Lib Dems’ internal elections: your guide to where we’re at (UPDATED)

Every couple of years the Lib Dems hold internal elections in which conference representatives choose members of key party committees. As one of the seemingly few Lib Dems neither standing for election nor with a vote, I thought our readers might like an update on where we’re at…

Federal Executive

What does it do?
The formal answer: ‘The Federal Executive is an elected committee responsible for directing, co-ordinating and implementing the work of the Federal Party.’ (From the party website.)
The informal answer: What does the Federal Executive do? by Alison Goldsworthy
Who’s standing?
There are 36 candidates (26 men, 10 women) competing for the 15 places available. You can see the full list in our members’ forum here. There were 45 candidates in 2010 and you can see the full results here.

Federal Policy Committee

What does it do?
The formal answer: ‘The Federal Policy Committee is responsible for the production of the policy papers that are debated by Conference and for writing the General Election Manifesto, in consultation with the Parliamentary Party, based on the agreed policies of the party but updating them where necessary.’ (From the party website.)
The informal answer: Why stand for Federal Policy Committee? by Dinti Batstone.
Who’s standing?
There are 65 candidates (46 male, 19 female) competing for the 15 places available. You can see the full list in our members’ forum here. There were 63 candidates in 2010 and you can see the full results here.

Federal Conference Committee

What does it do?
The formal answer: ‘The Federal Conference Committee (FCC) is, with the support of professional staff, responsible for organising and running the party’s two annual conferences.’ (From the party website.)
The informal answer: Standing for Federal Conference Committee by Baroness (Sal) Brinton.
Who’s standing?
There are 35 candidates (22 men, 13 women) competing for the 12 places available. You can see the full list in our members’ forum here. There were 33 candidates in 2010 and you can see the full results here.

There are three other committees which are elected by conference representatives:

International Relations Committee

From the party website: ‘… a sub-committee of the Federal Executive. It meets 4 times a year, and acts as the consultative and co-ordinating body of the party regarding its activities on the international stage.’
Nominations for the 5 places to be announced. In 2010, there were 20 candidates — election results here.

ELDR Council Delegation

Mark Valladres describes the responsibilities of the European Liberal Democrats here: “the administrative forum of our European Party. Reports from the Officers, including financial ones, applications for membership from newly emerging political parties in, and beyond, the European Union, decisions on where future Congresses will be, the odd political debate (the last one was about the political situation in Armenia), plus any political resolutions deferred from the preceding Congress do not, in themselves, leap out of the page as offering potential excitement.”
Nominations for the 8 places to be announced. in 2010, there were 22 candidates — election results here.

Interim Peers Panel

The elected list from which Lib Dem nominees for the House of Lords may be drawn by the party leader — James Graham has a clear description of the process here (you’ll search in vain on the party website). However, as Mark Pack reported here, this autumn’s elections — which would have been unnecessary if Lords reform had been successful — have been postponed until the Federal Executive considers the matter: ‘most likely, that will include consideration of changes to the way the Interim Peers Panel works, with proposals being put to the Spring 2013 conference.’
in 2010, there were 39 nominees — election results here.

Timetable for elections

Nominations close – 3 October
Ballot papers posted out – 15 October
Close of ballot – 7 November
Count – 10 November

And finally…

Party President:

As announced on Friday, Tim Farron has been re-elected unopposed as party president, and wrote about it here on LibDemVoice: Being our party’s President is a wonderful honour for me.
The full list of past election results for the party presidency (1988-2010), as voted by all members not just conference representatives, are here.

With thanks to Colin Rosenstiel for curating the only comprehensive online list of all past results for Lib Dem internal elections linked to throughout this post.

A reminder of LDV’s editorial policy on internal party elections… It remains substantially the same as I posted here two years ago (though the party’s rules on campaigning and endorsements have been relaxed in the interim to facilitate freer discussion) and will be guided at all times by the principles of impartiality and equality of access to all candidates.

Edit history:
updated 7.20 am 8th Oct with nominations to Federal Conference Committee, and an amendment to valid nominations for Federal Policy Committee;
updated 1.30 pm 8th Oct with timetable for elections.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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This entry was posted in Party policy and internal matters and Party Presidency.


  • Matthew Donnelly 7th Oct '12 - 6:40pm

    Thanks for this, it’s a useful article.

  • thank you, all good news that so many want to play an active part in our organisation… though I haven’t yet seen the election timetable, any ideas?

  • I predict an even better showing for Social Liberal Forum (and perhaps even Liberal Left) candidates than the advances in 2008 (a reaction to Clegg’s election) and 2010 (a reaction to the coalition, but largely pre tuition fees.) A quiet, democratic change the media has largely ignored.
    Personally, I now believe the leadership has to be seriously reigned in before they sell our party even further down the river.

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