Tag Archives: european elections 2014

Guardian revelations about Clegg, Cable and the Lib Dem election catastrophe

Well, as the ballot papers get sent out in the leadership election, the Guardian publishes a series of revelations tonight about the last year of the coalition and the aftermath of the European elections.

Apparently Nick Clegg was ready to resign in the wake of the European elections and was talked out of it by, among others, Paddy Ashdown and Tim Farron. Certainly at the time, the feedback that Federal Executive members gave at our post Euro disaster meeting was that there was no appetite in the wider party for a leadership election, but they did want things to change.

Vince Cable, it transpires, did know about the Oakeshott polls.

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Opinion: View from the doorsteps of Eastleigh

Eastleigh railwayman statue - Some rights reserved by Mr. Ducke

It was a warm, sunny spring with just odd showers in May in Eastleigh. We had unbelievably good local election results. Twelve months on from the County elections, that in turn had followed on from the Eastleigh by-election, when UKIP gained 50% of the County seats in the Parliamentary seat, we expected to lose seats.  The odds were that at least five and potentially seven seats could go out of the thirteen we were defending.  In the end, we won all thirteen.

This …

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Opinion: We need discipline and compromise from both leadership and members

Autumn 2012 conference - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsLast week’s local and European elections were truly awful.

Those of us who joined the Liberal Party back in the dark days of the 1970s remember the many false dawns and disappointments that followed local and General Elections.

We built our base bite by bite from the bottom up and fighting Labour it was tooth and nail.

The loss of all our Councillors in Manchester or seeing Liverpool reduced to just three Councillors or in my own Rochdale where we have gone from 33 to …

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A day of light and ideas

Sunrise Little Trout Bay 4These last five days have been among the worst I have known in my almost 31 years of being a part of this wonderful party. I’d pretty much prepared myself for winning only a couple of MEPs. Even those limited ambitions proved to be wildly optimistic. Seeing massive Labour fiefdoms recreated in London and Manchester. t’s been bruising, brutal and fraught. Seeing friends and colleagues lose their jobs and seats through no fault of their own is heartbreaking. And to lose them to wrecking, scapegoating UKIP types …

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LDVideo: Nick Clegg – It’s time to come together and focus on 2015

Nick Clegg has recorded the following video, which has just been emailed to party members:

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Opinion: we lead when we’re brave

UKIP logoLike many others I was a sub-agent for the European Elections. My ‘chosen’ borough was Tameside where we stood precisely zero candidates at the local elections. A bizarre contrast compared to Lib Dem led Stockport just down the road where I live.

It will come as no surprise from the North West results that one of my samples was devoid of any Lib Dem votes at all – a first after 30 years in politics. (Luckily there were samples that were a bit rosier!)

Once proceedings were complete something troubled me: there were Labour, Green and Conservative sub-agents and little old me. What was missing: ah yes, good old UKIP. I wonder if this is a sign of how they’ll be acting in the European Parliament? For a party who came second to absent themselves at a count so as not to represent the democratic process let alone their own voters is baffling and perhaps a little alarming.

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Opinion: A perspective on the 2014 European elections

European Union flagThe Lib Dems have suffered their worst European election performance for 25 years.

In 1989, that election was fought by six parties – Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem (as SLD), Green, SNP and Plaid Cymru – which also fought the 2014 election.

Of those six parties, five got fewer votes in 2014 than they got in 1989. One got more. Can you guess which one?

Let’s look at the figures:

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++ Breaking.. Vince Cable: There is no leadership issue

Vince Cable speaking to mediaStatement from Vince Cable who’s away in China on Government business:

These were exceptionally disappointing results for the party. Many hard working Liberal Democrats, who gave this fight everything they had and then lost their seats, are feeling frustrated and disheartened and we all understand that.

Nick did a bold thing in standing up to the eurosceptic wave which has engulfed much of continental Europe. We are the only party to have taken that on and he personally deserves tremendous credit for that. There is no leadership issue. We

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European Election Results: Open Thread

Caron Lindsay 9:25pm

I am not sure how long I will last tonight, but I thought I’d at least start an open thread to bring news and views as things unfold tonight. It’s not, I fear, going to be a very good night, hence the large box of tissues next to me and cushions to hide behind. There’s emergency malt whisky in the cupboard, too, if I need it.

I’m starting off this Election Results night listening to Iain Dale and Duncan Barks on LBC. Tim Farron has already been on saying much as he did this morning, that he’s proud of …

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Now is not the time for a bitter and bloody leadership battle

Nick Clegg addresses Birmingham Liberal Democrats conference. Photo courtesy of the Liberal DemocratsOne of the most interesting (and logistically challenging – though that’s another story) conference fringe events I have had a hand in organising through my involvement with Liberal Reform was a panel of fellow liberals from across Europe talking about their experiences of being members of a coalition.

I wanted to hold such an event to counter the all too prevalent assumption that the problems facing the Liberal Democrats are somehow unique to us. Because they are most certainly not.

Where parties enter …

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Wondering who to vote for today? #EP2014

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKOnly about a third of people normally vote in European and Council elections. If you are one of the two thirds who hasn’t made their way to the polling station yet, please read on. This stuff actually matters.

Your MEPs and Councillors make decisions that affect your daily life, be it mobile phone charges on your holiday, potentially your job if it’s funded by European money, or the care your parents receive or the quality of your local parks.

Clearly I’d love it if you voted Liberal Democrat for your benefit as much as mine as a party member. Here are some reasons why:

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European elections: vote Conservative, get Liberal?

election day 2014It’s polling day here and, indeed, in the Netherlands, as four days of voting for the European Parliament kick off. And, just possibly, whilst the Liberal Democrats are predicted to suffer losses here in the United Kingdom, the groundwork for the appointment of a liberal as President of the European Commission might be being prepared.

Christopher Flores, writing in the EU Observer, explains how;

Should a left coalition be blocked, the left will likely rally around one candidate in hopes of salvaging the loss of the Parliament by being able

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LibLink: Danny Alexander: The European Elections are not just a sideshow

European Union flagDanny Alexander has written for British Influence about the importance of electing MEPs who actually give a damn about making Europe work and making it work better tomorrow.

He compares and contrasts the respective value of UKIP and Liberal Democrat MEPs:

UKIP MEPs have already shown that they are incapable of standing up for Britain in Brussels. Time and again, they have missed crucial votes or opposed key reforms that improve the lives of British citizens. UKIP themselves admit in their manifesto that “we don’t go there to make

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Edward McMillan-Scott: Yorkshire benefits from access to Single European Market

Yorkshire DalesLiberal Democrat MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber Edward McMillan-Scott has been talking to the Yorkshire Post about the benefits staying in the EU brings to the region and asked those who believe in the EU to vote Liberal Democrat tomorrow:

There is no doubt whatsoever that as much as any region this one is benefiting from access to the single European market. The other side of that is inward investment. Siemens would not have committed themselves to Hull (to build a major wind turbine plant) unless they

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LibLink: Giles Goodall: UKIP’s disgraceful record on gay rights

Gay Pride New York 2008 / 20080629.10D.49816 / SMLSouth east Euro Candidate Giles Goodall has compared and contrasted the voting records of the Liberal Democrats and UKIP on LGBT rights in an article for Pink News.

It will come as no surprise to anybody that the Liberal Democrats have supported LGBT at every single stage:

In contrast, Liberal Democrat MEPs have systematically supported LGBT rights, with the European liberal group coming out with the best record in the European Parliament, alongside socialists and greens.

Let’s look at some of the things UKIP …

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What are Lib Dem MEPs doing for you?

We said yesterday that Lib Dem MEPs were too good to lose.

Here’s a short video which was played at the Conference rally at York this Spring which shows some of the excellent work that they do.

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Not everything you read on the internet about UKIP and Nigel Farage is true

nigel farageThis morning, Facebook timelines were bombarded with an image of Nigel Farage next to a quote in which he is supposed to have said that UKIP wanted to ban beards of more than 2 inches. “The beard goes or you go” he is supposed to have said on Anglia Radio on Saturday. After a quick (and horrible) mental image of Prime Minister Farage banning Z Z Top from entering the country, I quickly realised that it didn’t sound right. And if it had been true, such a juicy quote as …

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Liberal Democrat MEPs are far too good to lose

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 08.06.08 Liberal Democrats LibbyOne of the drawbacks of the way we vote for our MEPs is that so few people know who they are. You don’t vote for a person, you vote for a party and the party decides who goes to sit in the European Parliament. I’m not complaining about the PR nature of it, just that one of the drawbacks of the closed list system means that people don’t necessarily have that connection with an individual.

Our MEPs and candidates are all individuals with different things …

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Lib Dem MP on post-22 May leadership speculation: “Ashdown would cut my balls off if I criticised Clegg”

Paddy Ashdown talks on "The global power shift" in Brussels March 1st 2012 -  Some rights reserved by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE Lib Dems are braced for a tricky week. This Thursday will see the first UK-wide election since 2010, with voters choosing who represents them in the European Parliament. Many voters across England will also get to decide who runs their local council.

Votes for the local elections will be counted on that night and throughout Friday. If this year follows the pattern of the previous three years, the Lib Dems could …

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North East Liberal Democrat MEP candidate Angelika Schneider follows in the footsteps of women’s rights activists Emily Wilding Davison

Make sure you have your say in the elections on Thursday. Remember what some sacrificed in order to secure your right to do so.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: UKIP would rather turn the clock back on LGBT rights

rainbow flag on white background  : harvey milk plaza, san francisco (2012)In an article to mark today’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Nick Clegg has told readers of Pink News what the Liberal Democrat MEPs have done for LGBT rights both within Europe and globally:

Your Liberal Democrat MEPs have already been fighting for the rights of the LGBT community in Europe. For example, they have supported a European Parliament campaign for the recognition of equal marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation in EU countries, as well as for

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Lord Roger Roberts writes…We must unite against the scaremongering of the far right

Manhattan Central Park - Imagine MosaicThis week the BNP released its party political broadcast in the run-up to May’s local council and European elections. The BNP youth has also made its own poisonous contribution to the debate. The BNP have released a hurriedly edited version following complaints from the BBC that the broadcast did not meet its editorial guidelines, which state that such broadcasts have:

An obligation to observe the law (for example on libel, copyright and incitement to racial hatred and violence) and the BBC Editorial Guidelines on harm and

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New Liberal Democrat campaign video: Powerful stuff, but we need Part 2 – why you should vote Liberal Democrat

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The Independent View: Harnessing the “BuzzFeed” effect to boost turnout in the Euro elections

Only 26% are certain to vote in the European elections, and 77% say they know less about the issues in a European election than a general election, according to the Hansard Society. At Unlock Democracy, we’ve been looking at new techniques to combat low turnout and the worrying lack of political knowledge about European institutions.

For the European elections, we worked with organisations from 14 countries across the EU to produce Vote Match Europe, an online quiz app which matches user to the parties that best represent their views in the European elections, based on the issues which they select as …

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New ICM poll: Do you want the okay-ish news or the bad news?

Let’s start with the okay-ish news… ICM, the ‘gold standard’ pollster, has the Lib Dems at 13% in the Guardian’s latest monthly survey. That wouldn’t usually be much to write home about – it is after all 10% lower than the party scored at the last general election – but after a string of polls showing the Lib Dems in single digits, there will be something of a sigh of relief from Great George Street.

icm poll - may 2014

In fact, there’s a second bit of okay-ish news, which I’ll come …

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Opinion: A European manifesto of hope

Antony Hook in SE regionFor me and many other people, being a Liberal is about politics based on hope.

One of my favourite definition of hope is that it stands for “Helping Other People Evolve”.

Helping, not forcing.

Evolving, because almost everyone can see some scope for change for the better in their life.

We are not talking about forcing people to change their lives against their will.

Nor do we say, “each to their own, I’ll sort out my life and if you have no chance of a better future that is not my problem.”

Liberal leadership, based on hope, is about giving people a chance to fulfil their potential.

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Battle of the Election Videos: Lib Dems’ “Incredible Silent Man” v. “Labour’s Un-credible Shrinking Man”

So Labour’s party election broadcast then… Titled The Un-credible Shrinking Man it mocks Nick Clegg as a deluded patsy of the posho Tories. He starts off being offered a biscuit and ends up being chased across the cabinet table by a big cat. Because he’s shrunk, y’see. And naked. I’m not sure I’m doing its nuanced subtlety justice. It’s sort-of funny, at least if you enjoy laughing at one-dimensional caricatures which fit your pre-existing bias – a bit like a sketch for Radio 4’s The Now Show. You can watch it for yourselves here.

Kudos to the Lib Dem team at Great George Street who immediately re-packaged the party’s own video The Incredible Silent Man chiding Labour leader Ed Miliband’s reluctance to take the fight to Ukip or make the case for Europe:

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Scottish Liberal Democrats launch their European Election campaign – IN Britain, IN Europe, IN Work

Given the illustrious collection of single malts that there is in Scottish Party HQ, it’s hardly surprising that the party decided to launch its campaign of for the European elections in a distillery near Edinburgh. Alistair Carmichael, Willie Rennie and George Lyon checked out the products as they outlined the campaign themes.

Rennie, Carmichael and Lyon

There are no local elections in Scotland this year, but there is an added dimension with the approaching independence referendum. The Party of IN arguments apply just as much to Scotland staying in the UK as they do to the UK staying in Europe.

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Opinion: An open letter to UKIP voters

Letters Play Important Roles in our LivesDear UKIP voter

Although you are probably not an avid reader of the Lib Dem Voice website, this letter may get to you through the usual ‘viral’ internet ‘system.

The opinion surveys suggest that there are three main reasons for people like yourself voting UKIP.

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ALDE Party Council – seeing double in the city of intrigue and sachertorte

SachertorteIt is perhaps appropriate that, given the much-anticipated (at least by our enemies) fate of Liberal Democrats on 22 May, the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe) Party Council meets in Vienna, the city where Orson Welles set ‘The Third Man’, in which Harry Lime gave the impression of being dead, only to be killed in the end anyway.

However, this month’s European Parliamentary elections represent the raison d’être of any pan-European political party, and so liberals from across the European Union are working to ensure the strongest possible representation …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 21st Aug - 6:50pm
    "Agreed Joe. What’s more shocking is the complete absence of any bold statement of the party standing for civil liberties and free speech. " Not...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 21st Aug - 5:59pm
    Don’t worry folks. After Brexit the U.K. is going to become an exporting “Super Power”. Who says so? Why, none other than a certain Dr...
  • User AvatarNeil Sandison 21st Aug - 5:24pm
    Having been through a few recessions with governments of different political hues all have put the brakes on at times of fiscal crisis .The only...
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 21st Aug - 5:10pm
    In order to bring in the freedom theme and the logo how about "Lib Dems - Free as a bird"
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 21st Aug - 4:52pm
    I strongly agree with Joe Otten. Plus it's worth pointing out that Lib Dems were in office from 2010-2015, not just the Conservatives. We should...
  • User AvatarJohn Barrett 21st Aug - 4:29pm
    Paul - That was a quote from Roland that I was commenting on. I just assumed that was correct. Maybe that's a dangerous thing to...