P-13: Time for another delivery, we think

If the plan was going to work, then it was going to happen sooner rather than later… and sure enough today the first deliverer came back. “I have just had a mouthful from a resident complaining about the number of leaflets from the Liberal Democrats.”

We have we think reached the tipping point of recognition from the electorate.  Dr Zulfiqar Ali is a former City councillor here in Hanley, Etruria and Shelton, he knows the city well and lives in it, and he has a strong and positive recognition amongst voters here.

Now our literature and canvassing campaign has broken through the sea of apathy with politics to gain traction with the voters of of the City.  What we now need is as many of you as possible to take to the telephone and get out on the doorstep and help us deluvery the outstanding result that no one expects. The voters recognise the campaign, recognise Zulfiqar, now we need to secure them to vote for him.

That’s it now, pure and simple.  We look forward to seeing you soon… but don’t leave it long, less than two weeks to go. You can sign up here. 

* Ed Fordham is a councillor on Chesterfield Borough Council and runs Brockwell Books of Chesterfield, selling many thanks, not least ephemera he bought from Liber Books over the last 25 years.

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  • The campaign is looking good.

  • Good to hear the campaigns going well. Have heard some Labour activists say the Lib Dems should stand down to stop UKIP but don’t think that’s appropriate after their recent Brexit vote!

    BTW if you want an (ironic) laugh you might like this funny piece on Tim Farron getting recognised in the street http://www.thesparkmagazine.co.uk/uk/liberal-democrat-leader-recognised-in-the-street/

  • David Allen 10th Feb '17 - 7:31pm

    I have just received More United’s email. It proposes that MU should back Gareth Snell, the Labour candidate, and it comments that he voted Remain. Why isn’t the MU initiative being discussed here?

    I am an MU supporter and I was delighted when MU backed Sarah Olney (by a 96% vote of its membership). I don’t suppose MU members will find this one anything like as clear-cut a choice, but we’ll see.

    For me, if Snell had come out in support of the Labour rebels on Brexit, like Clive Lewis, then that would have been enough to win my support. But he hasn’t – he has said he would have voted in favour of Article 50. So my vote in the MU poll will be against supporting Snell.


  • Leekliberal 10th Feb '17 - 7:44pm

    When out delivering in a part of Stoke Central that was supposed to be very UKIP/Labour I came across only one UKIP window poster and two Labour ones in 2 hours. Such is the apathy locally that I reckon there is all to play for!

  • To Dave Allen comment abover, More United have got this wrong, they should DEF endoresed Dr Ali the Lib Dem.. I tnink they have got wires crossed, thinking more anti u kip than what they said they would do on supporting candidates. I shall my time and enery 100% for the Lib Dems :0

  • Richard Schofield 11th Feb '17 - 12:05pm

    I know there are differences between Snell’s position and ours but a very likely outcome now is UKIP win because of a split pro EU/progressive vote and so maintain their momentum. I just do not see how that makes sense ,

  • I’m another MoreUnited member, and fully accept that they/we can’t just keep on supporting the LibDem candidate, especially when there isn’t the polling and/or historical data to show they have a chance of winning, and moreso if the main rival candidate is UKIP. Even if LibDems on the ground are convinced the LibDem has a good chance, communicating that to the wider membership is a much tougher sell.

    However, I have to give this proposal very careful consideration. I’ve been reading up on Gareth, and I like a lot about him, and he’d be a much better MP than Nuttall. He campaigned for Remain, and has been critical of Corbyn, but inevitably he’s had to say he’d support Corbyn and in a pro-Leave area, his policy on Article 50. I can just about put up with that, in the hope that he’ll lobby for good relations with Europe, and he’s a much better choice than a Labour candidate who was pro-Leave or a big Corbyn supporter.
    My big question is whether or not he has publicly supporter MU values (as Olney did), and in particular, his thoughts on PR. If he says he supports PR, then I will vote for MU to support him, and hope that the support of MU means that he’ll feel less bound to follow the Corbyn line. I’ve emailed MU to ask them to find out.

    Given that this is a by-election, then I think it’s acceptable for MU to be more flexible with their support, especially if it means keeping UKIP out. However, when it comes to a general election, I’d expect them to focus resources only on constituencies where a suitable candidate has fully signed up to all of the values. For the movement to have an impact, it needs to be able to influence the choice of candidates in the first place.

    Of course, this whole thought process underlines the problems of FPTP. I’d have STV at general elections, then AV for by-elections, which is why I’m so keen for MU to hold firm to that policy.

  • I voted against endorsing Snell. He has said that he wouldn’t frustrate the passage of the Article 50 Bill which may well come back to the Commons after the by-election. I want someone who is not going to give a blank cheque to the Government to drive us over a cliff. In that respect, the only candidate worth backing is Zulfiqar Ali – and, on that issue, which is the most important of our time most important of our time, there is little difference between Labour and UKIP.

  • Richard Schofield 11th Feb '17 - 2:27pm

    I take the point about MU Fiona, I’m a member and will vote to endorse Snell in the by election, whilst accepting at a GE a stricter test may be needed (and MU need a broader debate about what the key issues are). In this case tho mine was a more specific LIb Dem point i.e.why are spending so much money to split the vote of two progressive candidates, what are we trying to prove that will register at all in the public consciousness if the result is a UKIP win. We also lose the opportunity to beginn to build bridges with non Corbynite progressives in Labour. Incidentally we are also telling places like key council targets like Cornwall and Cambridge that we have no funding for them. So which would advance the Lib Dem/Progressive case more – coming third I. stoke and not winning Cornwall and Cambridge or vice versa?

  • Raymond Atkins 11th Feb '17 - 3:31pm

    I am not a member of MU, but I have always understood that it was about deciding how to stop Conservatives winning by advocating support for whichever ‘progressive’ – Lib Dem, Labour or Green – was best placed to defeat the Conservative frontrunner.

    But it seems that everybody in Stoke – including the Tories – rates the chances of a Conservative victory as absolutely zilch. So what are MU trying to achieve at this election?

  • Leekliberal 11th Feb '17 - 8:13pm

    An interesting comment from David Herdson of ‘Political Betting’ about Lib Dem success in Local Election
    he said ‘ I do, however, expect them to keep making council by-election gains and, perhaps, spring the odd surprise in parliamentary by-elections too. Given Nuttall’s problems, I’d keep an eye on Stoke.’

  • Raymond, UKIP came second in Stoke last time, so the point is to prevent a UKIP victory, which most “progressives” consider to be worse than a Tory victory. And theoretically, it’s not about preventing the Tories as such. It’s about getting better candidates who support progressive values.

    Our own candidate, Zulfiqar Ali, definitely meets more of the core values of MU, but the concern is that only the Labour candidate has a chance of beating UKIP. I’m not sure that they’re right on that point, but that’s their conclusion, and with very little run-in time I understand their lack of optimism about propelling the LibDems into first place. So the question is whether MU should support a candidate that meets just some of their values in the hope of preventing a candidate who goes against them? I’m still undecided. It might be worth it in the short-term, but I’m not convinced about the long-term benefits, especially as I’ve still seen no evidence of Snell publicly supporting MU values, and unless that happens in the next few hours, I’ll vote against.

    Anyway, good luck to everyone. I have made a modest financial donation to Ali’s campaign, and I hope that he gets a good result.

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