Lib Dems North Shropshire campaign gathers momentum

It’s only 10 days since Owen Paterson resigned, but to say that the Lib Dem campaign had got off to a flying start in the by-election would be under-egging the pudding considerably. It’s more of a blast-off than a take-off. We are well into the second leaflet, we have an HQ, and Ed Davey has now been there twice. I also took part in the first campaign Maraphone on Friday.

Here is our last by-election winner, Sarah Green, opening the HQ:

The Young Liberals were there too:

And look who else turned up:

The party’s chief executive sent out one of these “confidential” briefings that is just crying out to be shared, given that most of the info is in the public domain anyway. Part of it was a photo of the first leaflet. Putting “confidential” on something is a good way of getting someone to read it. However, Mike Dixon is pushing at an open door. There is already a sense of excitement building in the party, one that is surprising given that it’s only two years since the last December election.

The news that the Conservatives have selected a Birmingham based barrister to defend this safe seat suggests that they think this defence will be easy for them.

Campaigns staff and activists will be relieved that the date has now been set for 16th December, so that they don’t have to spend the Festive Season away from home.

We found in Chesham and Amersham earlier this year that many previous Tory voters were so angry with the Government for so many reasons and felt that they could safely show their fury by voting Liberal Democrat. It wouldn’t change the Government, but it would send them a message. Six months down the track, Tory voters will likely note that Boris Johnson’s government has got even worse, and the circumstances of the by-election do not help them at all.

If you can help the campaign by donating or volunteering, click here. Even though the Tories have a whacking great majority, we should not limit our ambitions about what we can achieve. We know that we came second in the constituency in the local elections in May. We have an active, vibrant, growing local party which is more than up for the fight. A good result for us would be a huge end of year morale boost and would show the country that we are alive and kicking way beyond the blue wall.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Neil James Sandison 14th Nov '21 - 1:06pm

    Just think if we did win this one our only West Midlands MP could demand a regular seat on Politics West Midlands and the BBC could shut us out no more from regular attendance of Question Time to express a liberal position on issue of the day .

  • Michael Chandler 14th Nov '21 - 2:43pm

    I notice that the odds of the Liberal Democrats winning the by-election changed from 10/1 to 4/1 and are now being quoted at 3/1. Labour’s odds have been going in the opposite direction which is something when you consider that their candidate came second in the 2019 general election.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the Tories start to send their “big guns” to campaign in the constituency and whether Johnson will do a turn. Somehow I doubt that Johnson will go anywhere near the constituency unless there’s a fridge handy. And I think that some of big “big guns” will also find scheduling conflicts magically appearing on their calendars, which prevent them from going

  • The approach of Labour and the Conservatives may depend on whether or not there is another by-election for the Claudia Webbe seat, but by the look of things she’s not planning to resign.

    We should have shorter odds because while Labour got more votes last time, we did better in the more recent local elections. I can’t see Labour gaining enough extra votes, and not from the current Tory voters to get the win.

    It will count against us that unlike Chesham and Amersham, many Labour supporters will think they are the challengers and even if they don’t expect to win, they’ll not be confident in our ability to do it, so they’ll want a good result to avoid negative press.

    I wouldn’t pay too much attention to betting odds, because as well as likelihood of outcome, they are influenced by what bets are being placed. I wouldn’t be surprised if some plucky LD activists have placed a couple of bets while the odds are long, just for the fun of it. Not that it does us any harm in terms of adding to the narrative that we are the natural challengers.

    It will be interesting to see how BoJo approaches this election. He’s bound to turn up, but does he want to be associated with a by-election triggered due to Tory sleaze and have reporters asking him questions about it? Moral in the local party may be low too. Will activists stay at home because they’re angry at Paterson, ashamed to be associated with him or demoralised by the whole thing?

    Thank you and good luck to all of the activists getting out there to do their thing, especially when the weather isn’t great.

  • John McHugo 14th Nov '21 - 4:33pm

    Johnson has been reported as visiting Bexley and Old Sidcup during the by-election campaign there. I wonder how recent that was….

  • John McHugo 14th Nov ’21 – 4:33pm:
    I wonder how recent that was….

    Friday afternoon (12th. November).

  • Maurice Leeke 15th Nov '21 - 9:33am

    Could we have the details of the location of the Lib Dem HQ please. I am intending to be there on Wednesday and Thursday.

  • The Tories should be more worried about sending in their “little guns” as opposed to their “big guns”.
    Whilst I expect we will have hoards of little guns in North Shropshire, I can’t see many Tory activists being keen to travel there and face the voters, from what I’ve heard on the doorsteps.
    Given that, I predict the Tories to be having to use a lot of postage stamps up to the 16th December!

  • Great stuff.
    Are we doing anything at Bexley as a poor to bad result for us and a very good result for Labour there, could hamper things for us in Shropshire.

  • Julian Heather 15th Nov '21 - 12:53pm

    Maurice Leeke – In answer to your question, the Lib Dem byelection HQ details are:

    WHERE: Soulton Court, Soulton, Wem, SY4 5RS
    OPENING TIMES: Daily, 9:00am to 8:00pm
    BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The 511 bus runs past Soulton Hall, from Shrewsbury, via Wem. The HQ is about a 2 mile walk from Wem railway station
    BY CAR: Soulton Hall is on the B5065 (the Soulton Road).

    Hope to see you there !

  • Peter Martin 15th Nov '21 - 1:01pm

    @ Martin,

    “…currently anti-Brexit voters have no one to turn to in England.”

    You’ve never heard of the Rejoin EU party ?

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