Nick Clegg announces the Chair of the 2014 Election Campaign

Tim FarronMembers have just received this email from Nick Clegg:

The 2014 local and European elections are hugely important, so I’m putting one of our best campaigners in charge – Tim Farron.

The dust may have barely settled since this May’s local elections but it’s never too early to start work on the next set. No one embodies that more than Tim, a true 24/7 campaigner, working hard all year round – just ask the people of Westmorland and Lonsdale.

Given the critical importance of these elections for Liberal Democrat representation at a local and European level, not to mention the role it will play as a critical stepping stone to the 2015 General Election, there is no one better qualified or better placed to ensure that we do everything we can as a Party to maximise our success on 22 May 2014.

As Federal Party President Tim is also well placed to bring all parts of our campaigning organisation together so we can fight this election with one strategy, one message and with the collective energy and enthusiasm we are known for.

Best wishes,
Nick Clegg
Leader of the Liberal Democrats


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames where she is still very active with the local party.

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  • Andrew Martin 28th May '13 - 5:12pm

    Straight after Tim’s abstention last week. Who on earth thought this was a good time to send out such an announcement?

  • Andrew Martin 28th May '13 - 5:26pm

    Sorry if I’m wrong Simon, do correct as appropriate.

  • Eddie Sammon 28th May '13 - 5:40pm

    Agree or disagree, people who hit the roof over this can go elsewhere and come back once they have learnt a bit more about tolerance and proportion.

    I was aware that Tim had a fantastic campaigning record before this announcement, so I trust it is the right decision.

  • Tim didn’t vote against the “gay marriage” bill according to the New Statesman:

  • Good choice. Tim knows more about winning in coalition than most, we’ll need every ounce of fighting spirit he can give us.

  • Helen Tedcastle 28th May '13 - 10:26pm

    @ Eddie Sammon: ” Agree or disagree, people who hit the roof over this can go elsewhere and come back once they have learnt a bit more about tolerance and proportion.
    I was aware that Tim had a fantastic campaigning record before this announcement, so I trust it is the right decision.”

    Tim Farron is a brilliant campaigner and I agree with you, tolerance of conscience is a basic Liberal value – those who are intolerant of difference of beliefs – and are throwing their toys out of the pram because his view differs to theirs on one issue – are not being fair towards one of the party’s best campaigners.

  • Last year I asked what the chair of the local election campaign actually does and no-one seemed to know.

    Mind you, last year Nick appointed Martin Horwood saying, “With Martin’s wealth of local government and campaigning experience, I know he will do an excellent job.” Our vote share fell to 13%, the joint worst since 1979.

  • The perfect poisoned chalice. The results will be dreadful, and Tim will get the blame. One alternative to Clegg’s leadership duly bites the dust!

  • @David Allen +1 How did Farron agree to this one? Campaigning for a pro EU party which has shocking poll ratings at a time when anti EU sentiment is unprecedented. Not great judgement, if he’s angling to be our future leader.

  • Will have you not seen the ComRes poll? Polling 10% above our Westminster rating for Europe and 5% up on 2009.

    Were it not for the fact that everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – is going WTF???? at that result I could be upbeat 🙂

  • Liberal Neil 29th May '13 - 9:45am

    Far more important than who has been asked to chair the campaign is the fact that it is one person being asked to chair one campaign for 2014. That is, in itself, a big step forward.

  • It is typical of Tim that he puts the party ahead of his own personal leadership prospects. Let’s get behind him.

  • David Allen 29th May '13 - 1:27pm

    “The cause of democracy in the next two years is going to be disadvantaged by running different elections on the same day. ”

    Completely agree. The trouble is, not all politicians and parties offer the same support to the cause of democracy. To take the cynical viewpoint, parties like our own which have much to gain from a thriving democratic system will be happy to promote such a system, whereas parties which fear they are in the opposite position will have an incentive to weaken the democratic process.

    The Tories are best placed to win in big spectacular one-off electoral competitions, when the power of money, organisation, and the national Press come to the fore, and when the influence of local individuals, novel ideas and searching debate is minimised. So we have seen an increase in the time between elections, the deliberate combination of different elections at the same time, the attempt to anonymise constituencies by boundary changes, and the failure to cap spending. Sadly, we have not consistently opposed this degradation of the democratic process.

  • Alex Macfie 31st May '13 - 5:22pm

    David Allen, Will Mann: rather defeatist surely? If the Euro election campaign is a poisoned chalice, then it is poisoned for whoever runs it. My main concern is that the European election campaign should be run by someone who understands about pan-European politics; I’m not sure an MP is the best choice for that role. We should run our European campaign on how effective our MEPs have been in shaping EU legislation. Whether you are pro or anti EU is NOT a European issue, it is a DOMESTIC issue, and this is something we should make clear in our campaign. MEPs have no role in deciding whether this country or any other country is in or out of the EU. We should make a stand against the media’s determination to turn the European election into a referendum on the EU, and fight instead on what the European Parliament is actually FOR.

  • Helen Dudden 2nd Jun '13 - 8:32am

    Unless ,someone does something sensible, UKIP will have more power.

    I think that the coalition thought it was simply a protest vote, I would not be that lax about the results.

    I agree with the EU, it has prevented conflict for many years, I agree with good politics and honesty. The Bedroom tax and Affordable Housing are not on the top of the list.

    The EU is little know area, I have supported new EU laws to bring child access issues into a more comfortable zone. Cost is a key issue and so is the unnecessary high costs.

    I think some serious thoughts are needed before it is too late.

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