Liberal Youth unveils its General Election campaign plans

LY Cardiff campaign weekend Dec 2014One of the nicest things that’s happened to me this year was when I logged on to Facebook last night and found an invitation asking me to sign up for a Liberal Youth Action Weekend. It’s a long time since I was involved in one of its predecessor organisations, but it brought back memories of the great fun we used to have campaigning in Aberdeenshire under the guidance of party legends like Sheila Ritchie. It was great being at university in Aberdeen because the local party really embraced the students and wanted them to be part of the local organisation outside the university and treated us all like human beings, not just fresh legs to deliver leaflets. It’s no coincidence that that combination helped to lay the foundations for such a strong base in the North East of Scotland. It’s also no coincidence that most of that Aberdeen University contingent are still involved in the party in some way. 

It seems like every successful Liberal Democrat campaign has some help from the fabulous Liberal Youth. In the Eastleigh by-election, Team EastLY delivered tonnes of leaflets and made many thousands of phone calls. They made a real difference. In the local elections we’ve had their Gold Guard teams helping out all over the country.

Now they’ve launched their plans for the General Election which include a series of #winninghere Action Weekends in key seats. Young activists will have their travel and accommodation costs taken care of as they head for a weekend’s campaigning in venues from Edinburgh to Bristol. The photo shows a group of them at a pilot weekend held in Jenny Willott’s Cardiff Central seat a few weeks ago.

You can see all the details on their website. They’ll be helping Lynne Featherstone, Mike Crockart, Stephen Williams, Lorely Burt, Julian Huppert and Layla Moran.

Why are they bothering, given that election campaigns have an unfortunate habit of coinciding with their exams?

We know that no other political party will stand up for the liberal values that young people believe in: whether it was delivering same sex marriage, protecting your online privacy, campaigning for an evidence based drugs policy, working to close the gender pay gap or putting mental health care on the political agenda. So we hope to see lots of you on the campaign trail and join you phoning from home in the next few months as we fight to make sure we still have strong liberal voices in parliament at the end of 2015.

 We also know that young people aged from 18-24 are more likely to switch to us. How better to help that process than to have our young people directly engaging with them and playing such an important part in the campaign.

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

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  • “We know young people 18 – 24 are likely to switch to us”, evidence base please..

  • Yes, some evidence to back it up would be useful.
    Or is it a sort of IDS ‘I believe’ thing ?

    You can’t really extrapolate much out of it [but I’d like too in this case 🙂 ! ] but YouGov had 2% of 18-24 years old saying they’d vote Lib Dem.

  • Chris Manners 21st Dec '14 - 3:02pm

    “. It’s no coincidence that that combination helped to lay the foundations for such a strong base in the North East of Scotland.”

    You’re not even favourite to retain Caithness and Easter Ross. Danny Alexander isn’t looking good either.

    The base might be strong, but you need a bit more than the base.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 21st Dec '14 - 4:19pm

    @chris manners: when Scots refer to the north east we mean the Aberdeenshire area where we have had a strong base for some time now.

    Danny Alexander has delivered huge amounts for his constituency and the local election results there were pretty good. Caithness is doing pretty well too. I wouldn’t be so pessimistic.

  • stuart moran 21st Dec '14 - 5:02pm


    Why is wanting to be shot of on of the people who has brought the LD to the state where they are currently considered to be pessimistic?

    How he can be seen as being a credible economic spokesman when you have Cable in the party is pushing credibility to the limit…….

  • Slightly late to this, but in reply to Theakes’s statement above – the evidence is clear that young people are more likely to switch to us when they hear about our achievements in government than other groups. The main reason for this is obvious – young people are less likely to have firm political allegiances than older people who have been voting for fifty years! There is also the fact that young people tend to have more liberal views and therefore we are more naturally appealing to them IF we get our message across.

    I hope Caron doesn’t mind me giving my pitch as Liberal Youth’s Finance Officer… These Action Weekends are really helpful in some key seats, but they’re not cheap! The more money we raise from donors like you, the more we can spend on campaigning. Cheques made payable to ‘Liberal Democrat Youth and Students’ can be sent to Liberal Youth c/o Great George Street; alternatively, to find out more, e-mail me at: finance AT liberalyouth DOT org.

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