Tag Archives: james gurling

A cute cross-party christening

Tom Watson is Labour MP or West Bromwich and general scourge of the Murdoch empire, which is no bad thing. He’s pretty much with us when he talks about the need to tackle politicians’ deference to the media.

He’s an old friend and university sparring partner of long-standing Liberal Democrat Federal Executive and Federal Conference Committee member James Gurling and this weekend became godfather to Gurling’s incredibly cute 9 month old son.

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Review of 2014 European and Local Election Campaign

Election count progressingAfter the elections in May, the Leader tasked a group with reviewing the elections, assessing what worked and what didn’t, and produce recommendations to improve our campaigning for the future.

On Monday, the Review Group presented our findings to the Leader and later to the Federal Executive. I am pleased to say that they endorsed both the report and its recommendations, and we will now set about putting them into practice well in advance of next year’s elections.

In what was the most-read Party email in some time, more than 700 …

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Tales from the Federal Executive: The one where we discussed the elections

London December 9 2013 064 Thames Low Tide (4) ParliamentThe Liberal Democrats’ Federal Executive met last night in a Westminster Committee room looking out on a grey and brooding Thames.

The meeting had a bit of a comedy start with a last minute change of venue leaving member scurrying from one end of the Parliamentary Estate to the other.

The major item of business was, of course,  discussion about the recent elections. Several Federal Executive members had consulted widely amongst members to get their views. Only Candy Piercy, though, had been organised enough …

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Nick Clegg announces review into local and Euro election campaigns

Nick Clegg LBC squareOn his weekly phone-in today, Nick Clegg announced that the Chair of the party’s Campaigns and Communications Committee, James Gurling, would lead a review into our election campaign and strategy which would take advice from a  wide range of party members in all parts of the country where we did well and where we did badly.

I was very keen that the grassroots should be able to contribute to this and James Gurling replied to me on Twitter to say that this would be the case:

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Liberal Democrat May 2011 election review document

The Saturday morning of party conference sees a consultative sessions on the May 2011 elections and AV referendum. Ahead of that, a brief outline report has been published by the party which is embedded below. It is from James Gurling, chair of the party’s Campaigns and Communications Committee.

The party’s post-general election review has attracted criticism for being kept fairly low profile, both in terms of who was asked to contribute and the subsequent circulation of the lessons. The general election report has not been made public by the party or circulated very far internally. So it’s good to see that one year on the review this time is being done in a more inclusive way – but that only means much if people take the opportunities to take part in the review consultation, either at conference or by submitting views via email as requested in the report.

The experience of the general election report suggests taking part will be well worthwhile, as several key decisions the party has taken since (e.g. over introducing Liberal Democrat Connect) clearly followed on from that report’s recommendations.

The report asks 27 questions. Guest posts for The Voice about one or more of the questions would be most welcome. In the meantime, Liberal Vision has also blogged about the review and consultation.

Liberal Democrats Election Review: May 2011 elections and AV referendum

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So you think you know how to improve campaigning? Come to Conference Dragons’ Den

Autumn conference in Birmingham will see a new type of campaigning event which sounds rather fun: a Dragons’ Den style fringe meeting at which people pitch their ideas for new approaches to campaigning.

The panel will be Alistair Carmichael MP, James Gurling (Chair, Campaigns & Communications Committee), Hilary Stephenson (Director of Elections and Skills) and Kirsty Williams AM. It will be on Sunday 18th September at 1pm in Room 103 of the Jurys Inn.

Submissions are open to any party member except for Campaigns Department employees.

Step one is to submit your idea by Monday 12th September to Tim Pollard on [email protected]. …

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Opinion: Liberal Democrats to hold inquiry into AV Referendum

The Guardian reports that the Party has decided to hold an inquiry, headed by James Gurling, into the Yes to AV campaign.

I wrote a piece for Lib Dem Voice back in May calling for an inquiry and since then more and more information has come to light about the shambolic and incompetent way the Yes campaign was run.

What does seem rather odd is that there has been no announcement to Party members and activists that this inquiry was taking place and asking for their input. I asked a couple of Lib Dems who had been highly active in …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

The party strategy debate: rolling highlights

Note: If you’re catching up with this post after it was published, read it from the bottom up.

Final result – both amendment and motion passed overwhelmingly. The overall tenor of the debate was more good natured than might have been expected – people did not take the opportunity to express any unhappiness in strident tones, and the party being in coalition with the Tories until 2015 was accepted and expected, explicitly or implicitly, by all speakers. Tuition fees and NHS got mentions, but brief ones. Norman Lamb’s comments about the health debate (see below), however, were unexpected and welcome.

James Gurling, …

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The 2010 general election in historical perspective

John Curtice, well-known psephologist and one of the relatively few political academics to take the trouble to study and understand the Liberal Democrats, has published his analysis of the 2010 election from a Lib Dem point of view.

Writing in the latest issue of the Journal of Liberal History, he looks at why the Liberal Democrat ‘surge’ eventually failed to deliver and why the party’s natural disappointment at the result may be masking what was in reality an impressive result – the second best, in terms of seats, since 1929, and the second best, in terms of votes, since 1923.

However, the …

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