Mark Pack comfortably re-elected as President

It’s a day of internal election results at Lib Dem HQ today.

First to be declared is the Presidential election. which is subject to an appeal.

Mark Pack won a second term easily.

The result in full is:

Mark Pack            4969

Lucy Nethsingha 2194

Liz Webster          1936

The turnout was very low. Mark got almost 10,000 more votes in 2019 and his opponent then, Christine Jardine, with 10,164 votes herself got more than the 9.099 votes cast in this election.

The party will need to address engagement for future elections.

Nevertheless, Mark is the clear winner and we send him our congratulations.

He said on his re-election:

I am delighted to have been re-elected as President of the Liberal Democrats, winning on the first round.

I would like to start by thanking all those who took part in this election, whether or not they supported me. We should be really proud of our democracy as the only major party which truly offers one member one vote, so we can be confident that those that win our elections really are their party’s choice. In return, I look forward to representing every one of our members.
During the campaign many of those members told me what they thought needed to be done to improve the party. I heard many great ideas and will do my very best to act on them. I am committed to continuing to listen and learn from our wider membership.

My priority now – working with the Leader, the CEO and the new Board and committees – is to get back to strengthening the party, as a campaigning organisation and as a champion of those ignored (and worse) by this terrible government.

I’m looking ahead to supporting all our candidates running for election in May 2023, and our parliamentary candidates preparing for a General Election whenever it happens.

My congratulations to all those who will be elected today. I look forward to working with you.

Finally, I would like to offer my thanks to the Returning Officer, and all his team for their hard work, to the Chairs of the State Parties for organising hustings, and all those who helped to make this election happen.

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13 Comments

  • Every time their are these elections I always intend to read every candidates statements but soon tire of reading much the same statements. Voting for president was easy enough but I had some issues in voting after that. I was not allowed to vote until I had numbered every candidates box. Nevertheless congratulations Mark Pack.

  • Couldn’t get the voting to work at all in Safari. Had to switch to Opera. But possibly one reason people didn’t bother is there was so much of it all at once. eg federal council was 21 seats, with 57 candidates. Took ages to read through all the statements, and ages longer to narrow them down and then put them in some kind of order. And then there was the president and the board and the conference committee…

    I know you didn’t have to do the lot in one go. But maybe if they were split up a bit more, time-wise it wouldn’t seem so daunting?

  • Paul Barker 16th Nov '22 - 6:31pm

    I found making the decision to vote for Mark Pack very easy, partly for the wrong reasons. Neither of the other Candidates said whether they thought Mark was doing the right things badly or the wrong things, in fact neither mentioned him, I could have asked them but what they did say didn’t inspire that much interest. In any case I felt it was their job to tell me/us just why they were standing & I felt that they didn’t.

    I agree with everything the first two comments said.

  • The dramatic drop in turn out in these elections is significant and the article rightly says

    “The party will need to address engagement for future elections.”

    We should have more people voting in our elections, not this sudden drop.

    I personally had to request for my ballot to sent to me and to be fair I had an apology from the national party after I have done so – but how many more people faced this situation? Indeed why should party member have to even request that their ballot paper is sent to them?

    We need to learn a lot – and quickly.

  • I had my ballot on time, and I think I voted pretty much as soon as it arrived in my email.

    Not wanting to overdo the point made by others, but the big thing for me is just how much time it takes to complete, especially for roles where there are more than a handful of candidates. Trying to read up on, and then rank, dozens of candidates just becomes a total pain.

    I’ve no idea if these candidate profiles are available in advance somewhere, but that would help. Fortunately the Green Lib Dems did at least provide some advance notice on their candidates, and I recognised some names from things like training sessions and Kickstart weekends, so these people usually ended up as higher preferences for me.

    I’d much prefer little and often elections, rather than huge ones like this one.

  • Peter Chambers 16th Nov '22 - 8:27pm

    I found both the short statements and the manifestos did not tell me what the candidates intended to do with their terms of office, what changes they intended to make, or how they intended to achieve their aims. What I mainly recall is that many said what groups they were members of.
    I did gather from other sources that a lot of campaigning was going on in unsocial media.
    I cannot say for sure as I do not inhabit that world. The blurb is all !
    Few problems with the browser, however the link from the email to the web page was very low key and the least clickable-looking thing in there.

  • Tim, you didn’t need to number every box, but if you did 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 missing out 4, it would get upset, and sometimes if you already had a 5 and tried to put someone new on 5 it would delete the previous 5 and replace it with nothing, but in other circumstances, I think if you had already allocated a number, say 10, switching that to 5 would push the old 5-9 down one place.

    The net result is that I’m sure a lot of people gave up without voting, except for those who already had views on lots of the candidates, or prioritised only those they knew they definitely wanted on committees, or who had very strong views on the shape of the committees.

    I’m not even sure how it works if someone was nominated for more than one committee and could theoretically have been successful in both. Do they get to decide which one to go on, or are they appointed to the committee that’s votes are counted first, and withdrawn from the second?

    But congratulations to Mark.

  • Peter Watson 16th Nov '22 - 11:47pm

    @Martin “It made me wonder just how relaxed he is about the Party losing members.”
    Recalling the celebration of growing membership a few years ago, with regular updates as the 100k figure was exceeded, your comment made me wonder what the situation is now.

    It seems that there were 95,000 members in December 2018 which rose to 107,000 by July 2019, but had fallen to 73,544 by the end of 2021. Membership of the Greens (England & Wales) rose from 48500 to 54306 between July 2019 and December 2021. With c. 7500 Scottish Greens, might Green membership pass the Lib Dems this year? That would make the Lib Dems the 5th largest, behind two parties (Greens, SNP) which are open about wanting to rejoin the EU.
    (Membership figures from https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN05125/SN05125.pdf, which also has interesting information about the composition of party membership)

  • Peter Watson 16th Nov '22 - 11:52pm

    P.S. Mark Pack’s figures (https://www.markpack.org.uk/143767/liberal-democrat-membership-figures/) show that membership actually peaked at 126,724 in 2019 and was 117,924 for the 2020 leadership election, and repeat the 73,544 figure for 2021.

  • Peter Watson 16th Nov '22 - 11:58pm

    P.P.S. The page linked to for the presidential election indicates that 9099 votes is 14.05% turnout, corresponding to a current membership of 64762.

  • nvelope2003 18th Nov '22 - 3:38pm

    The impression I get is that no one is interested in the Liberal Democrats anymore. Hopes of benefitting from tactical voting appear misplaced when Labour seems to be so far ahead even in areas where the Liberal Democrats were the main contenders to the Conservatives until recently. We need to make the most of the decline in support for Brexit and the clear and abject failure of the Conservatives since the end of the Coalition.

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