Tag Archives: european elections 2019

Isabelle Parasram writes…How proud am I?

How proud am I of being Vice President of a party that’s sending no less than 16 MEPs to Brussels!

I look forward to working with them all on increasing the diversity of our Party.

We now have 2 BAME MEPs – Dinesh Dhamija and Shaffaq Mohammed – brilliant role models for all and particularly for the candidates who’ll benefit from the new Racial Diversity Campaign mentoring and training currently being set up by Sarah Yong, Arfan Bhatti and Anood Al-Samerai.

I have no doubt that Roderick Lynch, Chair of the LDCRE (Liberal Democrat Campaign for Racial Equality) will also soon be in touch about how our new MEPs can support its work.

Women also make up over 50% of our MEPs – something that the Chair of the Campaign for Gender Balance, Candy Piercy and the Chair of Lib Dem Women, Flo Clucas, will, no doubt, be thrilled with.

In the meantime, many congratulations to:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Building on the European Election results

The Liberal Democrat campaign for the European elections made an emotional connection with voters that the Remain referendum campaign missed. It spoke with clarity and trustworthiness. That’s in stark contrast to many people’s response to they dysfunction both tin the government and the Labour party. We need to connect with people in this space to help the country find a saner alternative.

After the European Parliament elections

The actual results were exciting, with pro-Remain parties getting more votes than pro-Brexit ones and many people voting Liberal Democrat who would not have done so a year ago. 

Polling from Lord Ashcroft  since then suggests that many of these voters would follow this up by voting Liberal Democrat in a UK General Election.

The campaigner in me instinctively thinks this is the time to be out and visible, particularly in places where people don’t hear from us very often. It’s one thing for people to vote Liberal Democrat in exceptional circumstances and quite another if it’s followed up by enough contact to mean this is not a flash in the pan. On top of the usual task helping newly-elected councillors to dig in, this is a golden opportunity to recruit members and deliverers. 

But things are not so simple. 

Anxiety on the doorstep

To get a sense of the general temperature, I did some canvassing in Hertford and Stortford constituency shortly before the European elections by knocking on every door in certain areas (rather than just going to those likely to support Liberal Democrats or Remain). What I encountered was a seemingly-small (though often strident) number of people who were going to vote for the Brexit Party, others happy to say they were voting Liberal Democrat, and a smaller number, loyal to Conservatives or Labour, following their loyalty with some unease. But a strikingly-large number of conversations were with people who said they were worried and didn’t know how to vote.

At first I wasn’t sure whether these were supporters of Remain or Leave. On autopilot I took the conversation to Remain United’s advice to vote Liberal Democrat if people wanted to remain in the EU, thinking that I would get pushback if the person supported Brexit. But instead of pushback, these conversations were often ending in the promise of a Liberal Democrat vote.

This experience doesn’t put the Brexit Party in first place and contradicts the voting figures for the district: the Brexit party first on 14,374 followed by Liberal Democrats on 11,090. But the overall turnout was 36.9%. This leaves me wondering how many of those “worried and not sure how to vote” didn’t actually vote.

Connecting emotionally with the “worried and not sure how to vote”

The “Bollocks to Brexit” slogan at last brought some emotion to the foreground on the Remain side and brought a major swing to the Liberal Democrats. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Why the Lib Dems should extend an olive branch to Change UK

One of the next big questions the Lib Dems need to answer is what to do about Change UK. After a disastrous result in the European elections, the fledging group are facing an existential crisis. A new party needs early success to fuel its momentum. They got the opposite – 3% of the vote.

Given this, it should come as no surprise that Change want to be friends again, with the interim leader Heidi Allen openly stating that she’d like to see Change and the Lib Dems run as one entity from now on. I understand that for some, the natural impulse might be to tell them to F – off. They wanted to be separate, they tried their best to win votes directly from the Lib Dems. Now they come crawling back to us? No sir. Enjoy electoral oblivion.

It’s a tempting way to think, but it’s an urge we all need to fight. A centre-left Remain alliance would be a good thing for our cause, and a good thing for our country. If MPs want to join the Lib Dems let’s bring them into the fold. And I don’t just mean grudgingly accepting them but viewing them with scorn, I mean knocking on doors in the rain for Gavin Shuker, giving a Cabinet position to Heidi Allen, and getting Chuka in to speak to enthusiastic supporters at the next ‘Lib Dem Pint’.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 60 Comments

Our message to the nation following the EU Election results

What a great night it was for those who want us to remain in the EU, working for a better Britain, a better Europe and a better world.

The result presents a challenging opportunity for us. Are we up to it?

It will be a challenge to convert the Stop Brexit voters into our true supporters and activists.

It’s a challenge to outdo the Conservatives in taking on the Brexit party’s claim to represent the nation, constantly reminding people that the total vote share for remain (40.4%) was greater than Leave (around 34.9%). We need to repeatedly remind people that the Brexit Party started not from nothing, but from a large UKIP platform, with its discriminatory elements and empty promises based sorely on anger at an unfair system.

It’s a challenge to out-do the Labour party in its claim to represent ordinary workers, whose best deal is within the EU and developing our people’s skills in a less centralised UK.

The opportunity is there to state more clearly the case for remain, for improvements to the EU, for stepping up the use of our power within the EU, for our power and influence in the world for justice and peace, for dealing with inequality and migration in the UK and the world and for dealing with huge world economic entities and the environmental crisis.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 24 Comments

Many congratulations to Naomi Long and the Alliance party in Northern Ireland – elected by STV!


Many congratulations to Naomi Long on a stunning win in Northern Ireland for our sister party, the Alliance. Naomi, who is the leader of the Alliance party, a former MP and Lord Mayor of Belfast, becomes the Alliance party’s first MEP.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

LibLink: Jo Swinson Lib Dems reaped the rewards of unapologetically supporting a People’s Vote

Somewhere in the long night on Sunday, when she was dotting about between various media outlets, Jo Swinson found the time to write an article for the Times Red Box looking at the reasons for the spectacular Lib Dem success. Being clear about what we were about paid dividends.

Our message at the elections was crystal clear and it worked. Voters recognised the Liberal Democrats are the largest and strongest Remain party. For the past two and a half years we have been unapologetically making the case for a People’s Vote and we have successfully built a cross-party, cross-country movement in support of it.

But while Labour and the Tories lead the country to a disastrous Brexit, we have more to do:

Even as we celebrate these excellent results, we can’t ignore that the Brexit Party made significant gains, that the favourite in the Conservative leadership contest panders to the far right to advance his career (and is certainly not fit for public office), and that the leader of the opposition is yet to take a stance on the biggest issue of the day.

Brexit has turned us into a laughing stock internationally. It’s detracted attention for the real challenges we face, such as the climate emergency, widening inequality and struggling public services. And it’s preventing us from making the most of the technological revolution right ahead of us.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Some good news for the Liberal Democrats from Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft, nowadays a relatively detached observer of British politics, usefully spends some of the money he used to give to the Conservative Party on opinion polling.  He has just published his post-voting analysis of the European elections – and it has some encouraging information for Liberal Democrats.

‘The biggest single chunk of Lib Dem support in the European elections came from 2017 Labour voters (37%), with 31% coming from previous Lib Dems and 24% coming from 2017 Conservatives.’

52% of Conservatives who had switched to voting for the Brexit Party said that they intend to stay with the Brexit Party at the next general election; while…

‘Conservatives who switched to the Lib Dems say they are even more likely to stay put: 61% now say they will vote Lib Dem again at the general election, with only 22% saying they expect to return to the Tories. Overall, only 43% of 2017 Conservative voters who turned out in the European elections say they will vote Tory at the next general election.’

‘Half of Labour-Brexit Party switchers said they expected to stay with their new party at the next general election, with only just a quarter saying they expect to go back to Labour. Just over half (51%) of Labour-Lib Dem switchers currently say they will stay with the Lib Dems. Just over half (56%) of 2017 Labour voters say they will back Jeremy Corbyn’s party for Westminster.’

He doesn’t provide a breakdown of respondents by age, social class or education; and he doesn’t provide comparably detailed information on voters who switched to the Greens, which would have been useful.  But this gives us some useful targets to go for: to hold onto our new voters, through continuing contact, and through getting across to them where we stand on policies other than on Brexit.  

Our leadership campaign should help us to get other policies across, as the media (at last) give us more coverage for a contest likely to be far more constructive and less bloody than the parallel Conservative race.  Both Ed Davey and Jo Swinson have done well in post-European election media comments, and we can hope for more media attention as the other two parties’ agonised arguments over what went wrong spill over.  

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

The 2019 European Election and Liberal History

Everyone knows the 2019 European election result in the UK was remarkable – but do you realise quite how much? 

It was the best Euro election result for the Liberal Democrats or their predecessor parties ever. 

This is true in terms both of seats (16) and votes (20.3 per cent). The party’s previous best seat performance was 12 in 2004, though the UK then had 78 seats in the European Parliament, rather than its current 73. Our previous best vote performance was right back in 1984, when the Liberal-SDP Alliance scored 18.5 per cent. That was in the days before PR, when the country was divided up into giant Euro-constituencies fought on first past the post; the Alliance won none of them. Post-merger, the best Liberal Democrat performance was 16.1 per cent, in 1994.

The Liberal Democrat performance looks even better when compared to the other main parties, outpolling both Labour and the Conservatives by large margins. This has never happened before. 

The last time the Liberal Party won more votes than Labour in a nationwide election (i.e. a general or Euro election) was in 1918 (by 25.6 per cent to 20.8 per cent), though only if you combine the votes of the two factions the Liberal Party was then split into, led by Lloyd George and Asquith. And in that election the Labour Party fought only just over half the seats, and the two Liberal factions about two-thirds, making comparisons tricky. The Labour Party, on 14.1 per cent this year, has never scored even remotely this badly since it started contesting all UK seats; its previous low point was 27.6 per cent, in 1983.

The last time the Liberals beat the Conservatives in a nationwide election was 1906, the year of the great Liberal landslide: 48.9 per cent and 397 seats for the Liberals to 43.4 per cent and 156 seats for the Unionists (as Conservatives were known then). The Conservative performance this time, a mere 9.1 per cent, is staggeringly bad; the party’s previous low was three times as much, 29.2 per cent in 1832 (though throughout the nineteenth century many seats went uncontested, and MPs’ allegiances were often fluid, making calculations difficult), or, in the modern era, 30.7 per cent in 1997.

Posted in Liberal History | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Meet our new MEPs – Bedtime edition

What a night! Thanks to Mark for his excellent coverage overnight.

The results surpassed my wildest expectations. And the media can just stop with this “triumph for the Brexit Party” narrative. They are effectively a repackaged UKIP which, in 2014, got 27.5% of the vote. They’ve only gained 4.1% on top of that to end up with 31.6%. UKIP’s 3.3% on top of that gives unequivocal Leave 34.9%.  The combined total of Liberal Democrats, Greens, Change UK,  Plaid Cymru and SNP who are all committed to Remain is 40.4%.

You can’t really say with confidence what the Conservative and Labour votes mean. I suspect much of the Labour vote did so with gritted teeth so you could probably add another 10% to Remain which would take the total for Remain to over 50%.

So, enough with this Brexit Party victory narrative.

But enough of that for now. Let’s meet our new MEPs.

As of now, we have 15 new ones – 16 in total and . And they are a diverse bunch – a majority (9) women and two BAME candidates elected.

Two are Newbies who have joined the party since 2015 and one more joined in 2014.

And as Jo Swinson pointed out, we came within 30,000 votes of two more – Sam Bennett and Fiona Hall narrowly missed out in Wales and the North East respectively.

Making up my LIb Dem MEPs Twitter list was pretty satisfying.

So who are our new MEPs? Here are extracts from their biographies on the party website and a few more notes. 

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

European Elections 2019: results from across the sea… (part 2)

For earlier results, check out part 1…

First, an update. The BBC have got the Latvian result wrong, and our sister Party, Attistibai, have retained their seat. Unexpected that, the BBC getting it wrong…

Time to look at some of the bigger stories, and we start with Romania, where the USR have gained eight seats as the main element of the Coalition Alliance 2020. The collapse of the ruling Social Democrats has been followed almost immediately by the news that the Prime Minister, Liviu Dragnea, has lost his appeal against a prison sentence for corruption. He’s already been transferred into captivity…

In France, …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

European Elections 2019: results from across the sea… (part 1)

Overnight, we’ve had some of the results come in, and we’ll start with the bad news first, with none of our ALDE sister parties gaining seats in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Malta or Portugal. We had only held seats in Portugal (two), but the combined vote of the three liberal parties totalled just 2.41%.

Little change in the Baltics thus far, although in Estonia, the opposition Reform Party gained voting share and won overall, retaining their two seats, whilst the Centre Party lost significant voting share having gone into coalition with the far-right and nationalists. They retained their solitary seat in …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Meet our new MEPs – Breakfast edition

What a night! Thanks to Mark for his excellent coverage overnight.

The results surpassed my wildest expectations. And the media can just stop with this “triumph for the Brexit Party” narrative. They are effectively a repackaged UKIP which, in 2014, got 27.5% of the vote. They’ve only gained 4.1% on top of that to end up with 31.6%. UKIP’s 3.3% on top of that gives unequivocal Leave 34.9%.  The combined total of Liberal Democrats, Greens, Change UK,  Plaid Cymru and SNP who are all committed to Remain is 40.4%.

You can’t really say with confidence what the Conservative and Labour votes mean. I suspect much of the Labour vote did so with gritted teeth so you could probably add another 10% to Remain which would take the total for Remain to over 50%.

So, enough with this Brexit Party victory narrative.

But enough of that for now. Let’s meet our new MEPs.

As of now, we have 14 new ones – 15 in total so far. And they are a diverse bunch – a majority (8) women and two BAME candidates elected.

We hope that the Fabulous Fifteen will become the Sensational Sixteen at about 11 am this morning once the Western Isles has finished counting. Two are Newbies who have joined the party since 2015 and one more joined in 2014.

Making up my LIb Dem MEPs Twitter list was pretty satisfying.

So who are our new MEPs? Here are extracts from their biographies on the party website and a few more notes.  I will update this later if, as projected,  we win in Scotland but do not want to tempt fate.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 46 Comments

European Elections 2019: the results…

Exciting, isn’t it? The anticipation of election results where we’re almost bound to improve on last time. And with the wind in our sails. Now, I’ve been around long enough to expect disappointment, but let’s see, shall we?

00.51 So, with only Scotland and Northern Ireland to report, here’s the current picture;

  • Brexit Party – 28 seats (up 28)
  • Liberal Democrats – 15 seats (up 14)
  • Labour – 10 seats (down 8)
  • Greens – 7 seats (up 4)
  • Conservatives – 3 seats (down 15)
  • Plaid Cymru – 1 seat (no change)
  • UKIP – no seats (down 23)

The Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party is pretty much gender balanced, seven men, …

Posted in News | 36 Comments

European Elections 2019: meanwhile, on a continent far away…

Welcome to Liberal Democrat Voice’s coverage of the results from the other 678 seats in the European Parliament. I’m your host, Mark Valladares, a member of the Party’s Federal International Relations Committee, and I’ll be highlighting some of the interesting results from across Europe. Stay tuned for the drama to come… I’ll be adding to the piece at the top, i.e. read upwards from the bottom…

01.00 We’re still awaiting final results from across most of Europe, given that they mostly voted today. But we can summarise thus. It’s been a good night for liberals, Greens and, unfortunately, the disruptive right. …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

European election results: What do we think will happen?

On Thursday night when every part of my body hurt like hell and my eyes were melting with exhaustion, I couldn’t sleep. My body expected to be at a count and couldn’t understand why I was in my bed.

The three day wait to know whether our advance in the polls has been confirmed is excruciating.

By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to the count in Edinburgh. We won’t know the Scottish result tonight because the Western Isles don’t count on a Sunday. That means that our result will be declared in a dramatic Royal Mile ceremony by noon tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that Sheila Ritchie makes it. Some polling suggests that, in equal second, we could be contesting the third or fourth seat, but it is more likely to be a scrap between us, the Brexit Party and the SNP for the last place.

In the rest of the country, the outlook looks a lot sunnier. Support was coalescing around us as the Remain alternative to the Brexit Party. By the end of the campaign, we were polling 20%. This is way beyond anything we have ever polled in a European election before if it is realised. Everyone I know has stories of friends and acquaintances who had never supported us before turning out for us on Thursday.

Election Maps UK has a prediction which is equally stunning and sobering:

While it would be fantastic to have 13 MEPs, the thought of 30 Brexit Party representatives is not pleasant.

This gives us 3 in London, 2 each in the South East and East of England, 1 each in Scotland, East and West Midlands, South West, Yorkshire and the Humber and North West. It would be disappointing not to get a seat in Wales. These MEPs would also be joined by Naomi Long for the Alliance Party.

That, if it came true, would be incredible. It would mean that we would have come first in London which would be unheard of.

This is the first time I’ve been to a European count since PR came in. In 2009, I was lying in bed with my days old baby as the results came in and we learned that Nick Clegg had won to become the first Liberal parliamentarian in the East Midlands in nearly 70 years.

To put in perspective, here is how we’ve polled in every European election since 1999.

1999 12.10% 10 seats out of 77

2004  14.9% 12 seats out of 78

2009  13.7% 11 seats out of 72

2014 6.87% 1 seat out of 73

You can see the effect of PR when you consider that in 1994, we actually polled 16.7% and got just 2 seats under first past the post.

So anything more than 15% is our best result in 20 years.

The thought of the Brexit Party doing well is pretty horrible, though. However, if the turnout is higher than expected, this might dilute their vote share.

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Were you denied the right to vote on Thursday? Let us know

Two Lib Dem MPs expected to stand for the leadership of the party have called for action after EU citizens were denied the right to vote on Thursday because local authorities hadn’t properly processed their applications. The Guardian reports that the Government may face action:

The government is facing calls to launch an urgent investigation into the treatment of EU citizens in the European elections after many people reported being denied their democratic right to vote.

Voters across the country told of their devastation at finding their names crossed off the register due to clerical errors by local councils. Experts said the situation was a “scandal we knew was coming” and that the government may have a case to answer in court.

The affected voters said they felt they were being “silenced” as this was the only election they had a right to participate in, being ineligible to vote in the referendum or general elections.

Our two as yet undeclared expected leadership candidates have had strong words to say on the subject.

Ed Davey put out a call for evidence from those affected.

And Jo Swinson called for an investigation:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

Putting a bomb under it, and other polling day stories

There was a bit of drama in Kingston upon Thames on Thursday morning. Construction workers uncovered a 250Kg unexploded WW2 bomb near the town centre.

A large exclusion zone was set up, and 1500 people were evacuated from their homes.

The area included the town centre campus for Kingston University, two schools – and two polling stations, which had to be relocated.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

24 May 2019 – today’s (other) press release

Swinson demands Electoral Commission investigate EU election debacle

Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson has written to the Electoral Commission demanding an investigation after countless EU citizens were unable to vote in the Euro elections this week.

In a letter to Sir John Holmes, Chair of the Electoral Commission, the Liberal Democrat MP said “it is an outrage that so many people were denied the right to vote in yesterday’s European elections.”

She added: “Not only were European citizens turned away at polling stations, but many UK citizens abroad were also disenfranchised due to breakdowns in the postal …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

It wouldn’t be an election without a Willie Rennie stunt

And here he is, waterskiing to show the Lib Dem wave of support.

Sone people enjoyed it too much.

And there’s video too:

Former Scottish Camapigns director Adam Stachura had his own take

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Time for some Lib Dem sunshine

It’s been a bloody awful three years. Politics dominated by the psychodrama in the Conservative Party over Europe and the splits in a Labour Party which refuses to declare whether it is for Brexit or Remain.

Finally, the sun shows a willingness to break through the storm clouds of British politics. A strong vote for us with a high turnout could see us beat the Brexit Party.

This whole campaign has been an absolute joy. We’ve had the clearest message – vote Lib Dems to stop Brexit – with its fruitier alternative, Bollocks to Brexit – and we have been able, for the first time in years, to approach doorsteps with confidence. It’s been such a good feeling. People have spontaneously told us that they are voting for us and you can see in their eyes that they are pleased about it.

All of you who have been involved in the campaign have played an absolute blinder. Our candidates have been energetic and spirited. In Scotland, Sheila Ritchie has travelled thousands of miles and led campaigning in paces where we haven’t been seen for years. She so deserves to win.

It’s been an exhausting campaign, coming for many people on the heels of the local elections.

Posted in Op-eds | 147 Comments

22 May 2019 – today’s press releases

It’s not easy being in a political party’s Press Team when the governing party is in meltdown. After all, Theresa May is seemingly holed up in 10 Downing Street, a chair wedged under the door handle to prevent anyone from getting in. The Leader of the House is gone, and who knows if she’s merely the first of many?

And all this on the eve of European Parliamentary elections in which the Conservatives are expected to take a kicking not dissimilar to that the Liberal Democrats took in 2015…

  • Lib Dems: Botched Apprenticeship Levy implementation hurting most disadvantaged
  • Gove clutching at straws with

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Heidi Allen reveals she offered to quit as Change UK Leader over tactical voting row

Heidi Allen gave an extraordinary interview to Channel 4 news tonight. 

You normally use your eve of poll interviews to talk up your own party. Instead, she told of a split within the group over recommending tactical voting to maximise Remain support. Allen wanted the party to endorse the Liberal Democrats outside London and the South East.

You have to wonder if the majority who were against it were the same people who blocked a Remain alliance in the European election.

From the New Statesman:

Allen believes the party should encourage Remain voters to back the Liberal Democrats outside of London and South East, where Change UK are polling strongest and thus stand the best chance of picking up MEPs.

Her fear, shared by Sarah Wollaston, is that Change lacks the requisite support to win seats elsewhere and could instead act as a spoiler. She warns: “Putting all the votes in one direction doesn’t always necessarily create the result that you want. If the next party further down in the polls isn’t still big enough to win a seat, you can end up, if you’re not careful, giving more votes to the Brexit parties.”

In private, she has always been clear that her strong preference is for cooperation with the Lib Dems. Earlier this week she even admitted that there was every chance that Change might not exist in its current form by the time of the next election. On the basis of current polling it is difficult to disagree. The party will be lucky to return a single MEP to Brussels and, faced with a Liberal Democrat revival none of its leading lights had anticipated, has failed to make serious electoral headway. As Allen herself says, it is a “really, really difficult time”.

Allen’s mother grew up in Germany as Hitler rose to power. She had stories about how people revered him because he promised all sorts and she clearly sees parallels with populist parties and people today. She clearly feels a sense of duty to stand up to the populists with what she called calm and moderate politics.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 29 Comments

This is Vince Cable’s Election

Yesterday we were privileged to welcome Vince Cable to Liverpool. It will be one of his last visits as Leader as he intends to step down to allow a contest for a new Leader to take place in June.

I want to put on record just how much I think the Lib Dems owe to this man as we face what is probably the most amazing electoral turnaround (in a positive sense) in our history.

In 2015 we came close to becoming irrelevant. Under Tim Farron we weathered that storm and that was no mean feat. We got our membership base up and steadied the ship. Instead of facing the loss of even more councillors and activist we dug in and strengthened our position in local elections. We did marginally but surprisingly well in the General Election of 2017 increasing our number of MPs from 9 to 12 and crucially getting back into Parliament three heavyweights: Vince himself and the probable contenders for his job next month, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson. Tim did us well despite a General Election stumble over one aspect of his beliefs. We should continue to thank him for that.

Then Vince stepped in. He knew he was a caretaker and we knew that he knew! We were content with that because the Lib Dems needed settling down before a leadership election not least because the two probable contenders needed time to re-establish themselves.

Vince brought five things to us:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments

A Photographic Salute to the Lib Dem Resurrection

I am sending our best wishes from D66 and The Netherlands for the European Elections tomorrow. Here are some pictures from our own European election campaign.

This first picture is a group of big letters “WEUROPE” (pronounce “We Europe”). D66 activists travel around big cities with these letters, to point out that we are the most pro-European Dutch party. The people behind the letters are D66 MP’s and activists.

The second picture is me standing in front of those letters, holding up the famous phrase from the Preamble to the LibDem Constitution.

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

The pair are meant as a salute from D66 to your resurrection struggle, as two comrades in arms in the same pro-EU struggle, embracing the same Social Liberal principles. Good luck!

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Former top civil servant Gus O’Donnell explains why he’s voting Lib Dem in the European elections

It’s been really lovely to have all the celebrity endorsements we’ve had in recent days – Katy Brand, Emma Kennedy, Susan Penhaligon, Bamber Gascoigne, Greg Dyke and Simon Callow.

However, when people who know exactly how government works urge a Liberal Democrat vote, then it’s really getting serious.

For six years, Gus O’Donnell served as Cabinet Secretary, the highest ranked civil servant in the country, under three Prime Ministers, Blair, Brown and Cameron.

He now sits in the House of Lords.

In an unprecedented article for Times Red Box (£), he explains why he feels it is his “civil duty” to vote Liberal Democrat on Thursday:

I have made clear that since the executive and parliament have so far failed to find an acceptable form of Brexit, I reluctantly believe the only way to bring the country together is to give the people the chance to approve any final deal in a referendum. My view remains that leaving the EU is on balance bad for the country for economic reasons and because of its impact on our global influence.

So I would be supporting Remain in such a vote, which brings us to the European elections. I am extremely disappointed that while the Brexit party is an obvious choice for dedicated Leavers the Remain vote is potentially spread across many parties.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Greg Dyke urges Remainers to vote Lib Dem

Greg Dyke, television executive, broadcaster and former Director-General of the BBC, has endorsed the Lib Dems as the party of Remain. He is encouraging all Remainers to vote Lib Dem.

Greg says:

I strongly believe that Britain is better off inside than outside the European Union and will therefore be backing the Liberal Democrats – the leading pro-European party, and the one that has fought longest and hardest against Brexit – in this week’s European election.

If you too oppose Brexit, and favour the UK Remaining in the EU at this crucial moment in our country’s history, I would urge you to vote Lib Dem on Thursday too.

This follows a series of celebrity endorsements calling for remain voters to vote Lib Dem in the European Elections on Thursday. Bamber Gascoigne, Katy Brand, Emma Kennedy and Simon Callow have pledged their support, urging voters to support the Liberal Democrats as the party of Remain.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Susan Penhaligon backing the Lib Dems this Thursday

Embed from Getty Images

More than four decades on, I can still remember Susan Penhaligon’s performance as Prue Sorenson in Bouquet of Barbed Wire. I watched it far too young and didn’t get most of it as the themes were way too adult but she is up there with Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who as far as I am concerned.

Susan is the cousin of Liberal MP David Penhaligon who was killed in a car crash in 1986. The shock of that day is another strong memory in my life.

She stopped supporting the party during the coalition years, but, in a tweet tonight, Vince announced that she is voting Lib Dem on Thursday.

Vince had also noticed our earlier post about Simon Callow:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 3 Comments

Vince: Lib Dems snapping at heels of Brexit Party

Vince Cable was on the BBC News Channel’s Ask This last night talking about how the Lib Dems would have liked to have been part of a Remain Alliance but it didn’t work out. He said we were best placed to stop Farage’s Brexit Party from winning the election. Watch here:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Bamber Gascoigne: This is the essential moment to support the Lib Dems

Last week, Katy Brand and Emma Kennedy backed the Lib Dems in the European elections. .

Last night, award winning star of stage and screen Simon Callow said he was backing us as the only party to have offered leadership and clarity on remaining in the EU.

And today, University Challenge legend Bamber Gascoigne adds his voice to the growing list of people saying that they are voting Lib Dem this time – a list that also includes former Tory Cabinet Minister Michael Heseltine and Times columnist and former Tory MP Matthew Parris.

Bamber said:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

20 May 2019 – today’s press release

  • Prime Minister’s Deal is dead – Tom Brake
  • Further Gender Identity Clinic delays unacceptable
  • Davey: Govt is failing in its duty to protect the public
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats only chance for 2nd remain seat

Prime Minister’s Deal is dead – Tom Brake

Responding to comments made by Matthew Hancock, the Health Secretary, on the Today Programme, that the Government will bring forward its bill on exiting the EU, Tom Brake, Lib Dem Brexit Spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister’s deal is dead. They can bring forward votes on that deal and a speculative bill every week, for the rest of the year – it will still fail

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | Leave a comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael Sammon 15th Dec - 3:14am
    Good luck squaring that circle between liberals, centrists and socialists. It's a non starter. This isn't American politics and nor should it become so. All...
  • User AvatarMichael Sammon 15th Dec - 3:11am
    We never got into government when we were more left wing and Labours shift to the left was always going to squeeze us in that...
  • User AvatarDj Pocock 15th Dec - 3:06am
    Tories win an election by appealing to northern working class. Lib Dems want to go into the next one by appealing to a university elite....
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 15th Dec - 2:31am
    Lord Adonis offers his perspective to both Labour and Libdems in this “period of reflection” . https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/election-labour-lib-dems-leader-change-policy-tony-blair-centre-a9247156.html highlighting five key points "a successful Labour or...
  • User Avatarfrankie 15th Dec - 2:10am
    A party of just you then David, all the yellow book leaders have left for greener pastures. Tis sad for you but true.
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 15th Dec - 2:04am
    Our increased membership has drawn a large number of remain fanatics into the party who, with Getting Brexit Done, will now melt away. I see...
Tue 7th Jan 2020