Tag Archives: aldc

By-election report from ADLC: 22nd July 2021

A very mixed picture this week in the world of local council by-elections. From the highs of the phenomenal hold in Camden, to the lows of not even standing in a Liberal Democrat held seat. Of the eight principal authority contests across England and Wales this week, we only stood in four. It’s essential that we, as a political party that takes local government and community seriously, give voters a Liberal Democrat to vote for at every available opportunity. Nevertheless, we also saw some good performances in some town and parish councils this week, managing to gain two seats, and seeing a narrow miss in another.

The headline story is of course winning the Fortune Green by-election in Camden.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments

ALDC Conference – a must for anyone who wants to be a Lib Dem Councillor

If you are hoping to be a Lib Dem Councillor next May, you really need to be a member of ALDC, the Association of Lib Dem Councillors and Campaigners. They have all the tools you need to win and you will be able to access all of them and attend their brilliant online training if you join.

They are having an online conference for members which includes their AGM on Saturday 4th September. There are sessions on things like how to win, how to make a difference in your community and local government in Europe.

ALDC Chief Executive Tim Pickstone said in an email to members:

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By-election report from ALDC: 15th July….and 13th?

When we were looking at this week of by-elections coming up, we thought it’d be a bit of a lull. In fact, it’s been one of the most exciting by-election weeks we’ve had in a while! A Tuesday by-election, flying the flag for the first time in 15 years in Sandwell, and an outstanding Parish Council win by just one vote. It’s been a great week for us by-election nerds!

We had quite the pleasant surprise here at ALDC towers when someone reported a by-election happening on Tuesday night, even more so when it ended up being another Lib Dem win. Whilst there’s long standing statutory requirements for local elections to be held on the first Thursday of May, and the same for general elections since the Fixed-Terms Parliament Act, no such regulations exist for by-elections, and is merely convention. Why this one bucked convention no one quite knows…

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By-election report from ALDC – Thursday 8 July 2021

This week’s by-elections present a very mixed picture, along with some crucial lessons in defending our held seats. With eight vacancies to fight, we stood in six, succeeding in one. We lost our one defence in East Devon, in what was a disappointing result. Nevertheless, good campaigns were fought elsewhere, and we can celebrate a good town council gain.

There two Green gains on Thursday, we stood in one and not the other. The lesson is it’s always better to stand for the sake of giving voters a real choice, rather than getting any misplaced ideas about deals and pacts.

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One way to increase your chances of winning in 2022’s local elections

If you are standing in next year’s local elections, which include every Council seat in Scotland and Wales and London’s boroughs, you will want to give yourself the best chance of winning.

Elections are not won in the 4 weeks of the short campaign. They take long and careful planning and hard work.

One of the best ways to plan the best campaign for your ward is to listen to everything ALDC (the Association of Liberal Democrat Campaigners) tells you. They know everything there is to know about how to run a brilliant local election campaign and win.

If you want to be a councillor next May, I would strongly recommend you attend their Kickstart weekend from 2-4 July. It’s the first big in person event since Covid hit us and they will be sticking to whatever restrictions are in place at the time.

It’s really helpful to get inspiration and ideas from others so actually being there to swap tips with other campaign teams is going to be such an important part of our 2022 preparations.

It’s at he Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre near Stone in Staffordshire.

Here’s ALDC’s chief executive Tim Pickstone talking about the event:

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With 100 days until polling day, ALDC are here to support your campaign

Embed from Getty Images

Many councillors and campaigners will be familiar with ALDC’s Local Election Appeal, which supports Liberal Democrat candidates in seats we’re aiming to gain from the other parties.

It’s vital that our party makes gains in the major series of local and national elections scheduled for Thursday 6 May. Here at ALDC, we’re aiming to raise £40,000 for the 2021 Local Election Appeal – 100% of this fund will be spent on additional direct mail to key groups of voters in our battleground wards, especially postal voters.

We need to raise this money so that we can help 200 Lib Dem candidates over the line in our target wards/divisions. Can you make a donation today to help us reach our target?

At the last local elections in 2019, 75% of the candidates who received funding from ALDC were from groups underrepresented in local government – women, BAME, LGBT+, young people (under 26) and people with disabilities. ALDC are committed to making our councillors more representative of the communities we represent and we will be supporting a similar proportion in 2021.

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The ultimate campaigning smorgasbord: 1000 people at ALDC’s Kickstart

This weekend, ALDC’s Kickstart event is taking place online. Hundreds of LIb Dems have been taking part in panel discussions and training sessions. There are separate streams for councillors and campaigners, future campaign leaders and leaflet designers.  I have never actually been to a UK wide Kickstart event so it’s fantastic to be able to take part virtually in this one.

I have been there as a volunteer helping to deliver a training session (on good photos, used well) and to mentor a small group.

There has been training for agents, organisers and campaigners on everything from the finer points of electoral law to writing good copy for your leaflets and building your teams.  There were two slots of 8 simultaneous training sessions, an opening plenary session with Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper and a choice of two keynote speeches at lunchtime. And there is much the same tomorrow. And that’s not counting the 45 separate mentor groups and the panels for Councillors.

I understand that both of today’s keynote speeches have been recorded. My highlight of the day was Alliance Party Leader and Northern Irish Justice Minister Naomi Long. Her knights on politics and campaigning were fascinating – so grounded in making things better for people. She described how John Alderdice sorting out a problem for her when she was a student left a lasting impression and led to her joining Alliance and then standing for elected office. Her focus on being honest with voters and not trying to equivocate on issues that matter was for me really important. It is well worth listening to if you get the chance.

The other keynote panel event was with  former Lib Dem MEPs.

The amount of organisation that has gone into this event is huge. With over 1000 people expected to attend, spreadsheet Queen Abi Bell had organised every tiny detail and made sure that everyone had the right information to get to where in the ALDC Zoomiverse they needed to be.

This was ALDC’s back office where a tech team made sure that we didn’t break Zoom:

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Kickstart – and more

ALDC’s training weekend, Kickstart, is going online and completely free this year (28 & 29 November 2020). Sitting along side it are the Councillors Weekend and specialist training for Agents, Organisers and Affinity Publisher.

There are hundreds of campaigners across the country already signed up, and you can join them completely by signing up completely free before November 13th.

The event includes 30 hours of top quality training, amazing keynote speakers including our own President Mark Pack and the Leader of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, Naomi Long.

Kickstart also includes bespoke mentoring for you and your team. This year the team at ALDC are providing that same high level of support online.

If you’re not already familiar with Kickstart, it’s the party’s biggest training weekend, a top networking event and a great chance to hone your skills ahead of next year’s elections.

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Prue Bray becomes chair of ALDC

Wokingham Councillor Prue Bray in the new Chair of ALDC, the Association of Liberal Democrats Councillors and Campaigners. She takes over from Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson.

Prue said:

This is a particularly important time for ALDC and for Liberal Democrat local campaigners and councillors. We have made good progress in local elections in recent years and that needs to continue. ALDC is working hard to get more Liberal Democrat councillors elected and to help support our councillors make a positive difference in their local communities and on the Councils that we run.

We have a great team leading ALDC. I want to thank Mayor Dave Hodgson for leading the organisation so effectively through the challenges of the last four years.

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Ed Davey uses first speech to highlight Lib Dem successes in local government

I did something today that I don’t think I’ve ever done before in the best part of a quarter of a century of membership – attended an ALDC AGM. The Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners provides the heartbeat to which council candidates and their teams work. If you follow their advice, you are way more likely to win. The ALDC mindset is to be plugged into your local community and working hard for local people all year round.

They usually have their AGM at conference and it almost always clashes with something else I have to do, but I went this morning to see Baroness Ros Scott chairing and a lively discussion about how the Tory plans to rip the heart out of local government are a very bad idea.

The AGM was part of a three hour conference held on Zoom. It was very well attended and had some very fascinating sessions. I went to a panel discussion on the Green Recovery with Friends of the Earth and another about our distinctive voice in next year’s elections. I’ll write them up later.

But, first, this was new leader Ed Davey’s first speech since his election ten days ago. He talked about his visit to a Stockport Fish and Chip shop yesterday and his conversations with the owner and staff there.  The manager of 13 years standing, who had been written off at school, was about to take over the business as the owners were retiring. Another member of staff was a WASPI woman – hit by the injustice of women born in the 1950s having to wait an extra six years for their state pension.

Although he had had some hard words for the party in his acceptance speech about people thinking we weren’t on their side, he emphasised that this was not the case with our local campaigners who make it their mission to listen to what people are feeling.

He praised Lib Dem councils for their action on environmental matters. He mentioned York City Council’s “Don’t be a tosser” anti litter campaign., Chelmsford’s tree planting and Sutton’s low-energy secondary school.

His listening exercise (which is a much better term than the Orwellian sounding National Listening Project) extends to party members too – he said that he wanted feedback on what he was saying and doing and to hear from us about what we wanted the party to be saying. He emphasised how we needed to work as a team and listen to all voices.

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Advice for campaigners during coronavirus epidemic

ALDC (Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners) has updated its advice for canvassers and campaigners in the light of the Government’s announcement yesterday.

CAMPAIGNING ADVICE

A lot of members have asked us for advice about campaigning in the light of the COVID-19 virus. This is our current advice. This may change if Government, NHS and professional guidance changes at which point we will issue new guidance.

DO – KEEP CAMPAIGNING

Our current advice is that we should keep campaigning the normal ways that Liberal Democrats campaign, including delivering leaflets and knocking on doors.

DO – TAKE SENSIBLE PRECAUTIONS

When campaigning

Posted in Campaign Corner and News | 9 Comments

How a Liberal pamphlet from 1980 led to the collapse of the British political system

Original cover artwork from “The Theory and Practice of Community Politics”

Over on Medium.com, Councillor Nick Barlow has written a remarkably astute retrospective on the 1980 pamphlet “The Theory And Practice of Community Politics” written by Bernard Greaves and Gordon Lishman and published by the Association of Liberal Councillors (now the ALDC).

Nick’s narrative takes us from the ideologically based idea of Community Politics in the 1970s and how it morphed into the quite different concept of Customer Service Politics, which dominates our civic arena today:

Posted in Liberal History and Online politics | Also tagged , , , and | 18 Comments

ALDC hosts ground-breaking Gin Tasting

Alistair Carmichael MP has hosted a Whisky Tasting at conference (and elsewhere) for many seasons.

This year, the Association of Liberal Democrats (ALDC) responded to the recent explosion in the gin market by hosting a Gin Tasting – called “Ginning Here”. This was heralded as the first political gin tasting ever.

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ALDC Advice: Building your campaign team

Summer provides the perfect time to piece together your campaign team in advance of your next set of elections.

In a single ward election, your team doesn’t need to be huge to win. Just sharing the load between a few committed people will make victory achievable and the process a lot more fun.

You’ll want to engage as many people as possible for your team of volunteers. But this is not the case with your core team which should be kept small. Larger teams mean big meetings which will slow you down; campaigns require speed and decisiveness. The team should be able to meet regularly and make decisions quickly and effectively. Try to choose people who will work hard and lead by example.

If you’re aiming to fight multiple areas on the same day, it will often be useful to have the same core team in place for all the areas. The team will then be able to make decisions about the whole area without duplication.

The basic core team should include:

  • Candidate
  • Campaign manager/agent (or both if these are not the same person)
  • Literature manager
  • Data manager
  • Media manager

 

Leadership: job roles for the core team

The core team will plan the campaign. It is never too early to start this process and you can do it without a candidate if necessary. The team will then lead the campaign, taking responsibility for the strategy and its implementation. Each member of the core team has their own individual responsibilities too:

Candidate: The figurehead, who will through necessity, provide leadership to the wider team, particularly with canvassing and fundraising. It is vital that the rest of the core team respect the candidate’s views. It is different when it’s your name on the leaflets! But it is also important that the candidate shares control and the overall planning with the core team. After all it is teams not individuals that win elections.

Campaign manager/agent: These are two jobs, but they can easily be combined. The campaign manager is the overall campaign organiser. They will provide internal leadership and bring the team together, making sure that every other role is being filled successfully. The agent’s role is a complex and responsible one. All agents should read both the Agent’s Manual and the Basic Election Law book to get a full grasp of the role. Needless to say the final legal buck for everything stops with the agent, so all major decisions must involve them.

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Amazing Lib Dem GAIN in Bridlington

News to make you smile a lot! Incredible Lib Dem gain in Bridlington North tonight.

Lib Dem Mike Heslop-Mullens 1308

Cons 815

Yorkshire Party 349

Ind 259

UKIP 196

Lab 135

 

Change from 2 May

Lib Dem +43%

Cons -44%

Lab -25%

This is an incredible result in an area that voted very strongly to leave the EU.

Hearty congratulations to Mike and the East Riding team.

There was a bit of a Lib Dem surge in the only other council by-election, too.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Why summer surveying should be your next campaigning activity

Now that May’s two sets of elections are successfully out of the way, it’s time to move our campaigning activity onto summer surveys.

Why survey?

Surveys are a fantastic way to generate voter ID, campaign issues and contact with local communities. If they’re used properly, they will establish you and your local Lib Dem team as hard-working, locally focused and approachable. And with proper follow up they can drive your campaign and messages.

The more you know about your residents, the better you can be as a community campaigner/councillor. There’s a lot of useful information you can gain from surveys and record in Connect for future voter contact, e.g. writing target mail.

Five reasons to survey now:

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Last chance to book for ALDC’s summer training weekend, 28-30 June

We are running three separate training events – for campaigners, councillors and Connect-users – across the weekend of 28-30 June in Staffordshire. We close our bookings in a week’s time (Tuesday 11 June), so please book now if you intend to come.

Summer Kickstart Weekend

Come along and bring a team if you’re serious about winning in 2020 – or you’re planning future election success in 2021 or beyond. The weekend caters for everyone; whatever your role in a campaign, and regardless of your experience. You’ll get tailored, professional advice; training and bespoke mentoring for your team from experienced campaigners and councillors. You’ll improve your campaigning skills and leave with a well-developed campaign plan ready for your next set of elections.

Find out more + book >>>

Councillors’ Weekend

The weekend is organised in partnership with the LGA Lib Dem Group and is packed full of sessions to improve your skills in your important roles as a councillor and campaigner. It’s for councillors new and old alike; council groups and individuals.

Find out more + book >>>

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Getting out the vote – advice from ALDC

After we’ve convinced people to support our cause and collected data on who our likely supporters are, we have one stage left to get our best result in an election – Get Out The Vote (GOTV).

How can we use our data to work out our tactics for polling day and the run up to it?

Quite simply: we need to remind people who are likely to support us to use their vote.

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Help ALDC win more council seats

With everything that’s happening nationally, one thing remains certain – it’s vital that our party achieves a good set of results on Thursday 2 May.

Word on the street is that support for the big two parties is soft and where local Liberal Democrat teams are working hard, we are in a strong position to make gains.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to donate to ALDC’s Local Election Appeal, time is running out to make a difference – in many councils, postal votes will start landing on doormats next week.

100 Lib Dem candidates in target wards from Kent to Cumbria have already received letters to 25,000 crucial postal voters, paid for by generous donations. We now want to do even more to make sure these wards are Lib Dem gains on the night.

We can only help our candidates get across the line in these target wards if we raise another £5,000 for the Local Election Appeal by the end of next week. 

Can you donate today to help Liberal Democrat candidates get across the line in 100 wards?

If you would like to send a cheque (made payable to ALDC), our address is: ALDC, 2.07 Boat Shed, 16 Exchange Quay, Salford M5 3EQ.

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ALDC advice: filling in and submitting nomination forms

We advise that you fill in your nomination forms at the earliest opportunity possible. You’re able to submit them from March 27 onwards and the deadline for returning them is 4pm on Wednesday 3 April.

The following paperwork needs to be completed correctly and submitted on time:

  • Nomination papers
  • Candidate’s consent to nomination
  • Candidates address form
  • Deposit (not for locals)
  • Form for the appointment of the agent
  • Delegated Nominating Officer (DNO) paperwork (for use of the party name and logo on the ballot paper)

Most Returning Officers will supply forms, but some may expect you to supply your own from the Electoral Commission’s website. You should always use the Party’s own DNO paperwork – download it.

Find more information on filling in your forms correctly.

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ALDC By-Election Review – 14th March

Thursday saw three by-elections take place across the country with two Labour seats and an Independent seat up for grabs.

Southampton UA, Coxford Ward

Lab 668 Con 529 LD Sam Chapman 450 SA 368 IS 178 Ind 174 UKIP 123 Green 53 Lab gain from Ind Percentage change from 2018

With the resignation of the Independent councillor, Coxford Ward was up for grabs with eight candidates battling it out. Sam Chapman and Southampton Lib Dems put on a great campaign opposing more tax rises and service cuts from the Labour council and putting forward some great ideas to improve the city’s air quality and environment. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Sam, but the success of the campaign shone through as the Lib Dem vote share increased by 14.7%. Well done to the team on a great result that leaves the party in great stead for the next round of elections this May.

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ALDC’s by-election review – 7th March

A  quiet night of by-elections saw one by-election take place in Haddenham and Stone for Aylesbury Vale DC. The solitary election saw a big loss for the Conservatives to the Green’s who increased their vote share 34.6% to snatch the seat from the Tories. Jim Brown and the Aylesbury Vale Lib Dem team flew the flag well and took 333 votes increasing their vote share by 2.3% so a big thanks to Jim and the team.

Next week we have a busier week with 3 by-elections taking place with Lib Dem candidates standing in all. See below our list for next week and how you can help.

Croydon LB, Norbury & Pollards Hill
Labour Seat. Cause: Death
LD Candidate: Guy Burchett
Get in touch – https://www.croydonlibdems.org/contact_us

Durham UA, Wingate.
Lab Seat. Cause: Death.
LD Candidate: Edwin Simpson
Get in touch – https://durhamlibdems.mycouncillor.org.uk/get-involved/?purpose=get%20in%20touch#page-content 

Southampton UA, Coxford Ward.
Ind Seat. Cause: Resignation.
LD Candidate Candidate: Sam Chapman [email protected]

Contact (campaign manager): Colin McDougal [email protected]

Good luck to all our candidates standing next week!

If you have a spare hour you can find contact details of who to ring to help out on our website.

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Join ALDC at a discounted rate (until Sunday 10 March)

We want to help the Party achieve a bumper set of results in this May’s local elections – the biggest of this parliament.

To entice you to join us and to ensure your team has the best chance of success, until Sunday 10 March, new joiners will get 50% discount from their first six months.

Join us online at www.aldc.org/join

Enter SPRING2019 in the discount code slot when prompted. You’ll pay just £3.41 a month for your first six months. Please help us spread the word and let your fellow team members who may be interested know.

How we can help you win –

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ALDC By-election review 21st February 2019

70 days to go to the local elections was celebrated in the form of two by-elections taking place across the country on 21st February.

Northamptonshire CC, Oundle
Con 1864
LD Marc Folgate 1276
Lab 403
UKIP 89
Lab 779
Con 271
LD Richard Jerrett 46
]
PC gain Lab
Percentage change from 2017

Thanks go also to Richard Jerrett and the Cardiff Lib Dem for their hard work campaigning and fighting hard for our liberal values. Despite a difficult result, it is always extremely important to have the option to vote for the Liberal Democrats and their hard work should be appreciated, especially in an …

Posted in Council by-elections | Also tagged | 6 Comments

ALDC By-election report 7th February 2019

A busy Thursday of six by-elections welcomed campaigners into February, with 1 hold, 1 gain and a 21% swing for the team in Lambeth.

 

Bradford MB, Bolton & Undercliffe
LD Rachel Sunderland 1733
Lab 1153
Con 418
Green 73
LD gain from Lab
Percentage change from 2018

We jump straight in at our standout result of the night in the Bolton & Undercliffe by-election. A hard-worked campaign from Rachel Sunderland and the Bradford team saw a fantastic first gain of the year for the Lib Dems and first gain from Labour since October. With a huge increase of 9% of the vote share and a lead of over 500 votes the whole team can be proud. Congratulations on a great result!

 

Wokingham BC, Evendons
LD Sarah Kerr 1441

Con 729
Lab 115
LD Hold
Percentage change from 2018

Sarah Kerr put on a brilliant showing to hold Evendons seat in Wokingham BC. Not only did Sarah successfully defend the seat, she also increased her vote by a whopping 16.3% leaving her with a majority of over 700 votes! This result is an extremely positive showing for the party and is a great sign in the run up to the elections in May. Well done Sarah and the team for what was a brilliant result.

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ALDC’s by-election report – 31 January 2019

We’re back for 2019 after a quiet January of by-elections. One by-election took place yesterday in Warlingham for Surrey County Council. In freezing weather, there was an unsurprising low turnout of 25% but a decent battle nonetheless.

Surrey CC, Warlingham – 31st January 2019
Con 1199
LD Charles Lister 990
UKIP 176
Lab 126
Turnout 25%
Con Hold
Percentage change from 2017

Liberal Democrat candidate Charles Lister put on a strong campaign and managed to increase his vote by 10.8%. This increase saw Charles come within 210 votes of the Conservative candidate who lost 8.1% of their vote share. The result is a second place that gives optimism ahead of the local elections and should encourage hard work across the country between now and May. A solid result for Charles and the party, congratulations and keep up the good work!

Next week there are six by-elections taking place and some good contests expected. 

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Your by-election result tonight brought to you by….

I’m doing a bit of moonlighting tonight.

ALDC is always first with the by-election results and they’ve decided to recruit a team of volunteers to report them.

It’s a great way to get involved and it’s something you can do on your sofa in your pyjamas while watching Question Time. Don’t worry, I won’t post a photo.

All you need to do is keep an eye on a couple of places on the internet and post the results in a few places.

If you fancy a shot at doing this, drop ALDC a message on Twitter. 

Tonight, there’s just the one by-election – Warlingham division on Surrey County Council. The Conservatives are defending and last time round we came second. Our candidate, Charles Lister, has fought the ward twice before, in 2017 and 2013.

So now, we wait.

And it was worth sitting up for – a really good increase in vote share. 

Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

ALDC’s New Year resolution – a year of MORE

At ALDC we’re determined that 2019 is a Year of More:

  • More Liberal Democrat campaigning
  • More Liberal Democrat candidates
  • More Liberal Democrat councillors
  • More Liberal Democrat-run councils

We can only do that with your help. Here are six ideas for your new year’s resolutions:

1. Stand yourself, or recruit a candidate – In 2015 (when the same seats were up) we only stood a Lib Dem candidate in about 40% of vacancies. If we’re going to increase the number of Lib Dems on ballot papers, we need more of our members to stand. There’s help, support and advice in place to guide you through the process on our website.

2. Go and help – If you’re in a target ward for 2019 you’re no doubt already working hard. If you don’t live in a target ward, or don’t have elections in 2019, help a team that does. Go in person, help on the phone, donate your skills or make a donation. We can put you in touch with people who can benefit from your help.

3. Join ALDC  – If you’re serious about winning in May 2019, then our candidates, agents and our core campaign team members all need to join ALDC. They’ll get access to our advice, resources and training to help you win. ALDC members who successfully recommend someone to join us receive a £50 print voucher to spend on campaign materials! 

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ALDC commentary on last Thursday’s by-elections


We’re back after a busy couple of weeks including our biggest ever Kickstart training weekend. Four by-elections took place yesterday across the UK with Lib Dem candidates standing in all. Two seats were being defended by Lib Dem candidates, one by Labour and one by the Conservatives.

Oxford BC, Wolvercote
LD Liz Wade 998
Con 404
Lab 162
Green 86
Turnout 35.6%
LD Hold
Percentage change from 2018

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Ros Scott’s closing speech to ALDC Kickstart

The newly elected President of ALDC, Baroness Ros Scott, closed the ALDC Kickstart event yesterday afternoon. She has kindly made available the text of her speech…

I hope that you have all had a wonderful weekend.

These are the most difficult and unpredictable political times that I can ever remember. There’s no way of knowing what the backdrop to next May’s elections will be.

But some things never change.

When I joined in 1991, I was a community campaigner in my home town of Needham Market. The only political party who were really engaged with the community were the Lib Dems, and that’s …

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