Tag Archives: local elections

Martin Horwood standing for local council

FORMER CHELTENHAM MP Martin Horwood is putting on his rosette again – this time to stand for Cheltenham Borough Council. There’s an unexpected vacancy in Leckhampton ward following independent councillor Ian Bickerton’s recent resignation. That means the ward will be electing two councillors in the borough council elections on 3 May instead of one. Glenn Andrews is the other Lib Dem candidate.

Martin handed in his nomination papers at the council offices today – and the retiring independent councillor Ian Bickerton was one of his nominators. Martin stood down as Lib Dem …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

ALDC launches its Election Law Helpline

It is vital that everyone in the Liberal Democrats stays on the right side of the law throughout the forthcoming election campaigns, and ALDC are on hand to help you do this through our Election Law Helpline – launching on Thursday 1 March 2018.

The team at ALDC are providing free election law advice to campaigners in England for their forthcoming local elections, regardless of whether you are a member of ALDC.

They can provide practical issues around election law – nominations, DNOs, imprints, expenses, etc. as well as detailed queries about election …

Posted in Campaign Corner and Election law | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

After a year of Tory rule, we have the chance to show our disapproval

When Labour has moved to the unelectable far left (however admirably unpolitician-ish Corbyn may be) and the Tories are hell bent on ruining the lives of teachers, junior doctors and the disabled, just to shrink the state, we need a party that actually will do good for the country more than ever.

Look at Canada, electing the inspiring Justin Trudeau, and implementing that shared liberal idea of making life better for everyone. protecting the disadvantaged, and the disabled, caring for the environment yet -here in the UK – being able to save the economy from the worst recession since the 1930s whilst being pro-business and pro-aspiration.

Increased mental health funding? Lib Dem legislation. £11,500 tax free income? Lib Dem legislation. We should also mention 5 years of stopping the worst Tory policies, which are now being enacted unopposed by the divided squabbling mess that Labour has become. Whilst the Lib Dems made a grave mistake with tuition fees, they’ve actually admitted they were wrong, learned from that, and fought to make life better for all of us during the recession despite knowing they would lose the next election and their work wouldn’t be praised by the press. How often can you say that about politicians? And happily, more disadvantaged people are now going to university thanks to grants which the Tories are now scrapping.

Posted in Op-eds | 13 Comments

The #LibDemFightback: things to look for on May 5th

Eastleigh HQ leaflets

I’ve never been one for negativity.  I’m all for realism, however stark – provided that one is permitted to also consider how to change one’s circumstances if the current ones are dire.  This is one of the many reasons why the Lib Dems attracted me as a party – evidence-based policy, and a ‘well, let’s fix it’ attitude to tackling problems, offering solutions and alternatives instead of simply complaining.

The membership surge after last May’s elections, and the ensuing #LibDemFightback have been extremely heartening.  Outside the comfort zones of the Liberal Democrat community, the evidence for that fightback is there, but the new reality we face is that it is much harder to make ourselves heard than it was before last May.

So, I thought I’d try some evidence-gathering myself from council by-elections; you can see what I found here.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments

ALDC by-election report 22 January – two second place finishes

ALDC Master Logo (for screen)Six principal council by-elections were held yesterday, five of which resulted in holds. There were two second place finishes for Liberal Democrats in Southwark (LB) and Hertfordshire (CC). In the London contest, Lauren Pemberton-Nelson polled 14.5% with an 8.2% vote share increase from 2014 in Faraday ward, with Labour holding their seat comfortably with over 60% of the vote. Shailain Shah was also a runner-up in the Bushey North by-election polling 19.9%, with an increased vote share of 5.8% from two years ago. The Conservatives held the seat with 52.6%.

The Tories also successfully defended a seat in Crowborough East ward in Wealden (DC) with 64% of the vote. Jane Clark came second for the Liberal Democrats with 24.5%, a vote share decrease of 10.1% from May.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Tim Farron says thanks to Liberal Democrat candidates: “Everything you do can and will make a massive difference to the outcome on Thursday”

The Party President sends his thanks to the 2,730 Liberal Democrats standing in the local elections.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Farron: It’s Lib Dems v UKIP in European elections

Last year on the eve of Spring Conference, we reported Tim Farron’s controversial interview in House magazine in which he described activists as cockroaches and said the party was in a critical state. He certainly got into a bit of trouble from Them Indoors, but, as Stephen Tall pointed out:

The language is colourful: that’s Tim for you. He could give dull, measured interviews that are risk-free. But it’s not his way. And I don’t think many activists would want him to be anything other than himself. It is precisely because Tim is un-spun, a straight-talker who takes his role

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

LibLink: Tim Farron’s Winning here blog

Party President Tim Farron has taken to writing a monthly blog on the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners’ website. It’s for ALDC members only, but if you have even the slightest link to any election campaign this May, I’d strongly recommend that you join them. People who do what they say have more chance of winning. They have so many good campaigning resources that they really are invaluable.

Back to Tim’s blog. He talks about why councillors and community campaigners are so important:

You have the track record of action, the record of success and the community knowledge to

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Byelection results – 24 October

The Lib Dems gained one seat at yesterday’s county, district and unitary byelections.

Congratulations to Eric Seward who held North Walsham East for the Lib Dems with a decent 5.8% rise in votes.

North Walsham result

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Lib Dems hold Aylesbury Oakfield and Taunton Halcon

There were three very good local election results for the Lib Dems last night.

Congratulations to Allison Harrison and Mark Willis who held Oakfield in Aylesbury for the Liberal Democrats. UKIP came in 80 or so votes behind, and took almost double the votes of the Tories who were in third place.

We also take our hat off to Roger Hurst who held Mickleham in the Mole Valley on an impressive 49% turnout.

AV Oakfield 1
AV Oakfield 2
Posted in Local government and News | 5 Comments

What you get from Liberal Democrat Councillors – a record of action

Liberal Democrats around the country are taking to the streets or phones to get out the vote. Here’s Lib Dem HQ in sunny Ludlow. Ludlow HQ

From the Liberal Democrat website:

The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

Our councillors have proud records locally, standing up for local people:

  • No library will be closed in any Lib Dem-run or Lib Dem-led authorities this year
    • Northumberland County Council, Portsmouth and Stockport are opening new ones
  • Liberal Democrats are helping businesses and customers to get their economies

Posted in Op-eds | Leave a comment

Clegg and Farron say Liberal Democrats fairest in tough economic times

nick clegg eastleighThere was a double dose of senior Lib Demmery on yesterday’s World at One with Nick Clegg and Tim Farron both talking about the local elections. Firstly, Nick on the Liberal Democrats making fair decisions in challenging economic times:

Everybody knows money is tight and that local councillors have done and will continue to have to make savings. The question is who can be relied on to do it most fairly. You certainly can’t rely on either Conservative or Labour parties if you look at their local records. I think

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Nick Clegg launches local election campaign

Nick-CleggThe launch of our local election campaign yesterday was rather overshadowed by some other news.

Here is an extract from Nick Clegg’s speech:

Next month, in wards across the country, people will be confronted with the same choice. Despite all their stated differences, a vote for Labour or the Tories will be a vote for the same thing.

Their record in local government shows that, even when millions of families are feeling the pinch, they’ll both squander taxpayers’ money on waste, inefficiency and their own vanity projects.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats, on

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Martin Horwood MP to chair Lib Dems’ 2013 local election campaign

From a Party news release:

Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, Martin Horwood has been appointed as the Chair of the Liberal Democrat 2013 Local Election Campaign.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

I am delighted that Martin will be heading our 2013 local election campaign.

With Martin’s wealth of local government and campaigning experience, I know he will do an excellent job.

I look forward to working with him to deliver the results our hard-working councillors and activists deserve.

Commenting further, Martin Horwood said:

I’m honoured and a little daunted to be asked to take on this role. It’s no secret

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Mystery of fake leaflets in North Richmond

The leaflet below appears to be normal Lib Dem election literature. It was one of three distributed widely over night on May2nd/3rd for the council by-election in North Richmond, in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames. You may wonder why it is titled Comments instead of Focus, but that is what Lib Dems have always called their leaflets in Richmond.

Indeed, the layout and photos are exact copies of earlier Lib Dem election leaflets. The bar chart, grumble sheet and contact details all look authentic. The writing style is credible.

But a closer inspection reveals something very worrying. The main story …

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Opinion: A bad election result – what now ?

The Liberal Democrats took another slap round the chops from the electorate on the May 3rd local elections. Yes, there were a few bright spots, especially those ably pointed out by Jeremy Browne MP, but the overall picture was still grim.

Of course it was not unexpected, and neither has the leadership’s response been – hold the course, reiterate what we have achieved and will achieve, compare our policy successes with those of the Conservatives, and emphasise that it was Labour who got us into the financial mess we are in. And so on. All good stuff, and well executed. …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 26 Comments

Good morning, voters

If you have just joined us after a heavy night at the count, or watching the results on TV, then welcome. LDV readers have been reporting and commenting on the results all through the night, so please join in the discussion on the local elections open thread.

Later this morning we will be starting a London elections open thread to reflect on the results at City Hall.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

Local elections in Scotland: the key battlegrounds

Every Council seat in Scotland is up for grabs tomorrow.  There are currently 152 Liberal Democrat councillors in 23 of the 32 local authorities, from the Highlands to Dumfries and Galloway. Liberal Democrats are participants in 13 coalition administrations.

Five years ago, there was some trepidation about how these coalitions would work. It was predicted that they would fall apart in months, but most have lasted the course. The naysayers were mainly from the Labour party, who had lost many of their traditional fiefdoms thanks to the introduction of STV, brought in at the insistence of the Liberal Democrats following the …

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Liberal Democrats Local Elections Broadcast 2012

Here is the Liberal Democrats’ 2012 English local election broadcast, first shown earlier this week.

Posted in Lib Dem TV, News and YouTube | 8 Comments

Labour candidate Shefali Begum wants “prosperous thieving” Rochdale

I guess there always has to be some humility when you see that an opposition candidate has had a bit of a proof-reading failure. After all, it could just as easily happen to you.

That said, Labour candidate for the Spotland and Falinge ward of Rochdale Council Shefali Begum will no doubt be very embarrassed after reading her pitch on the Rochdale Online website in which she says:

  I believe to make a prosperous thieving borough we need united and strong communities which are dedicated and passionate about where they live and their future generations will reside.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

Labour’s not-so-very-local election broadcast shows how unimportant local decision-making is to Ed Miliband’s party

Tonight’s Labour local election broadcast, starring telly’s very own Lord (Robert) Winston, climaxes with the rallying cry:

On Thursday May 3rd, vote NHS, vote Labour

Exactly how voting Labour then will help the NHS isn’t explored — not surprisingly, because it won’t. There’s a reason these elections are called local elections, after all.

Before highlighting Labour’s misleading tactics I thought I should first check out the Lib Dem record on fighting local elections. I have to say I was expecting to find comparable examples, times when the party leadership had called …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 23 Comments

Andrew Stunell MP writes… Launching the Liberal Democrats’ local election campaign

Local Election Day is now exactly a month away for most of Metropolitan England as well as across the whole of Scotland and Wales. Nick Clegg was in my own area of Stockport earlier today to officially launch the Liberal Democrat local election campaign, visiting a local business and speaking with councillors, business owners and local people.

I’ve no doubt that many of you have been out on the doorstep over the last few months, talking to people and showing them what we are achieving both nationally and locally.

You will already have your big messages in place. Number one has got …

Posted in Local government | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

Opinion: How much does geographical accident influence politics?

I have been wondering for a while how much of a role geographical accident plays in politics.

When I first decided to get involved with politics a few years back I chose the Liberal Democrats because they were the party that most closely matched my views. In my local area, the party did not have any council seats but there are a small group of very dedicated and experienced local members and campaigners who have fought a number of local and national elections with alacrity since I joined.

The situation, though, has got me thinking about how political careers are nurtured and …

Posted in Op-eds | 6 Comments

“Thursday is decision day” – Charles Kennedy’s eve of poll message to members and supporters

Charles Kennedy MP has emailed Liberal Democrat members and supporters with a “get out and vote” (and “get out the vote”) message, ahead of tomorrow’s elections and referendum:

Tomorrow you have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have your say on how we elect our MPs to Westminster. Important elections are also taking place across the country for the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament & local councils. Thursday is Decision Day.

When I was first elected in 1983, the idea of changing our voting system for Westminster elections seemed important, but the chance seemed remote. When the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly were established, neither

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Nick Clegg’s speech in Sheffield on the difference that Liberal Democrat councils are making

On Saturday, Nick Clegg delivered a speech to local party activists in Sheffield on the difference that Liberal Democrat councils across Britain are making. It’s a good speech which expands on many of the examples that we started to hear at conference in Sheffield last month about how Liberal Democrat councils are using innovative techniques to keep service and job losses to a minimum in these difficult financial times.

Here’s the speech in full:

The Liberal Democrats have a long, proud and successful history in local government.

We run some of the nation’s biggest cities and some of the most effective councils across

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

Preparing for the AV referendum: standing more local election candidates

The connection between standing local election candidates and the AV referendum may not seem obvious at first, so imagine this scenario…

It’s quite likely that the referendum will be held on the same day as local elections, such as the May 2011 local elections.

The arguments over electoral reform will attract to the ballot box some people who don’t usually vote in local elections. If the pro-AV campaign goes well (and it starts with a lead) many of those people will be well disposed towards Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats.

And what will they find when they get handed another …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Local election roundup from ALDC

The Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors has reported back on last week’s council election results:

Just as the General Election produced a mixed bag of results, so did this year’s council elections. Although overall we had a net loss of 135 seats and control of a number of councils, the outcome was far more complex.

The results in metropolitan and London councils saw a net loss of 52 and 77 seats respectively losing overall control of Richmond upon Thames, Liverpool, Rochdale and Sheffield in the process. However, in unitary councils and the English districts we lost just 5 and 1

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

New figures reveal which candidates do the most campaigning

Figures revealing which party’s candidates were most likely to do leafleting, canvassing, internet campaigning and a set of other activities have just been published by the Electoral Commission.

The Commission carried out a survey of local election candidates from the June 2009 campaign and found:

  • Conservative candidates were most likely to have produced a campaign leaflet (98% versus 70% for Lib Dems and 60% for Labour)
  • Labour and Conservative candidates were equally likely to have had telephone canvassing in their campaign (27% each, with 21% for the Lib Dems)
  • On average, Conservative candidates spent 21 hours a week campaigning during the campaign (excluding

Posted in News | Also tagged | 16 Comments

The mess enveloping the law over local election candidates

Cross-posted from The Wardman Wire:

The question of who can stand for election to a local council should be clearly defined and easy to understand – so that those new to politics can be candidates, so that voters don’t end up with a false choice where not all the candidates are actually allowed to be candidates and so that elections can be about choices between people and policies, rather than battles between lawyers.

In England and Wales the law was last codified and laid down in the 1972 Local Government Act. With the passage now of nearly forty years, plus frequent subsequent legislation which gave the opportunity to clarify any ambiguities, matters should now be clear.

Alas, though, a combination of poor drafting, changing interpretations and equivocation from the Electoral Commission has left part of the law in an ambiguous mess.

Posted in Local government | Also tagged | 10 Comments

And the winners are…

Back on 2nd June, LDV launched our election prediction competition, inviting readers to put their reputations on the line and tell us what they thought would happen in the 4th June English local and European elections. Here are the questions with the actual results in bold:

1. Predict the Liberal Democrat share of the vote in the European elections. 14%
2. Predict the turnout in the European elections. 34.5%
3. Predict the Liberal Democrat lead over Labour in the local elections (if you think the results will be LD 25%, Lab 22%, your answer is +3%. If you think it will be the other way around, your answer is -3%). +5%
4. Predict how many local authorities the Liberal Democrats will have majority control of on 5th June. 1 (Bristol)
5. Predict the net loss/gain of Lib Dem councillors. -2 (BBC figures)

I’ve now had chance to mark the competition, summing the differences between readers’ answers and the results, resulting in the following league table:

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