorstep in a former Conservative ward. I can tell you that most began as undecided but were happy to listen and be convinced. Conservatives know they cannot win. They are still unsure that they should turn their backs on their traditional support. Labour voters almost always say that ‘are unsure’.

After 50 years of doorstep politics I still cannot tell you that we are at that ‘tipping point’. However, when my doorstep canvassing is interrupted by a LibDem deliver and when electors on the street tell us ‘you LibDems are everywhere’, you know you are ’on a roll’.

It is clear to me that the voters of Lewisham East want to be convinced. They want to defeat Brexit but need to be helped across their line of traditional support.

I am going back again today.

Let’s just do it in the last few days and on polling day!

* Graham Colley is Chair of the Lib Dem Lawyers Association

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4 Comments

  • Graham Jeffs 11th Jun '18 - 7:07pm

    Should we do really well, I hope that we won’t simply allow the result to be seen as a result of Brexit pure and simple. All that would do is give us an image as a one-trick pony – we should use a good result to emphasise our wider philosophy and attitudes.

  • Richard Underhill 12th Jun '18 - 9:29am

    Graham Jeffs:
    David Belloti had “a good result” in Eastbourne, a result recognised by Michael Heseltine when he stood for the Tory leadership against Mrs Thatcher.
    Michael Carr had “a good result” in Ribble Valley, so good that the Tories abolished their flagship policy, the poll tax, and the new Tory chairman went on to lose his seat in Bath.

  • Richard Fagence 12th Jun '18 - 9:53am

    I had hoped to be in Lewisham this morning, but I am not very well. Having phoned in my apologies, I was assured that my presence – and, presumably, everyone else’s – would be most welcome tomorrow and on Polling Day. I shall do my best to get there; I hope you will, too.

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