Opinion: Thoughts on some Liberal candidates past and present

The first General Election I can remember was in 1979, when as a fifteen year old I was starting to really get interested in politics.

In my village and constituency (Henley) the Tories were well entrenched, but the Liberals had a level of support too.

The Liberal candidate was a chap called Steven Atack and I still remember seeing a poster advertising him as a speaker at a public meeting in the village hall.

I thought they had spelt his name wrong!

My parents who were Liberal voters didn’t go to the meeting, which I suspect was poorly attended and the Tories swept in.

Wind forward to the 1980s and as a Labour activist I actually encountered Liberal parliamentary candidates in person.

In 1983 it was Tony Richards in Newbury and in 1987 Keith Lock in Reading West.

Then in the 90s as a trade union official campaigning on Royal Mail issues, I met the then MPs David Rendel and Richard Younger Ross.

All impressed me as decent men in politics, committed to their cause.

Recent years have brought me much closer to the liberal family and I have now met many leading Lib Dems.

However with the 2015 General Election date fast approaching I want to give a special mention to three exceptional Lib Dem parliamentary candidates.

Kelly-Marie Blundell in Guildford, Judith Bunting in Newbury and Jenny Woods in Reading East.

I might be a bit biased because all of them have shown an active and genuine interest in improving adult social care provision.

As a long serving carer that is something I am passionate about too, but having seen them campaign tirelessly across a whole range of issues I know they would make brilliant MPs.

The seats they are fighting have strong liberal voting traditions and could be won for the party if not this time, then next.

Liberal Democrat women MPs are thin on the ground. If Kelly Marie, Judith and Jenny join the parliamentary party in the future then that would not only start to address the gender imbalance, but also bring three vital voices for liberalism to the House of Commons.

* David is a member of Horsham and Crawley Liberal Democrats

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2 Comments

  • Kelly-Marie Blundell 2nd Mar '15 - 11:51am

    Very kind, thank you David.

  • I remember Joyce Arram, South East Essex candidate. I drove her round the polling stations as an 17-year-old new driver about 50 years ago in the 1964 election. She was amazed I gave way at junctions. She said if we did that in London we’d never get anywhere!

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