On the doorstep in Oldham East & Saddleworth

Dear fellow Lib Dems,

It’s two weekends before Christmas and I’m writing this from the Campaign HQ in Oldham East and Saddleworth.

There’s a really good atmosphere here – the place is buzzing with people, and I’ve just unveiled the official campaign Christmas tree!

I’ve just come back from canvassing with Tom Brake MP and a team of people who’ve travelled up from London for the day to volunteer to help. We’ve had a (very nice and very quick!) Christmas lunch and then I’m off out again for the afternoon.

The response on the doorstep here is very good. The Lib Dem vote is very firm, and there are a lot of former Conservative voters who are seriously considering voting tactically for Elwyn this time to make sure Labour is beaten. Whilst I know it’s an issue that a lot of people feel very strongly about, I was surprised that not a single voter mentioned tuition fees to me.

On the doorsteps, the name recognition for Elwyn is really strong, and there’s a real anger amongst former Labour voters about the Phil Woolas fiasco. I did get one angry reaction – but apparently that was from the former Labour agent, who strangely wasn’t happy!

Everything here is very much to play for. What will make the difference is the amount of help we get through the door between now and the New Year. If you can get here, please come. You – every single one of you – will be helping give the party the best possible start to 2011.

Chris Fox

Chief Executive

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This entry was posted in Parliamentary by-elections.


  • Daniel Henry 14th Dec '10 - 4:08am

    Out of interest, what’s our campaign line?
    I know we’re making full use of the backlash against Woolas’ tactics, but what else?
    What difference do we say that electing a Liberal MP would make to these people?

    (These aren’t sarcastic or rhetorical questions, I’m just curious on how we’re campaigning for this by-election)

  • roy's claret army 14th Dec '10 - 10:42am

    The campaing line will be the usual unpolitical ‘Only the LibDems can beat Labour here’ so please vote for us Mr and Mrs Tory.

    No issues, no arguments, no principles, certainly no mention of tuition fees: just a lot of misleading graphs.

  • Careful Roy you mind find your comments deleted though spot-on.

  • Roy’s Claret Army,

    Do you recall the 1995 Littleborough & Saddleworth byelection?

    The Liberal Democrat campaign, as far as I recall, focussed on the work of the local Lib Dem councillors on Oldham MBC, the awful Major government, Blairism’s lack of substance, and the fact that Woolas claimed to be a local man though he lived in Brentford.

    Labour’s campaign was particularly unpleasant. It portrayed Woolas as a “family disciplinarian” who believed in traditional values, and accused the Liberal Democrats of being “soft on drugs” and wanting to increase taxes. Labour, throughout the campaign, insisted that only Labour could beat the Tories, in Littlebrough & Saddleworth and right across the country, and that the Lib Dems were irrelevant everywhere.

    It will be interesting to see how Labour plays this one.

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