Tag Archives: local elections 2018

‘Best local election campaign’

Campaigners in Kingston upon Thames are rightly proud of receiving the ALDC award for the Best Local Election Campaign in 2018, especially given the high quality campaigns in many other areas including our neighbours in Richmond.

We’d love to share our story with you and maybe offer some hope and inspiration.

In May this year we increased the number of Lib Dem councillors on Kingston Council from 18 to 39, out of a total of 48. Of those,

  • 26 were new Councillors, all of whom stood for the first time
  • the majority (22) were female, with at least one woman standing in every ward, two with newborns!
  • the age range is 22 to 74 years old, with every decade represented
  • 23% are BAME (matching the Borough as a whole) and include the first Councillor of Korean heritage
  • between them they speak 10 different languages
  • we have strong LGBTQ and disability representation.

We are fortunate to have gained a significant number of new members after the general election in 2015, and again after the referendum in 2016. However, we did not sit on our laurels and we actively looked for local community activists who support Liberal Democrat principles as potential candidates.

Posted in Campaign Corner | Also tagged | 15 Comments

Post-election reflections on building a Lib Dem core vote

This year I decided to carry out an experiment. I had the feeling that our strategy of Targeting had swung too far one way and was over-allocating resources, adding to the haemorrhaging of our Core Vote and leading our supporters, ex supporters and electorate at large to view the LibDems as increasingly becoming irrelevant.  

So I decided to do some work in the non-Target ward in Ealing that I had been allocated without using any human or material party resources. I also did not work with the other “paper candidates” in the Ward as I did not want to detract from their efforts in helping in the Target wards.

This was the result of my limited effort in my Ward Ealing Broadway:

Ealing Broadway Ward
Vote 2014 Vote 2018 Share 2014 Share 2018 Change Pct Change
Dorothy Brooks/Joyce Onstad 524 789 4.72% 6.24% 265 50.57%
Patrick Salaun 442 627 3.99% 4.96% 185 41.86%
Mark Sanders/Toran Shaw 391 572 3.53% 4.52% 181 46.29%
Total LibDem 1357 1988 12.24% 15.72% 631 46.50%
Total Vote 11090 12644
Electorate 10390 10641
Turnout 38.49% 41.30%

And here is the result in Ealing Common Target Ward where much of the Ealing resources were concentrated:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 54 Comments

Former Lib Dem MEP Bill Newton-Dunn is one of our Richmond councillor gains

Amongst our many gains in Richmond in the early hours of Friday morning was a very familiar face, pointed out by Michael Mullaney on Twitter:

And here’s the proof:

I was delighted when Bill joined the Liberal Democrats – which always seemed a better fit for his boldly pro European ideals …

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

Local Elections 2018: Enjoy the success and build on it

Here are some pictures of happy, successful Liberal Democrats from all over the country. Enjoy – and then then get out there and build on the good results.

Whether you think of the 2018 as our best local elections showing in 15 years or the second biggest rise in councillor numbers for this set of elections in our history, there are lots of exuberantly joyful moments to savour:

We made 6 gains in Haringey!

Happy hugs in Liverpool

And a happy dance in South Cambridgeshire

Posted in News | 16 Comments

Finally, a little bit of sunshine

Before I say anything else, I just want to send a virtual hug to all those valiant Lib Dem campaigners who put their heart and soul into their wards and didn’t win.   Unlike many others in recent years, though, you can see a glimmer of hope for the future. I hope you can see that you’ll get it next  time. There will be many who like Claire who lost by 2 and Elspeth who lost by 90 ish for whom there is a way in.

Even in my wildest moments of optimism, I didn’t envisage us gaining quite as many seats as we have today.  The results prove that people are ready, not just to talk to us again, but to head down the polling station and vote for us again. Everyone’s talking about us doing well. As I pointed out last night, anything over 43 gains would be our second best result in our entire existence as a party for this particular set of elections. We actually got 75. Now that doesn’t rebuild the 440 we’ve lost since 2010, but it gives us a foothold.

Look at what we’ve done. I’d heard good things about South Cambridgeshire and was pleased when they absolutely smashed it. One of my people of the day is Bridget Smith, the new Council Leader, who has exactly the right attitude for that sort of thing:

There were amazing results in Kingston and Richmond and Three Rivers too. We held off the Tories in Sutton – that caused me a few palpitations about 3am, I’ll tell you. John Leech has a partner to back him up in Manchester. Gains in Hull, Oxfordshire, holding on to South Lakeland, getting back Three Rivers, Peter Taylor winning the Watford mayoralty. Holding on to Eastleigh and Cheltenham.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 12 Comments

8 am update: “The Lib Dems are the only ones to have won on the night”

So said the BBC News website first thing this morning.

I’m become very used to writing “Oh my days, how awful” posts after local elections. This morning, the picture is much more positive.

We’ve ended the night, with two thirds of results in, on +41 councillors which compares to 31 for Labour and 3 for the Tories.

We’ve retained control in places like Cheltenham, Eastleigh and, after a few wobbles, Sutton.

We gained Richmond on Thames pretty handsomely. I was being told in the run-up to the election that it was on a knife edge. We ended up gaining …

Posted in News | 23 Comments

Brilliant result in Richmond – and high hopes for Kingston

Liberal Democrats have gained control in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, leaping from 15 seats to 39. This is in spite of the deal with the Greens which allowed them to take 4 seats.


Historically we controlled Richmond from 1986 to 2002, then from 2006 to 2010.

Meanwhile, in nearby Sutton, which we have controlled for the last 28 years, we retained control, though with fewer seats than before, dropping from 45 to 33 out of 54.

Liberal Democrats: 33 (-12)
Conservatives: 18 (+9)
Independents: 3 (+3)

Attention now turns to Kingston upon Thames which lies between Richmond and Sutton. Their count starts at 10am today, and we have hopes of taking back control there as well.

Posted in News | 6 Comments

2 am update – Lib Dems making steady gains all across the country

Just a quick update of where we are at 2am. We are currently on +14 seats and generally doing a little better than expected.

Every English local election night since the formation of the Coalition has been an absolute nightmare to sit through. Tonight is much more pleasant.

John Curtice says that we are having our best night at local elections since the formation of the coalition.

We look like we might gain Richmond, though it’s going to be close.

We’ll take a bit of a hit in Sutton and party sources are less sure than they were earlier that …

Posted in News | 7 Comments

Local elections open thread

Well, there’s nothing more we can do. The polls have closed. Knackered candidates and their teams who have been up since dawn now head to their counts. A massive thanks to everyone who has been involved in the campaigns – the literature writers, data whizzes, organisers, deliverers, canvassers, candidates, poster people, agents, people who keep the Lib Dem army marching on its stomach, people who allow their homes to be used as temporary HQ

We know that this isn’t going to be a massively brilliant night for us. This one in the electoral cycle has been historically brutal. The best we’ve done in the last 20 years is a net gain of 43 seats and we have to go back to 2002 when Charles Kennedy was leader to find that.

Let’s look in more detail.

In 1990. when we were pretty low in the polls, we lost 78 seats

Our best night ever came in 1994, a pretty good year for us after we’d won a fair few seats off the Tories, we gained a whopping 428 councillors

In 1998 we lost 7 seats

In 2002, we gained 43 seats

In 2006, bearing in mind we were at the height of our powers post Iraq and had won the Dunfermline by-election a few months previously, we had the massive net gain of 2 seats. 

In 2010, bearing in mind we did not so badly in the General Election that day (not brilliantly, but not badly), we lost 132 councillors.

2014 was an absolute horlicks. I went back and read the posts I’d written at the time and they made me want to cry as I remembered how bruised and battered we all felt then. We lost 310 fantastic councillors. 

Posted in News | 38 Comments

It’s Election Day!

Good luck to all our candidates up and down the country! We wish you and your teams well for what will be a very long and exhausting day. Some tips to survive:

  1. Have fun! There is nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of getting out the vote on election day and all the excitement of the count. Make sure you enjoy as much of it as you can. It is a wonderful experience which many of our new members are having for the first time.
  2. Hydrate. Drink lots of water, it’s a long day and brains as well as body need to be kept alert and oiled for action.
  3. Listen to your Committee Room manager or Campaign Organiser. They will have an overview of how things are going and will be targeting resources where they matter.
  4. Have some downtime and take short breaks, but don’t distract others who might be beavering away.
  5. Make sure you eat. It’s a bit like the television show 24 where the characters never seemed to stop to eat. An election day can be like that. Eat healthy carbs and avoid too many chocolate bars and cakes. The sweet rush lasts a little while, but sandwiches and bananas give you the endurance to last the day.

Remember to vote – it is easy to become distracted with election day chaos and forget! I remember my first election campaign, getting to the polling station at 9:45pm as I had left voting until the end. Well actually, I forgot. Someone reminded me. So do cast your vote!

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Manchester: Your children are watching….

You certainly can’t accuse Lib Dems in Manchester of shirking in this election campaign.

The party hopes to build on its one councillor, former Withington MP John Leech, who has provided the sole opposition to Labour’s 95 councillors since his election in 2016.

They’ve produced a hard-hitting film highlighting the worst of Labour’s excesses and offering a better way forward for the city.

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What the Lib Dems offer Manchester

Manchester Liberal Democrats have launched their local elections manifesto. Details of their policies on subjects like homelessness,housiing,  refugees and schools follow.

The Liberal Democrats hope to make gains on the Labour-suffocated Council. Labour currently has 95/96 seats. The 96th is held by our own indefatigable John Leech, who was MP for Manchester Withington until 2015. There are all-up elections next Thursday.

John said of the manifesto:

Our campaign is about everyone and everything that makes Manchester the great city it is today; a strong local community, a celebration of diversity and non-conformity.

Liberal Democrats care passionately about our local communities because it’s where we live and it’s what we believe in. We will always put local people first and it’s about time our council did too.

On the 3rd May, we have a chance to elect a council that leads from the front; that cities around the world look up to; where we celebrate diversity, house the homeless, welcome the desperate and build a future for our children. But only a vote for the Liberal Democrats can break this one-party state and build that vision.

Key Pledges:
ON REFUGEES AND OUR MORAL DUTY:

  • Immediately develop plans to house 50 at-risk families from refugee camps. In the long-term, we will also investigate how best to house as many orphaned child refugees as possible.

ON EU CITIZENS:

  • Demand the Brexit secretary guarantee the rights of EU citizens and maintain our stance on a referendum on the Brexit deal.

ON TRANSPORT AND ROADS:

  • Use some of the estimated £50million Manchester Airport dividend to establish a SmartTransport Development Fund dedicated to offsetting heavy carbon transport.
  • Introduce for a young commuter’s price cap, so they never pay more than half the hourly living wage rate to commute to work.
  • Crackdown on lazy road re-surfacing.

ON HOUSING:

  • Demand all developments over 15 dwellings meet the 20% affordable quota, and where not economically viable, force the developer to contribute financially to the benefit of the local community.
  • Guarantee safe, affordable housing for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

ON HOMELESSNESS:

  • Launch an investigation into all emergency housing applications to make sure that no one slips through the net.
  • Use council-owned premises to house every rough sleeper in Manchester before approving any further city centre developments.
  • Provide an administration address to every homeless person so that they can take the first step in getting their life back on track – this means they can begin applying for jobs.
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Manchester Together – Liberal Democrats launch powerful campaign video

Manchester Liberal Democrats produced a campaign video for their Council election campaign. In 2016, former Lib Dem MP John Leech was elected as the only opposition councillor to Labour. That’s right, it was just him and 95 Labour councillors. He punched well above his weight, though, frequently exasperating the Council leadership by subjecting them to some serious scrutiny.

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Let this be the last first past the post election in London Boroughs

On 3rd May all the Borough Council seats in Greater London are up for election, which happens every four years. The Borough I live in is typical and has 18 3-member wards. Each voter votes by putting up to 3 Xs on the ballot paper. In each of these wards the top three candidates in terms of Xs on the ballot win. Hence F3PTP rather than FPTP (First Past The Post).

So what’s wrong with that? Five national parties are contesting the borough election, plus around four parties with Residents’ Association in their name, who are active in their own patches. Usually, a party sees its whole slate of three elected, but sometimes one candidate impacts more on the electorate, positively or negatively, and the result is a ‘split ward’. But I have seen nine candidates from three parties having each around 30% of the vote, but only one party gets the councillor seats. Natural justice suggests that they should have had one councillor each. With three councillors of one party, we KNOW that they were NOT the first choice of 70% of the electorate; at worst, the three victors could be the LEAST favoured candidates of 70% of the voters.

It gets worse. Some parties are so entrenched in certain seats that the others have given up. A friend of mine expressed it as ’If you put up a feather duster for XXXX party in YYYY ward, it would get elected.’ Two national parties contest all 54 seats, but the presence of the parents, spouses and children of local party worthies on the ballot papers gives a strong hint of what they think. The voters in such wards show what they think by not turning up to vote for the council, which, more than any other body, delivers government services to them.

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

Come and taste the coffee

Some of the local election candidates in Kingston upon Thames (plus an MP)

I have been rather quiet on Lib Dem Voice recently – and for very good reason. Two high profile election campaigns having taken up a great deal of my time and attention.

In last year’s snap General Election I headed up the digital campaign to get Ed Davey re-elected in Kingston & Surbiton. We developed new ways of working, made excellent use of many of our new members, and created a social media campaign that has been quoted as a model for other local parties to follow. And this May we intend to take back control of Kingston Council, having lost it to the Tories four years ago. With a longer lead time, and all the experience we had gained in 2017, we have been able to plan a full digital campaign, which we have never before attempted for local elections.

So that’s my excuse!

But I am editing LDV today, so I am shamelessly using this platform to call for support. And it is not just for Kingston. In the three South West London boroughs of Sutton, Kingston and Richmond the Lib Dems are all aiming to take control from the Conservatives (or hold on to it, in Sutton’s case) in May. We want to see that yellow banana on the map again. Since last June we now hold three of the five constituencies that make up the three boroughs, and we lost Richmond Park by just 45 votes, so it appears the voters like us.

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

Millicent Fawcett, a woman who changed the lives of many. You can, too

Very shortly, towards the end of April, a statue to Millicent Fawcett will be unveiled in Westminster. She was a tireless campaigner for women’s suffrage and equal treatment.

Women still lag behind men both in selection processes and in electoral opportunity. Too few women are selected; too few women are elected. Fawcett would understand how far we still have to go and how much is still to be done.

Local elections can be a good place to make change happen. The opportunity is there for us and in Cheltenham, for example, Liberal Democrats are taking the need for more women candidates, and for more women candidates to be elected, very seriously.

District elections are being held for some 20 wards and things are a little different this year. Almost 50% of Cheltenham’s candidates are women. Six have never been elected before, though that will change as it is anticipated many of those selected, will be elected.

It is great to see young, enthusiastic candidates – both men and women – working together and observe the growing confidence that brings. It is inspiring to see.

Liberal Democrat Women wants to see many more women from across the country elected this year and is organising Action Days to help make that happen. They are an opportunity not just to get women elected, but to learn how our campaign teams work and pick up skills from them. Action Days are a two-way process.

Sutton 14th April; Cheltenham 21st April;  Chiswick 28th April; London, date to be confirmed, are the first to be set up. If you want to help please contact:

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Vince Cable launches Lib Dem Local Election campaign: Lib Dems show local government at its best

Today, Vince Cable launches the Liberal Democrats’ local election campaign.

He talks about the party’s prospects and the real difference Lib Dem councillors can make to people’s lives in schools and hospitals. He also compares and contrasts with both Labour and Conservative councils. Did you know that Labour Manchester had granted planning permission to not one single affordable house in the last two years? What was that thing about the many and the few again?

Here are the highlights of what he will say:

On the party

“There is a secret phenomenon in British politics.
“It is occurring in by-elections all over the country, week in, week out, to local authorities from Sunderland to Somerset.

“Against the Tories. Against Labour. In Leave areas. In Remain areas.

“Since the general election in 2017, the Liberal Democrats are up 15 seats, double Labour’s increase of 7, while the Conservatives are tanking – they have lost 18 seats.

“These real votes in real ballot boxes show Liberal Democrat support at double our national opinion poll rating.

“What we’re showing is that where Liberal Democrats come out fighting, Liberal Democrats can win.

“Because local residents trust Liberal Democrats to listen, work hard and get things done on their behalf.

“And in our areas of particular strength, where we control Councils and win mayoralties, we run reliable, responsive local services and deliver value for people’s Council Tax.”

On cuts to schools

“In my own home, in the Borough of Richmond, the biggest issue on doorsteps is cuts to schools funding.

“Around the country this is having a real impact damaging children’s futures.

“At the General Election the Liberal Democrats argued for extra investment of £7bn in school and college budgets to ensure that no school would lose funding, and so we could give more support to children from disadvantaged backgrounds through the pupil premium.

“It’s one of the many stark differences between the Coalition Government and the hard-right Conservative Governments which have followed.

“Where Liberal Democrats protected schools funding in real terms, our research now shows it falling in more than half of English local authorities.

“Teachers and teaching assistants are being laid off.

“And parents are being asked to make a financial contribution to their schools to keep them going.

“This has to stop.  Decent, free school education is key to ensuring each generation can do better than the last.  It is a bedrock of civilised society.

“These elections are a chance for parents and teachers to send a signal to the Government on schools.

“A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to give schools the funding they need.”

On housing

“Crucial to sowing the seeds of a society that will work for today’s young people is addressing Britain’s housing crisis.

“Nowhere is the generational divide in our country felt more acutely than in this area.

“So support for the Liberal Democrats is support for new homes, support for curtailing the Right to Buy where there isn’t a guaranteed 100% replacement of stock sold off and support for tough measures on empty property, used by investors as modern-day pots of gold, when they should be available for families to live in.

Posted in News | 24 Comments

Who knew knocking on strangers’ doors could be such fun?

“I don’t mind delivering leaflets, but I wouldn’t want to do canvassing.” My thoughts exactly, a few months ago. I joined the Lib Dems in the aftermath of the EU referendum, determined to do something to demonstrate my frustration at the direction the Tory Government was leading us. Delivering leaflets was a positive activity and in the excitement of the 2017 General Election, I felt I was doing my bit. But over time, it has become clear that the task to influence public opinion and make the Government take notice of the 48% is huge. The leaflets were great, but I couldn’t help wondering how many of them went straight in the recycling bin. What could I do that would make more impact with my time?

I began to wonder again about canvassing. Research shows that people are 20% more likely to vote if they have been visited by a canvasser: even a just a smile and a friendly greeting is enough to make a difference. But I was worried about what it would be like. Would I be on the receiving end of angry householders determined to give me chapter and verse of their views, or would there be endless doors slammed in my face? Eventually, I summoned up some courage and went along to an action day to find out.

I was surprised to find how pleasant the experience was. When I arrived, I was paired up with an experienced canvasser and we went to each house together. We only called at houses where previous canvassing had shown that the owners were open to voting Lib Dem, which meant that we had a friendly reception at nearly every house. There was a list of questions to ask, depending on how much the householder wanted to chat: a surprising number were happy to stand on the doorstep and tell us their concerns about the local area and Brexit. It was fascinating to find out what people thought and how they saw the local scene and the national picture. When we found someone who was willing to join the mailing list, have a stakeboard in their garden or even become a volunteer, it was a cause for celebration! At the end of the morning, we all gathered at a pub for lunch and to share our stories. After that, I was keen to have a list of my own to do.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Swinson: EU nationals won’t be convinced by Labour

Buzzfeed has done an analysis of our prospects in this May’s elections. They talked to former LDV co-editor Mark Pack and the party’s Deputy Leader Jo Swinson.

The Party is going after EU Nationals’ votes and has invested in a series of social media adverts targeted at various nationalities.

Swinson said EU nationals would not be convinced by Labour’s stance. “They are pretty furious at the current government and also not too impressed with Labour’s position because Labour are really letting the government off the hook when it comes to Brexit,” she said.

“In terms of the front benches and the direction

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ALDC’s Local Elections appeal

Victor Chamberlain, standing as a candidate in the Borough and Bankside ward, Southwark Council in this May’s local elections, tells us why ALDC’s appeal needs your generous support.

The challenging set of elections taking place across the country on Thursday 3 May provide a fantastic opportunity to put the Liberal Democrats back on the map in local government.

As a candidate, I wanted to help promote ALDC’s Local Election Appeal, knowing first-hand how important this financial support is for teams fighting to win this May.

HOW YOUR DONATIONS WILL HELP

In Southwark, we’re up against a well organised Labour party who can call on more activists than we can. As a result, we need to do everything to ensure our supporters’ voices are heard and we know they’re far more likely to vote if they have a postal vote.

Most residents in my ward lead very busy lives and are rarely in when we call round to speak to them. And the majority live in blocks of flats that we struggle to gain access to.

This is where ALDC’s Local Election Appeal is helping to overcome these problems by targeting postal voters in key battleground wards across the country.

HOW YOU CAN DONATE:

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WATCH: Why EU Nationals should vote Lib Dem in Local Elections

A great video from Islington Liberal Democrats:

Vince made clear on Peston today that we are definitely going for this group of people.

There will be a series of tailored social media adverts in 21 European languages. The adverts are fronted by MEPs from those countries and they encourage EU citizens to register and vote Lib Dem in May.

Vince said:

The local elections represent a huge opportunity for EU migrants, who contribute so much to our economy and society, to make their voices heard. We are reaching out to them to vote Lib Dem and help us support their rights and ultimately secure an exit from Brexit. Their support could make a vital difference in close council seats.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

What happened to those burning injustices?

When she took office, Theresa May spoke on the steps of Downing Street about the just about managing.

She said, “We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives. When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you. When we pass new laws, we’ll listen not to the mighty but to you. When it comes to taxes, we’ll prioritise not the wealthy, but you”.

In our own Borough – Richmond upon Thames, 6,000 children are living in poverty. Last year 14 desperate families went to Citizens Advice to seek a reduction in …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Let ALDC know if you are a candidate for next May

ALDC want to help your campaign but in order to do the best job that we can, we need to know who your candidates are for the forthcoming elections on the 4th May 2018.

ALDC gather and share relevant information about local elections across the country and coordinate various types of support that are available for candidates and groups in different seats.

The team at ALDC would be really grateful if you could email Jenny Lamb ([email protected]) with the details of any currently selected candidates in your area.

Please include the following details –
Candidate Name
Council
Ward
Address
Email
The clearer our picture of what is happening, the better we can target our resources.We produce election briefings, detailing all of the main campaign issues, advice on what to do on key dates and some extra templates. If you are a candidate, agent or key activist we can send out our briefing to you packed full of advice – just let us know if you are standing next May.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 24th Oct - 1:07am
    Peter Martin Yes, you should stick to this sort of thing rather than peddling Europhobe myths! Because I'm afraid you're right about EZ governance, and...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 23rd Oct - 11:45pm
    Agree with the really useful press info we see here now, a welcome move,yet the party must not be so overtly dramatic only on Brexit,...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 23rd Oct - 11:01pm
    'it’s not a “so-called People’s Vote”.' Wasn't there, going back a few months, a Lib Dem directive that its shouldn't be referred to as a...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 23rd Oct - 10:57pm
    The Tories did not have any debates as far as I could see. Just speeches by "important people". And Labour seemed to be back to...
  • User Avatarfrankie 23rd Oct - 9:42pm
    Uncertainty kills economies and even after Brexit day the uncertainty will continue nay it will increase. Brexit needs to be stopped because if it isn't...
  • User AvatarRob de Nazar 23rd Oct - 9:02pm
    I hope we will move forward on the 'supporter' details via webinars and surveys - and agree as much as possible within those. Please bring...