North Shropshire: We’re using actual staples on our leaflets so this is serious

I’m just resting up before another blitz of Focii-ing in North Shropshire early this morning.

The constituency is similar to Brecon and Radnorshire in that you can drive for what seems like hours and still see orange posters, denoting that you are still in the constituency. – A vast and beautiful rural area with some wonderful towns.

Our HQ is exceptional. Thanks, it seems, to some very nice supporters, we have a large, spacious and busy HQ which allows socially distanced stuffing. There are actual parking spaces for us!

When I arrived yesterday, I was soon dispatched beneath a ginormous pile of highly impressive Helen Morgan pamphlets (see photo below). I noticed that they are stapled together. Staples! Blimey! Actual staples! That is something you don’t often see in our literature.

Please do help as you can! We are running a fantastic campaign. Details of how you can help are here. You can donate to the. campaign here.

Here I am staggering out of the HQ yesterday:

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Parliamentary by-elections.


  • Tristan Ward 7th Dec '21 - 8:11am

    Looking forward to seeing HQ and constituency on Friday/Saturday

  • Paul Barker 7th Dec '21 - 9:36am

    I see that Labour “internal Polling” puts them 20% ahead of us. Do the local Labour Party actually believe this or do they actually prefer a Tory victory ?

  • Sadly some would definitely prefer a Tory win to us winning and will do anything to derail us, whatever Labour centrally tell them.
    Thanks for helping Paul and everybody who has donated, called, delivered and door knocked so far. Numbers of volunteers are what will get us over the line. So if you can spare some time please do. We really are on the cusp of something spectacular but only if we have enough boots on the ground

  • It seems either Labour are not sticking to the tacit understanding that we would not try hard last week (which we did not) and they would not work hard in North Shropshire or, more likely, the local Labour Party are going against the national party. I read an article last week that said the reason there were so few opinion polls in by-elections is the cost. assembling a large enough representative panel from such a small area is very time-consuming and so is very expensive. If the national Labour party say they are not putting many resources into the campaign, who paid for their internal polling. We are open about putting resources into the campaign. It seems to me that if it is the local party then “internal polling” means canvass returns from a few urban areas where they have activists.

  • They are basing it on Bexley and Sidcup, claiming they are on 33% just like Bexley. It has been conjured out of thin air, probably panic in response to the Guardian editorial, but expect more of this. Some may be convinced but only a few.

  • Yep we play by the game in Bexley but they don’t in North Shropshire. Typical isn’t it?

  • I’d say there are a decent number in Labour who are going along with the informal agreement, even if only out of a pragmatic realisation they’re never going to win, so why waste the energy? However, there does seem to be a handful of hardcore activists from the area who have decided that they are entitled to 2nd place and hate the thought of us making a genuine challenge to the Conservatives.

    Their data fails the sniff test. I can only assume it was compiled by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and based on unrepresentative canvas data. This confirms that it hasn’t involved anyone from Labour HQ.

    I get the sense that Labour didn’t think they stood a real chance in OB&S, and assumed we don’t stand a chance in NS, so have just let the local party activists do whatever it is they want to do. Their candidate works as a Labour party aide at Westminster, and appears to have been given unlimited time off to campaign. He seems very ambitious and I won’t criticise him for that, and presumably he sees this as a way to prove himself as a worthy candidate for a more winnable seat. However, if he does ever hope to be an MP for his party in Shropshire, then I hope he puts as much effort into electoral reform, because that’s the only way it will happen.

    Serious Labour strategists know that we are careful with our canvas data and that we are strategic in our approach to campaigning. Some might publicly dismiss our own polling as a publicity stunt, but they know deep down that when they see this level of investment and effort that the people with full access to scrutinise our canvas data believe it to be true.

  • John Marriott 7th Dec '21 - 2:13pm

    Come on, guys, Labour doesn’t ‘do deals’. At least that’s the official line. They still think they can do it on their own. Have they read the editorial in today’s Guardian? What a pity that a General Election couldn’t just be decided by one by election. If that were to happen, I might have a bet on the Lib Dems forming the government!

    Seriously though, there could be a few surprises next Thursday, although it would be a tall order. The trouble is the kind of effort put into a by election just can’t be replicated in a General Election. What the campaign does show is that the Lib Dems still show that fighting spirit and general by election savvy, which is lacking in the other parties.

  • Barry Lofty 7th Dec '21 - 3:40pm

    Deal or no deal, best wishes to Helen Morgan and her team in Shropshire.

  • richard charles went 7th Dec '21 - 3:56pm

    The % in 2019 were very much the same in both Old Bexley and S and Shropshire N. Labour 23.5% and 22% respectively can understandably think they shd have first crack over the LD 8.3% and 10%. Getting one’s retaliation in first is not a good basis from which to encourage tactical voting?

  • Richard

    Labour have had a century or more trying to win this seat.

    It probably doesn’t mean much but betting odds have been changed following the Christmas party revelations. We are now almost at evens to win, down from around 2:1.

  • Mick Taylor 8th Dec '21 - 1:00pm

    I’ll be there to help on Friday and Saturday

  • Nick Collins 8th Dec '21 - 1:36pm

    All this stuff about betting odds takes me back to 1974.

    I travelled to the Isle of Ely to canvass for Clement Freud. When I got back , my wife enquired “Is he going to win?”. Ever the pessimist, I replied “I shouldn’t think so””. She responded, “The bookies are offering 33/1 against; it’s worth a punt.”. I did not place the bet and have never been allowed to forget it.

    With the odds now shortening, in N. Shropshire, come next Friday, there may be some who regret not having placed a small wager when they were longer.

  • I was up there today, and we are pushing on an open door. The Christmas party thing is cutting through with ordinary voters, and they are not happy that the Tory candidate isn’t local. And nobody seems to be aware of this mysterious Labour “polling”.

    But it’s a big constituency, and it needs lots of boots on the ground to cover. Get up (or down) there if you can – you’ll be glad you did next weekend…

  • Lib Dems are now odds on favourites to win.

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