Norman Lamb “The best MP in the region”

“Can Norman Lamb hold on in Leave voting North Norfolk?” is the headline from a PoliticsHome article.

The constituency is profiled and this is what Norman has to say about it:

After four general election victories, can the region’s lone Lib Dem fend off the Tories and cling on his largely rural constituency for a fifth time? On the surface the signs are ominous. In 2015, his majority dropped to just over 4,000. In last year’s referendum, North Norfolk voted to leave the European Union by 59%. And while the Greens are getting behind Lamb, Ukip has pulled out of the race and urged supporters to vote Tory to “rid ourselves of our Liberal Democrat MP”.

But Lamb – who defied his party line and abstained on the vote to trigger Article 50 – says Brexit doesn’t come up on the doorstep very much and “the majority of people you talk to don’t mention it at all”. The clumsy Ukip intervention has galvanised non-Tories who “don’t like that sort of attitude and language”, he claims.  He is also finding it “very easy to persuade people who in the past voted Labour to support us this time”. And above all, he is optimistic that his personal connections with voters will win the day.

“In a way, this is a contest between the Conservative national message … and a growing sense that a Tory landslide is pretty much an inevitability. So do we really want a one-party state? And do people actually want to lose an MP who has a got a long track record of active campaigning?” he asks.

“Interestingly, as you go round talking to people on the doorsteps and in town centres and outside schools, a lot of people are saying ‘I will vote for you because of what you have done here or what you’ve done for our family’. Yesterday, someone said ‘You saved my daughter’s life’. It was a case of an eating disorder where they weren’t being listened to and I intervened on their behalf and got things moving.

“A lot of people say ‘We’ll vote for you, we want to keep you as our MP’. And this is a side of politics that the commentators often don’t see.”

“The best MP in the region”

Meanwhile, a journalist in the Eastern Daily Press has written an article that is extremely complimentary about Norman while condemning UKIP for pulling out of the race.

Instead of pulling out with a bitter attempt to influence the poll – driven by anger that Mr Lamb dares to hold onto his pro-Europe principles – why don’t they just dissolve the local party and let the remaining candidates fight a fair fight?

Mr Lamb deserves more respect.

As a young reporter in the 1990s I remember how he worked tirelessly to eat away at a huge Tory majority held first by Sir Ralph Howell then by David Prior.

There were times when I was heartily sick of the flood of press releases. But it was hard not to admire how he absorbed defeat and moved forward – and how he fought to represent people.

Other candidates were parachuted in and then quietly crept away, while plenty of local politicians tried their luck but soon gave up.

The current Conservative candidate James Wild has no real North Norfolk roots and no record of fighting for the people of the area. And yet Mr Baker and his colleagues believe he deserves to borrow votes from UKIP supporters.

I’ll stick my neck out now and say that I believe Mr Lamb has been the best MP in the region over the last decade and more.

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7 Comments

  • I hope that Norman lamb retains his seat.

    Although he is not my constituency MP now, I am looking to move to North Norfolk and I would most certainly want Norma Lamb to be my MP rather than some Tory.

    Norman had said and done a lot of good things on health and especially mental health.
    Norfolk is one of the worst performing mental health trusts in the country and has been given warnings by the CQC.

    As a firm brexit supporter myself from Norfolk I would say to the people of Norfolk, this election is not just about the bloody EU, there is so much more going on that is just as an important issue as Brexit. The people of North Norfolk need a constituency MP to speak up for them and act in their best interests and that will never be a Tory.

    Please get behind Norman Lamb and vote for him

  • A great pity Norman isn’t leader of the party,we certainly wouldn’t be going backwards.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 27th May '17 - 1:44pm

    Norman Lamb is one of the best people in politics and one of the very best exponents of the Liberal Democrats we have today.

    UKIP are a combination of a joke and a thorn, we need to be strong in opposition to them in situations like this where they are not on the ballot, they are , in the person of the Conservative party candidate getting their support.

    It is time for Sir John Major and Lord Heseltine, at least after the election , because of consideration for colleagues , to condemn what is the equivalent drift in the opposite direction in their party , as has happened , in Labour.

    Now is not the time for anger to get the better of us , mind you , it really isn’t good ever, but that Norman Lamb is in difficulty and under threat , is a disgrace, a man who should be supported throughout his area, for his work locally and throughout our country.

  • Peter Watson 27th May '17 - 7:26pm

    “Lamb … says Brexit doesn’t come up on the doorstep very much and “the majority of people you talk to don’t mention it at all”.”
    On the other side of the country in Yeovil Paddy Ashdown said the same thing.
    If this is the message on the doorstep, why does the national campaign appear to continue putting Brexit front and centre all the time, even when discussing other issues?
    Or is this a localised tactic for target seats in Brexit areas, downplaying the policy that dominates the national campaign?

  • I don’t know how you can blame Tim Farron for the party’s standing in the polls. The party must have agreed the election strategy and focus would’ve been agreed by all the MPs and other activists so don’t just blame the messenger.

  • I would also add it wasn’t Tim Farron who helped the party lose 49 MPs at the 2010 general election.

  • Maybe there are seats where the pro EU campaign will result in gains but it is time to drop it everywhere else. This does not seem to be happening, maybe because leaflets have already been printed. There is a swing to the Right and Corbyn has picked up the anti vote but eventually things will change. We just have to sit this one out. Of course if Brexit proved to be a disaster or even a disappointment things could change in 2022 but the voters are not known for showing gratitude – more likely they will hate those who showed them they were wrong.

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