Tag Archives: general election 2017

Miriam says she and Nick knew about Jared O’Mara’s comments but he refused to go negative

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez was on Peston this morning as one of the panel of 3 guests who are there throughout the programme.

The subject of Jared O’Mara’s appallingly racist, misogynist and homophobic comments came up and Miriam said something very interesting instead. She said that Labour must have known about his past because she and Nick did.

That, of course, begs the question that if we knew why on earth didn’t we use it during the campaign. She answered that one as well, saying that Nick refused to run a negative campaign.

She pointed out the hypocrisy of Labour allowing someone with such deeply regressive views to present themselves as a progressive candidate.

It is very typical of Nick to take the high road and not the low one. He is, sometimes to his detriment, an idealist at heart who has always behaved with integrity.

Would it have made a difference if he had used what he knew about O’Mara? Well, let’s look at the change in vote share since 2015. The Labour vote only went up by 2.6%. It was an advance by the Tories of 10.2%, Tories who had hitherto voted tactically for Nick. They unsqueezed themselves presumably to give Theresa May the strong hand she craved in the Brexit negotiations. 

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ERS General Election report shows that Liberal Democrats are heavily under-represented

It doesn’t matter what the result of a Westminster election, the Liberal Democrats are usually under-represented. Our 23% in 2010 should have brought us 140 MPs. At this election, according to an Electoral Reform Society report, we could have had 29 or 39 MPs under a proportional system.  Given that Labour and the Tories are doing generally all right out of the system at the moment, we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for reform.

If the election had been conducted under the Alternative Vote, which we campaigned for and squandered too much  political capital on in the coalition negotiations in 2010, we’d have had even fewer MPs than with First Past the Post. Only 11 Liberal Democrats would have been elected.

The report is generally a depressing read, highlighting how divided we are as a nation. They highlighted the number of wasted votes and pointed out that this was not a good thing for legitimacy:

In the end, we have a system that recognises the geographical location of a voter and nothing else. It is where voters are – rather than their choices – that matters. This must change if we are to restore legitimacy to our political institutions.

It says that First Past the Post has had its 3rd strike after failing to deliver decisive results in the last 3 elections. I beg to differ with that one. At least in 2010, we had a Government which had the support of more than half of the electorate for the two parties. Those of us who have been around for longer can attest to the fact that it has always been unfair. In my first election a quarter of the votes for the Alliance resulted in just 23 seats.

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A candidate’s tale: Part 2

Today Richard continues his account of his campaign in Macclesfield in the General Election. You can read Part 1 here.

We planned a campaign to make maximum use of social media – the leafleting of the 21st Century. (Don’t worry. We had plenty of leaflets too!)

Having practiced our high-visibility public-facing events – canvassing and hustings – we captured them in photos and posted through Facebook and Twitter, so people could see we were out there talking to the voters, taking the campaign seriously. A weekend’s events could be spread …

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A candidate’s tale: Part 1

I was the Liberal Democrat candidate for Macclesfield in Cheshire at the June General Election.

Six weeks earlier, after Theresa May’s as-it-turned-out vainglorious decision to go to the country, Macclesfield Liberal Democrats had found themselves in need of a candidate. And I answered the call.

The last time Macclesfield elected a Liberal was William Brocklehurst (junior) in 1910, and for the last 100 years they have returned only Conservatives (or Unionists) to Westminster. Alas, I was not able to celebrate William’s centenary by retaking the seat.

But I did hold on to the lion share of our vote from two years ago, and held on to our deposit, in the face of a fierce squeeze from Labour backed up by the tactical voting sites and some pretty underhand use of questionable numbers.

And, in spite of being in safe Tory territory, I never felt it was a no-hope seat.

In fact, I remain convinced that a seat like Macclesfield is winnable by a Liberal candidate. Maybe more in five to ten years than five to ten weeks. Where the Tory MP gets 53% of the vote this time, same as last time, Labour’s surge mopping up UKIP votes isn’t ever going to be enough. To reach into that 53%, you need to put together a coalition that picks up not just the moderate Labour voters, but the centrist, Remain-inclined Conservatives too along with the core Liberal vote. And only a Lib Dem is going to do that.

I was incredibly lucky to have a local party who were full of enthusiasm, fired up to resist Brexit, absolutely certain that our message was the right one for Macclesfield – which it is. On top of that, we had a team full of the talents we needed: organising people; organising logistics; designing literature; running social media. No one expected us to be much more than a paper candidacy, but we were determined to be as much more than that as we could manage.

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Lord Tony Greaves writes…Where now for the Liberal Democrats? Part 2: What we do about it

Yesterday, I laid out the issues facing the party. Here is my analysis of what we should do about them.

I suggest there are four or five things that should now be priorities for the party as an organisation and a movement. They may look rather different from each other but I suggest that they gel together more than may be immediately obvious. This is not an order of importance – I think they are all equally important.

First, in view of the election result we need to insure against the threat of another General Election in the next 12 months or two years. The very survival of the party requires a presence in the House of Commons. That means making sure that the 12 seats we held will be held again – no more carelessness or complacency. It means a similar level of intensive continuous work and campaigning in the 25 or so seats that are realistic targets for gains in an early poll. And those seats need to build up their local organisation to a level where they do not depend on support from lots of people in the surrounding areas and beyond when the election comes.

Second, from a longer term perspective, we need to rebuild and recreate the party as a campaigning organisation and movement. Campaigning in recent years has been diminished to mean just election campaigning, and a lot of that is now done in an arid “painting by numbers” fashion. The campaigning that gives political activity its interest, its excitement, its achievements, and its fun (and who is going to do it for year after year if it’s not fun?) is campaigning on issues, on projects, on protests, on getting things done. Community politics. It’s something the party almost abandoned during the Coalition. And campaigning of this kind is not just about elections – they are part of it but only a part. It’s much, much more, and genuinely all the year round stuff.

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The nature of predictions

This General Election campaign has given me pause for thought about the nature of prediction. When we make a political prediction we use information that is available to us such as polls, statistical calculations based on data such as turnout and past performance and what we hear on the doorstep when campaigning. But we also use our past experience of such matters and our hopes. Computing all of this we come up with a prediction of likely outcome. Our predictions are important to us personally as they reflect the quality of our judgement, an aspect of our being that we hold dear, as it relates to our sense of competence and thus strongly relates to our sense of self. Because of this we can become over attached to our predictions which can lead to negative effects.

If our prediction is positive such attachment can lead us to be overconfident and unresponsive to the reality of what is going on around us, as possibly happened to Theresa May at the start of her campaign.

If the prediction is negative such attachment can lead us to becoming despondent in our campaigning, playing down our message when talking to people, not bothering to campaign so vigorously for example not delivering that extra round of leaflets and demotivating our fellow campaigners. Such negative responses can contribute to our negative prediction becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. To avoid such negativity we need to develop equanimity in relation to our prediction always having the humility to say, at the back of our minds, “but I might be wrong”. With this balanced approach, in spite of whatever prediction we make, we will continue to campaign in a positive constructive way. During campaigning obviously the results of polls are useful in deciding the sensible direction of the campaign but we should always take them with a pinch of salt and not allow them to make us negative in our approach.

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Lord Tony Greaves writes… Where now for the Liberal Democrats? Part 1: Where we are

The morning after another disastrous General Election for the Liberal Democrats, the party’s press office issued a statement which started with the breath-taking words: “It has been a good night for the Liberal Democrats.”

It went on to say: “We hoped to hold our ground but instead we have increased our number of MPs by 50%. We welcome back big hitters to our ranks in Jo Swinson, Vince Cable and Ed Davey, who all regained their seats with emphatic majorities. We have won stunning victories in Eastbourne, Bath, Edinburgh West, Caithness and Oxford West & Abingdon.”

Well yes, and I cheered every one of them. But we lost five of the nine seats we were defending including four which had been held at the calamitous election in 2015. Many more seats that we recently held or which were strong targets fell back badly so that the number of possible winnable seats has shrunk to levels not seen for decades. We lost 375 deposits and it was clear that the basic Liberal Democrat vote in large parts of the country was still close to zero and that the much-vaunted fight-back in many areas had simply not happened at the Westminster level.

So let’s start again. It was a disastrous night for the Liberal Democrats. The best that can be said is that in an election when the very presence of the party in the House of Commons was in danger, we survived. The increase from eight seats in 2015 to 12 this time is welcome but only gets us back to the position in 1966. The truth is that over much of the country hardly anyone voted for us. The countrywide core vote we had been building up in the first decade of the 2000s has gone and shows no signs of coming back.

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Why Lib Dems should be proud

At Spring Conference last March, Tim Farron set the bar high – calling on us to replace Labour as the official opposition after the next election. With this in mind, I understand why some Lib Dem members may be angered by our performance last Thursday. It’s true that our national campaign failed to get off the ground, and that it added little value to our hard-fought local victories. But despite this, I think the party should be proud of how we fought hard, targeted well, and avoided a disastrous result.

We were never going to become a national force again on the back of a menu of carefully thought through policies on health, education and drug reform. With our Parliamentary team so diminished, we had no choice but to pile our chips against one defining issue, and hope that it would catch on. I think that we were right to make this cause our opposition to Brexit. Brexit is the biggest issue facing our country, our position on it is unique, and it is completely in line with our values as a party. It’s just unfortunate that when this snap election was called, opposing Brexit was not the main issue on voters’ minds. It’s been a year since the referendum, and leaving the EU hasn’t really affected most people’s lives at all. Compared with austerity and the decline of our public services, Brexit seemed like a side show. Corbyn’s vision was much more in line with the public mood – and he gained momentum at our expense.

It’s easy to blame the Lib Dems for not getting Brexit higher on people’s priority list, but there was only so much we could do. Parties with 9 MPs don’t get to shape the agenda. They can only respond to it, and capitalise on the public mood as much as possible to regain popularity. With the effects of Brexit still not being felt, it’s no surprise that most people were primarily concerned with other matters. 

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The emotions of an election count

Editor’s Note: Ed sent us this post on Thursday night but we were all out at our own counts so didn’t get the chance to put it up. It is all the more poignant given that Mark Williams was defeated by a mere 104 votes, meaning that we no longer have an MP in Wales. 

I talked to Ed and we agreed that his heartfelt post should still go up, so here it is….

As I arrived at the count, the ambition of our hopes crashed to the floor as what was hoped for and planned had slipped away. And so it was that I lost (third) in the closest result in mainland Britain in 2010: Hampstead and Kilburn.

Tonight I will return to the General Election fray and will go as a staffer: the Election Co-ordinator for Mid, North and West Wales for the Liberal Democrats. I will attend the Ceredigion count in far rural west Wales to support Mark Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Election counts are odd, grim and puzzling – you are enclosed in a tight space, the count changes little and it is the verification that matters. Few elections are knife edge close – it’s the campaign that has the drama and the frisson is the declaration at the end.

For my own part I now find I struggle at counts: you have a job to do scrutinising and getting the box count data, you need to co-ordinate the team and spot the gaps and potential problems and be in control of your emotions and all senses racing. Adrenaline is a real drug and you get no choice as it courses through your veins and the only antidote is calm and fixed smiles. For my own part I resist triumphalism and yet the venom often expressed at said occasions lingers in your mind, in your memory and in your heart. My own election count of 2010 is seared into me and will never leave. For several years after 2010 I lost all emotion and it has taken a long time to come round to understanding my own psyche since. Now I can cry at the smallest, simplest and most natural things – then I suppressed emotion and pressed on.

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WATCH: Nick Clegg’s concession speech: We need to reach out to each other and heal divisions

Having spent all Thursday night at the count, I’ve been catching up on the results programmes to see how the extraordinary night unfolded.

I’m still pretty devastated that we’ve lost the country’s foremost authority on matters European from Parliament when we most need him.

Here is his typically gracious concession speech, in which he talks about the importance of people from all parties reaching out to each other to heal the division in the country. I suspect he would have said exactly the same thing if he had won.

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Willie, Christine and Jo celebrate Scottish Lib Dem wins

I could cheerfully have swung for Willie Rennie on Friday afternoon when he suggested an event on Sunday morning to celebrate our 4 Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs. I mean, it’s the first Sunday morning in 7 weeks most  of us could have had a lie-in. I thought nobody would want to go and it would be a disaster.

I was wrong. It was well-attended, there were broadcast and print journalists there and the atmosphere was great. There are, however,  two very important lessons to learn from the event, but more of that later. A huge crowd of people turned up at Jo Swinson’s campaign office in Milngavie. One person brought his two gorgeous and friendly  dogs, Caleb and Bella, who looked resplendent in their Jo Swinson rosettes.

Christine Jardine and Alex Cole-Hamilton came across from Edinburgh to join in the celebrations. Christine used to live in Bearsden and told how it was Jo who had inspired her to get involved in politics and stand for Parliament.

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Lord Martin Thomas writes…The moment the election turned

On the morning of Monday, 22nd May, we were tipped off that Theresa May was coming to the Memorial Hall in Gresford, an old mining village just outside Wrexham where we live. My wife, Joan (Baroness) Walmsley, and I headed off immediately to be part of this unusual and unheralded event – the last PM in Gresford was Ted Heath in 1970.

The entrance to the hall was manned by anonymous young men in dark suits and unsurprisingly our names were not on the printed list of expected attendees from the local Tory faithful. However, I pointed out that I was President of the Trust which built and owned the building and they obviously thought there would be more trouble if we were excluded. The local Tory candidate reluctantly agreed.

Joan was clued up about the dementia tax, since she had been debating it with Jeremy Hunt at Alzheimer’s Society meeting in London four days’ earlier. We thought we might raise the issue with Mrs May.

For the first fifteen minutes, the PM attacked Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbot in highly personal and insulting terms. The election was apparently between her personally and these reprobates. She was still in “strong and stable” mode. There was no “conservative” on the back cloth.

And then something surprising happened.

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Willie Rennie: SNP must hold parliamentary vote to cancel divisive independence referendum

I managed to get two hours’ sleep this morning. The dog woke me up by deciding to use my stomach as a trampoline after someone let her up the stairs. I checked my phone to see a message inviting lots of us to Party HQ in Edinburgh for an event with Willie.

Ten minutes later I was on a train ready to be a yellow diamond bearer in the background as he made a statement and gave interviews to the media

With Christine Jardine, Edinburgh West’s new MP by his side, he talked about the gains we had made, quadrupling our representation and how the election result across Scotland meant that independence was now off the agenda. He said the First Minister needed to make a big gesture to bring the country together:

The election result was a monumental event with the loss of colossal figures on the Scottish political scene.

The loss of 21 MPs including the former First Minister Alex Salmond and the SNP Deputy Leader Angus Robertson will leave a major hole in Scottish politics and the SNP.

The SNP lost 13 percentage points which is more than any other political party in the United Kingdom. Such major losses require a major political response.

The central issue of the election in Scotland was another independence referendum.  The Scottish people have rejected that proposal. Nicola Sturgeon must respond immediately to this major event.

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Farron: We must challenge the Conservative orthodoxy that is tearing this country apart

Tim Farron gave a speech in response to the election result at the National Liberal Club this morning. You can watch a little bit here:

This was the hardest of elections, marred by the tragedy of those vile terrorist attacks in Manchester and in London.

And now the future of our country is less certain than it was when Theresa May called this election a month and a half ago.

For the Liberal Democrats, we have made progress in incredibly difficult circumstances and we face the new parliament in a far stronger position than we left the last one.

I am delighted to welcome back some old friends. In Jo Swinson, Vince Cable and Ed Davey we are bolstering our ranks with big figures who have served our country in government and will now be able to put their talent and experience to shaping what comes next. In Stephen Lloyd we welcome back a force of nature – a brilliant campaigner and loyal servant to his constituents.

Alongside Alistair Carmichael, Norman Lamb and Tom Brake, they are returning to a formidable team.

And I am also incredibly proud to welcome new faces to our ranks. Christine Jardine, Wera Hobhouse, Layla Moran and Jamie Stone are all fantastic campaigners who will be outstanding MPs for their constituents and our country.

I am especially proud that our parliamentary party is not only bigger but more diverse. After the 2015 election we were reduced to just eight seats – and all eight were white men. We are not yet at the point where our party fully reflects the diversity of our great country, but we have made real progress.

But while we have made great gains, we have also lost colleagues who will be very sorely missed.

History will be kind to Nick

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What a night! Hope returns to UK politics

Imagine it’s Bank Holiday Monday in 2027. We’re not going to be out in the sunshine. We nerds will be watching the rerun of the results of the (June) 2017 election. Ten years on, the drama will be just as nail biting as we relive some incredible moments. I can’t imagine the North East Fife or Richmond Park results ever becoming less tense. Maybe we’ll look on it and the events of the past year as a season of a hard-hitting political drama.

We’ll also be asking each other if we were still up for Salmond.

I have spent the last 51 days under the impression that we were going to end up with a massive Tory majority which would be interpreted as a mandate to do whatever they liked on Brexit. I thought we would end up with somewhere between 10 and 20 seats. I was right about one of those things. That movement in the polls was not, as I thought, a cynical manipulation of models to create a climate where the Tories could repeat the effective “Coalition of Chaos” nonsense from 2015. Turns out that the people are over that given the chaos that has ensued.

I have been pretty much neglecting you, dear readers, for the last few weeks because I’ve been putting everything I’ve got into the Edinburgh West campaign. It was thrilling to be part of a winning campaign. Two years ago, we had two councillors in the constituency. That was all. Now we have the MSP and the MP and five councillors.  How did we do it? Well, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Kevin Lang and Tom Utting started as soon as we lost in 2015 and built it back up. And do you know what? It was worth the strained knee that has been really painful these last few days. It was worth getting absolutely soaked for several hours today. To add insult to injury, as I left one polling station in the pouring rain to go to another, a van drove through a puddle and I was soaked from head to foot.

It’s incredible to think that Christine wasn’t even selected until 28 April. In a few short weeks, her name recognition was phenomenal. She will be a fantastic MP.

Who would have thought that we’d have 12 MPs, but only 4 from the previous Parliament?

Here are are new Golden Dozen:

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Election Results discussion thread

Well, it’s done. The polls have closed and we have a long wait till the results come through, although the exit poll, which struck terror into us in 2015 will just have been published.

Most of us are at counts but we’ll be keeping an eye on what’s happening when we can.

This thread is for you to discuss what’s going on. It’s going to be a nail biting few hours.

Here are when some of the seats in which we have the most interest are likely to declare. The Press Association has a full list here. If all the Edinburgh seats declare …

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Still making your mind up how to vote…this might help

Enjoy

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Good luck everybody – and thanks

After 7 weeks’ solid campaigning, following 9 months of local elections campaigning, following 4 months’ EU referendum campaigning we finally reach the last polling day for a while.

This is timed to catch you as you have a break after your good mornings. Get some caffeine and sustenance as you’re going to need it.

The last 48 hours of an election campaign are always horrible. You always focus on what you haven’t done rather than the huge amount you have achieved. It’s a tense and anxious time. Even when you are really tired, you don’t sleep that well.

Polling day …

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“You know who nailed it every single time? The Lib Dems”

This party has more than its fair share of grammar nerds. I have to say that a misplaced apostrophe brings me out in hives. For others, the misuse of punctuation is no laughing matter.

Many of us will therefore be pleased to see this critique of the manifestos for grammar and literacy. We do quite well. It is a funny piece and some of the award titles are inspired. My particular favourite is

The “Oh S**t, We Double-Booked The Brewery P**s-Up” Award for Complete And Utter Grammatical Incompetence

This is won by the Labour Party.

We, however, scoop the ultimate accolade:

The “Perhaps Give Up On Government And Become An English Teacher” Award for An Almost Perfect (In SPaG Terms) Manifesto<

The sentences flow well, the messaging is concise and persuasive, the grammar and punctuation are pretty much spot on, and they’re consistent (e.g. with words vs digits). While it doesn’t have quite the “rousing speech”-ness of the Conservative one, it’s pretty hard to fault.

Duncan Brack,(vice Chair of the Federal Policy Committee),  your work here is done.

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What will you be doing tomorrow?

After 50 days, voters go to the polls tomorrow. Liberal Democrat activists across the country will be doing what they can to get voters to the polls. People will be out on the street from 5am until the polls close at 10.

It’s a gruelling experience, especially if you then have to go to the count. That means more than 24 hours on the go.

Tomorrow is the day that determines how many MPs we will have on Friday. We know that in our key seats, we are in with a real shout to significantly increase our MPs. That will only happen if we have enough people on the ground in those seats to deliver leaflets, knock up our supporters and stand on polling stations.

Elections can be lost on polling day if we don’t have an effective operation or enough people on the ground.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about why I’ve always concentrated my effort on target seats:

I could not have it on my conscience to lose a key target by a few hundred votes while I’d concentrated on getting single figures in percentage terms in my home seat. Believe me I have seen that happen several times.

I know how good it has been to have people from across Edinburgh come to help us build our campaign momentum in Edinburgh West. A huge shout out to those who have come over from other parts of the Lothian region and other seats in Edinburgh. Last night in the pouring down rain, we had a huge team knocking on doors. All across the country, key seat campaigns have benefitted from members and activists moving to help them.

It’s so important that we consolidate all that effort by concentrating ALL of our effort in key seats tomorrow. I’d be so blunt as to say that if you are not in the race to win, you should not be doing anything in your own patch. Instead, you could help make the difference in a key seat. We don’t want to lose because we haven’t been able to contact enough voters to remind them to vote. It seems unbelievable that people might forget that it’s election day, but they do. Real life gets in the way. I can’t remember an election where I haven’t been able to get people to vote for us who might not have done so.

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Nick Clegg: No evidence that human rights laws undermine security

I wondered how long it would take for Theresa May to roll back on her always flimsy commitments to human rights. They didn’t even make it till polling day.

She said last night that she’s prepared to rescind human rights legislation as part of a counter terrorism review.

Nick Clegg criticised this approach on the Today programme, saying that there was no evidence that human rights laws had anything to do with the attacks. Listen here.

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Voter to Jo Swinson: “We’ve missed you”

The New Statesman has a profile of the East Dunbartonshire seat where Jo Swinson is hoping to regain the seat she lost to the SNP in 2015.

It’s clear that she is held in great affection by the voters:

The Liberal Democrat candidate is happy to play on her personal connection to the constituency where she was raised. This election has come so soon after the last one, at which Swinson lost the seat to the SNP, that she can run on her record. She had a reputation as a hard-working local representative, and voters seem to have retained a remarkable fondness for her. One young mum I encounter confirms Swinson has her vote, and then adds: “I feel connected to you. We’ve missed you.”

Another supporter admits that Swinson’s personality is swaying her choice. She dismisses sitting MP John Nicolson – “I don’t like him. Jo did more for us” – before turning to Swinson and softly saying: “I’m so glad you’re back.”

It’s impossible to tell if there are tears in Swinson’s eyes as she steps away from the doorstep, or just drops from the relentless rain. “When you’ve lost your seat and you know you worked hard, you know it’s not personal,” she says. “But still it’s nice when people actually say stuff like that and confirm it.”

And the New Statesman is on to the SNP’s spurious claims (which they are making in Edinburgh West and North East Fife too) that it’s the Tories that are their main opposition. 

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Willie Rennie’s final rallying call: Lib Dem MPs will put Scotland at heart of UK & UK at heart of Europe

Willie Rennie holds his last campaign rally in North East Fife where he hopes Elizabeth Riches will take the seat for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

He will say

In place like East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh West, North East Fife, the North East, Argyll and the Highlands people have a chance to have a MP that will stand strongly against independence and put the local community first.

In this election we have set out a clear and positive message that Scotland is best served when it is at the heart of the UK and the UK is at the heart of Europe. The

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Tim Farron’s final rally speech: Lib Dems will stop a bad Brexit deal, public service cuts and the Dementia Tax

Tim Farron ends his tour of target seats in Oxford on Wednesday night. This is part of his final pitch for votes at a rally there:

This election is only taking place because Theresa May is taking you for granted. She wants a blank cheque to do as she pleases and expects you to just hand it to her, even if what she proposes to do is as awful as the dementia tax, no questions asked. And as if to prove the point she has spent every day since she called the election trying to avoid answering any questions.

The Tories are heartless – but they have also shown themselves to be hapless.Look at the Dementia Tax, their NHS and schools cuts, or their cuts to the police that have made us less safe. They can’t even write a manifesto they can stand by, yet they want you to trust them with the biggest negotiations this country has ever done.

Have no doubt, Theresa May will get us a bad Brexit deal – and I mean dementia tax bad. That’s why I believe you should have the final say over the deal. Not Theresa May, not the politicians, you. And if you don’t like the deal you’re being offered, you should be able to reject it and choose to remain.

Remember – every vote for the Conservatives is a vote for the dementia tax, NHS cuts, sacked teachers and a bad Brexit deal. If that’s what you want, go for it. If it isn’t, then don’t write Theresa May a blank cheque.

If you are a Conservative supporter but those things worry you, then don’t do it. Vote for someone who will stand up for you and your family instead.

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Why young people need to vote Liberal Democrat to have a say in their future

Conservative or Labour Governments would deny young people a say in their future when they will have to live with the consequences for longer. That’s the message from Tim Farron as the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto for young people is launched.

Young people voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the European Union and if allowed to vote in this election, 16-17 year olds would be influential in a number of battleground seats.

Tim said:

16- and 17-year-olds are a progressive force to be reckoned with and the Conservatives are determined to alienate this pro-European age group from the general election in order to secure a majority.

If 16-year-olds can pay taxes, marry and join the army, they are entitled to decide the future of our country too.

That’s why more Liberal Democrat MPs in Westminster are so important for Britain’s future. More Liberal Democrat MPs will stand up for young people, whether it’s on schools, on Brexit or on housing.

Stand up and make sure young people are represented in Parliament by voting for the Liberal Democrats this Thursday.

The  Young People’s Manifesto  includes a host of policies to give young people a brighter future, including:

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Bob Geldof: Lib Dems are the only party with the balls to oppose Brexit

Bob Geldof entered the campaign today with a robust announcement of support for the Lib Dems. He helped us win Richmond Park in December. Here’s hoping that his influence can help us to a good result in our key seats on Thursday.

Here’s what he had to say:

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WATCH: The Lib Dem manifesto launch in British Sign Language

From a couple of weeks ago, a reminder of Tim Farron’s speech from the Lib Dem manifesto launch in British Sign Language

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WATCH: Choices…a brighter future with the Liberal Democrats

There is only one party offering an alternative to the awful Brexit planned by the Conservatives, backed by Labour. Guess who that might be…

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WATCH: Nick Clegg on why a “self destructive” hard brexit is so damaging for our economy and security

Nick Clegg has given a big speech on Brexit this morning. You can watch it here.

The highlights:

  • May and Corbyn’s conspiracy of silence as they pursue the hardest of Brexits – the politics of evasion and fantasy
  • The cost of leaving the single market and customs union
  • How the poorest will be most adversely affected by a hard Brexit while the rich will be relatively insulated
  • May will think she has a mandate if she gets a majority on Thursday but there are still so many unknowns
  • There is a chance to avoid all this – by electing Lib Dem MPs who will fight for our place in the single market and for a final say on the deal.

The full text is below:

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Why is it so difficult for politicians to understand social care?

Social care is any extra help that a person needs with day to day living. It might be getting out and about, maintaining relationships, preparing meals, washing, paying bills or cleaning and maintaining the house. Anything that does not require really specialised knowlege but is, nonetheless, essential for a person’s wellbeing. Infants, small children and those with disabilities often need social care. Most adults can manage well into their old age by hiring someone like a gardener or a cleaner except if they have a medical condition such arthritis, Parkinson’s or dementia. Even then, most people can pay for their care themselves or claim attendance allowance to help them to do so. The problem comes in when their care reaches such a level that this benefit does not cover the cost of their care and they have depleted their savings. Currently, the local authority will help towards the cost of a person’s care – or even organise the care – if the person’s savings have depleted to £23,250. This does not currently include the value of the person’s house if they own it. If the person needs to go into a care home or other form of residential care, they are currently expected to fund their own care by selling their house and will only be eligible for support from the local authority when their savings have depleted to £23,250.

The problem that Theresa May has had is that the conservatives have tried to level the playing field by saying that the value of the person’s home should taken into consideration regardless of whether they have care in the home or in a residential setting. This means that a person with a home worth £500,000 will need to pay for their care for many years before receiving any public assistance. To top it off, the Tories did not agree to the £72,000 cap proposed by the Liberal Democrats in government so Theresa May was left holding the bag as many people realised that their life savings may go on care and that they may only be able to pass on minimal savings to their children and grandchildren. On BBC Question Time last night, Mrs. May committed that people would “not have to sell their homes in their lifetime” but this is rather a big promise and one which I, for one, do not believe she can keep.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarNom de Plume 14th Nov - 3:23pm
    Correction: 'customs union'
  • User AvatarDenis Loretto 14th Nov - 3:23pm
    @ Anthony Watts I echo that also and it behoves all of us to pursue the "people's vote" option as the only practical way to...
  • User AvatarNom de Plume 14th Nov - 3:22pm
    It was always going to be a bad deal. A currency union is a bad deal, but I wish you would leave "vassal state" terminology...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 14th Nov - 2:54pm
    @David Raw Are you saying that the non UK wide parties are of no relevance to demands for a second referendum ? No! I clearly...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 14th Nov - 2:45pm
    Mark Pack has emailed an interesting survey of opinion on Brexit undertaken in October. It indicates that those who voted Leave still believe there will...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 14th Nov - 2:18pm
    Great article Joe Bourke but I disagree with one of your statements. I don’t see any evidence that common sense has to break out because...