Tag Archives: parliamentary by-elections

Money to support young people who want to see a parliamentary by-election campaign at first hand

I thought that might get your attention…!

It’s eighteen months since the death of David Rendel, former Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury from 1993 to 2005. His untimely demise was obviously a cruel blow for his family. In Newbury, we also miss him dreadfully in the Liberal Democrats. We lost a great friend. I lost a great friend. I miss his humility, his enormous wisdom, his integrity, his selflessness, his sense of humour, his encouraging smile, his endless energy and passion for liberalism.

Fortunately, shortly before his death, when asked if there was anything that the local Lib Dems could do in his memory, he expressed his wish. David was a great by-election afficianado. Indeed, he himself swept to victory in Newbury in 1993 in one of the most famous Liberal Democrat by-election victories in history. David was also a passionate mentor to many young people in politics. In his last months he said that he would like there to be some sort of fund in his name which enables young people who are interested in politics (and he specified that these young people would not necessarily be Lib Dem members, but perhaps broadly share our values) to be able to go to a parliamentary by-election and immerse themselves for several weeks in the campaign – getting involved in the campaigning. He particularly wanted such a fund to benefit those young people who, without such financial support, might not otherwise be able to travel to and stay at a by-election location.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Lessons from Lincolnshire

Elections come and go, but the memories and the camaraderie live on.  The telling of old by-election stories and hearing them re-written over time and years is part of the fun.  But they can also be sad and hurtful.  

It has taken me years to get over the deep personal trauma that I now realise I suffered in the aftermath of years of campaigning to win Hampstead and Kilburn, and the impact of losing on a recount.  And I probably will never fully lose that trauma.  Yet I am sitting here now in the wreckage of a by-election HQ and I’m beaming.

Here in the HQ it’s down to just me and the agent Ian Horner. Even Ada our host has gone shopping, and yet neither of us feel sad.  There is a positive mood about what we achieved and a satisfaction about a job well done.

You all know the result. You had predicted it and over analaysed it before the count had even commenced so I won’t attempt to drag over it again here.  But  let me offer some thoughts that I think are important for the Liberal Democrats, and for me, issues we urgently need to address and tackle.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 52 Comments

From Witney to Richmond Park – and then to Sleaford and North Hykeham

ross-pepperWow.  That’s the only response that I have found so far that fully expresses our delight, surprise, joy and gratitude at the level of activity and campaign that has been launched so quickly and so effectively for the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election.

Our objective in this by-election is simple – we want to build and light as many beacons of liberal democracy across the towns and villages here in the middle of Lincolnshire.  We are determined to end the way that the Tories have taken Lincolnshire for

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

Ogmore and Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough by-elections set for May 5th

In news that will surprise nobody, Labour today moved the writ for the Ogmore and Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough by-elections. It is defending the two seats following the resignation of Huw Irranca-Davies to stand for the Welsh Assembly and the death of Harry Harpham.

This news comes on the day a very welcome poll puts us at 10%, just 1% behind UKIP:

One poll is nothing to get too excited about, but, combined with the trends in local by-elections, it is an encouraging sign. There are certainly worse ways to kick off election season. The fieldwork was conducted in the aftermath of the budget, and may suggest that people are starting to see how much we reined the Tories in when we were in Government.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Which piece of ground in the UK has had the most parliamentary by-elections?

Tim Farron and Paul Walter in OldhamThat is a convoluted way of crow-barring in an immodest mention of this fact: I have now helped the Liberal Democrats at three by-elections in Oldham:

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

A trio of very welcome election law changes on the way

Postal ballot paper being postedThe Queen’s Speech mentioned a Bill to introduce individual electoral registration (see this post if you’re not sure why individual electoral registration is a good thing). It also made vague reference to other electoral administration reforms. Now I’ve read the proposed Bill and seen what they are, I’m rather pleased – as they include three things I’ve often raised in previous election law consultations and on this blog.

First, extending the timetable for Parliamentary by-elections. As I’ve written before about this

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Tales from the Campaign Trail: Danny Alexander to the rescue

As we settle down for our afternoon cup of tea, I thought it would be good to share an uplifting tale from the campaign trail.

The other day, Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury was canvassing in the Wimbledon Park by-election for candidate Dave Busby.

While he was there, he came across a woman who found herself locked in her flat. She was able to escape after she passed the keys to Danny through the letterbox so he could unlock the door for her.

I hope she’s voting for Dave tomorrow.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments
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