Tag Archives: sarah green

WATCH: Sarah Green has her first Prime Minister’s Question!

The newest Lib Dem MP, Sarah Green, had her debut PMQ today.

The headquarters of the Epilepsy Society is in her constituency of Chesham and Amersham so it was fitting, during COP26, that she highlighted the need to fund research into the effect of climate change on people with health conditions like Epilepsy.

And Boris Johnson wasn’t even horrible in his response.

I was annoyed that so many MPs talked over Sarah’s questions. It was very disrespectful, particularly on a question that was higher quality than many asked in these sessions.

The text of the exchange is below:

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Sarah Green on her victory in Chesham and Amersham

Our newest MP has been talking to the Guardian about her landslide victory in leafy Buckinghamshire. She told political correspondent Peter Walker that the Conservative voters in Chesham and Amersham felt ignored by the Tories. They felt they could no longer relate to Boris Johnson and the Conservative party.

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Ed Davey talks Chesham and Amersham and progressive alliances on Sunday media

Ed Davey did the Sunday morning media round today. He did look a tiny bit smug, but he’s allowed to given Sarah Green’s spectacular win in Chesham and Amersham, declared in the early hours of Friday morning.

First he appeared on Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday:

And then we went on Marr:

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It’s a long game, revisited

Disappointment, even despair, was the general reaction by Lib Dems to the 2019 General Election results. But some of us saw a different picture. A week or so after that election I wrote a post for Lib Dem Voice under the headline “It’s a long game” in which I said:

I’m absolutely delighted to see the progress made in so many seats, and it fills me with such hope for the future. Do not give up. What you have done is to lay the foundations for future successes. Keep building your teams and keep targeting Council wards. Get all the advice you can on how to do that. Hold long term ambitions, and do not become dependent on external help.

Since Thursday the media have been speculating on which other blue wall constituencies are now fair game for the Lib Dems – exactly the ones I was addressing in that extract. It’s worth looking at the map in this article in The Guardian, which shows those seats in the southern half of the UK that could be vulnerable to the small but powerful orange mallet.

Too often we imagine that we win in general elections through smart national campaigning in the last few weeks, and that all seats will reflect the mood of the day. That is simply not true. Seats are won on the back of long campaigning, which itself is dependent on building the capacity of the local party. Given Thursday’s result we can safely assume that Boris Johnson will not be calling for a general election soon, even if the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act is rescinded, so we have the luxury of three years to build on the energy generated by Chesham and Amersham.

Speaking of which, back in 2019 I also wrote:

There is a good reason why by-election gains are often lost at the next general election. Hundreds of people piling into to help in a by-election can produce exhilarating results, but unless the infrastructure of the local party is seriously strengthened it will be struggling when it is left to its own resources.

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Chesham & Amersham: a Lib Dem WIN we’ll be talking about for years

Sarah Green MP.

That sounds so good.

Who would have thought that we would have turned a a huge Conservative majority and to one of over 8000 for us?

I am sitting here blubbing like anything. My first thought went back to Murray Walker’s comment about having to stop because he had a lump in his throat when Damon Hill won the F1 world championship back in the day.

I am not just ecstatic that we have won the most audacious and spectacular by-election win for generations. I am thrilled to bits that Sarah, who is pretty much where I am on most issues, is going to be a brilliant addition to our parliamentary team.

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Chesham & Amersham: a campaign we’ll be talking about for years

Every so often a by-election campaign comes along that will be remembered for generations. Orpington in the 60s, Edge Hill in the 70s, Hillhead in the 80s, Littleborough and Saddleworth in the 90s, Dunfermline in the 2000s, Eastleigh in the 2010s. Many of them came at critical moments for the party, maybe at times when we were a bit down in the dumps. And at those times the party comes together and runs a spirited and joyful campaign that everyone talks about for years afterwards.

Chesham and Amersham comes on top of, to be honest, unspectacular elections in Scotland, Wales and English Councils in May.  It would be a massive ask to win it. This is true blue territory, after all. A year and a half ago, we got less than half the Tory vote, finishing in second place. In 2017, just 4 years ago, we got 13%. We need the sorts of swings we were getting in the 90s to win.

But we’ve given it our best efforts. We’ve run a good old fashioned Liberal Democrat by-election campaign at full pelt in the middle of a pandemic. I’ve seen so many comments about how the warmth of the welcome was matched by the efficiency of despatch with leaflets or canvassing pack.

From as far apart as Edinburgh and Cornwall, activists flocked in their thousands to help Sarah Green’s campaign. It was clear that this was a campaign everybody wanted to be a part of. My tiny contribution was to help host the nightly maraphones, where people from Orkney to Cornwall made thousands of calls.

 

I was very touched that Simon Foster from Southampton dedicated 50% of his sterling contribution putting up stakeboards to me as I couldn’t get there. But the loveliest gesture was friends of Erlend Watson, our campaigning legend who has been a key and beloved presence at so many by-elections, taking his place in this campaign. Natasha Chapman and Olly Craven from Lincoln were Team Erlend. Erlend himself is recovering well from major surgery and we hope to see him back at a by-election or Conference before too long.

The positive feedback from voters was incredible. Phoning voters and asking them to put up stakeboards is far from my favourite sort of campaigning activity, yet I couldn’t believe how easy a sell it was.

The Tories have been doing all sorts of expectation management.

Sometimes you can do every single thing right in a campaign and not get the result you deserve. Sarah Green and her campaign team richly deserve a victory. Let’s hope that they get it. She’s been a fantastic candidate – impressing voters on the doorsteps and motivating her army of helpers. One activist, bitten by a dog the other day, was very surprised that she took time out of her day to phone them and make sure they were ok.

In an email to members tonight, Ed Davey expressed his pride in the campaign we ran:

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Going down to the wire at Chesham & Amersham

Today I again went to Chesham & Amersham to help Sarah Green and team. I helped to deliver targeted letters to residents in Great Missenden and Chalfont Saint Peter.

My task was greatly assisted by my excellent co-deliverers, Baroness (Liz) Barker and Mukta Patil from Chesham & Amersham Young Liberals. They both greatly helped in plotting our various routes and in making the task a great pleasure in the sunshine! The selfie above shows us with our suitably coloured conveyance!

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Chesham and Amersham is THE place for Lib Dems to be this weekend

There is nowhere I would rather be at the moment than Chesham and Amersham. Well, maybe not doing what is becoming known as the “Mark Pack” delivery run which is apparently vertiginous, taking in both sides of a valley. Our party president tackled it the other day and other alumni include Kevin Lang, who was Wendy Chamberlain’s campaign manager.

A Lib Dem by-election campaign at full pelt with the prospect of a win is a thing of joy and you really, really want to be part of it.

One  previous by-election victor is there:

 

People are heading there from all sorts of places. I know three people who are there from Edinburgh this weekend, on top of another three who have already visited.

Sadly, I can’t leave home at the moment, but I am spending time making calls and hosting some of the daily Maraphones. Last night, I was phoning people who had already been there, thanking them and asking them to go again. That was not the most difficult sell in the world and it was great to see people changing their plans and saying they’d jump on a train or a tube to go and help get Sarah Green elected.

It was particularly lovely that so many of them volunteered how impressed they had been with the campaign team. They loved the efficiency of the operation and the warmth of the welcome. It’s also clear that Sarah Green is an exceptional candidate. People who had been canvassing with her said how brilliant she was on the doorsteps.

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Tories worried about Chesham and Amersham

With so many Lib Dems heading over to Chesham and Amersham to support Sarah Green, it was interesting to read a letter published today in The Guardian. Dr Peter Dawson, a voter in the constituency, writes:

This has long been an ultra-safe Conservative seat, but there appears to be some anxiety among Tories, locally and nationally, about a possible Liberal Democrat win. Boris Johnson has made an appearance here and canvassers have been drafted in from London.

Apparently Rishi Sunak has written to all voters encouraging them to vote for a candidate “who can work with me”. As Dr Dawson says:

Now, I am not a Lib Dem supporter, but I recognise that the Lib Dem candidate is not some beyond-the-pale extremist, so I see no reason why Sarah Green and Sunak could not work together. But perhaps Sunak is not that kind of politician, and perhaps this is not that kind of government.

Most party members will by now have received emails (possibly more than one!) explaining how to get involved.

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Come and help Sarah Green win Chesham and Amersham!

Yesterday a group from Hinckley and Bosworth went down to help out in the Chesham and Amersham by election.

It was great to see so many other Lib Dems from across the country there to help the campaign of our excellent candidate Sarah Green.

From speaking to people in the constituency it’s clear many people are fed up with being taken for granted by the Conservatives and many long standing traditional Tory voters are considering backing us this time.

Although it’s traditionally been a strong Tory seat many Tory voters are open to backing Sarah Green to send a message that they are unhappy with the Tories and many Labour and Green voters are open to voting Lib Dem in Chesham and Amersham to beat Boris Johnson’s Tory candidate.

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Chesham and Amersham needs YOU

Maddi Crickmay, Liberal Democrat Youth and Student Development Officer and Shrewsbury Councillor Alex Wagner at Amersham party HQ today

I spent today helping Sarah Green‘s campaign at Amersham.

What a great day! I don’t think I have had such a beautiful delivery round since the heady days of Littleborough and Saddleworth in 1995.

Then, I had to walk several miles up to a farmhouse to deliver one leaflet. But it was blazing sunshine and the surroundings were idyllic – so I didn’t mind.

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Join the Sarahphone today!

Having spent most of my Saturdays this year hosting maraphones and making a lot of calls to voters, I might have reasonably expected a few weeks off.

However, the Chesham and Amersham by-election is well and truly upon us. The writ was only moved a week ago on Wednesday but already the postal votes are about to go out.

Every election these days has two polling days – when the postal votes land and on the actual day when people go to the polling station.  And with more people choosing to vote by post in these Covid times, postal vote polling day is more important than ever.  That is why Lib Dem MPs have been heading there this week:

Christine Jardine and Daisy Cooper have also been there in the past few days.

So it stands to reason that we need to speak to as many of these postal voters as possible before they pick up that envelope from their doormats.

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Jane Dodds campaigns for Sarah Green in Chesham and Amersham

Jane Dodds knows what it’s like to fight – and win – a parliamentary by-election. The entire party got behind her campaign to win Brecon and Radnorshire in 2019 so she’s returning the favour by heading to Chesham and Amersham to help Sarah Green. Sarah is a fantastic candidate who would make a brilliant addition to our Westminster Parliamentary Party

Activists are following Jane’s example and heading to the constituency in significant numbers. There are just 4 weeks till the by-election and the more help we get early on, the better our chances.

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Sarah Green selected for Chesham & Amersham

The Chesham & Amersham by-election, following the death of Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan last month, will be held over the summer, although no date has been announced yet. In the General Election we came a solid second, so we will be fighting this with all the energy we can.

Congratulations to Sarah Green who has been selected as our candidate. Sarah is a training and communications professional, and many of you will have come across her at party training sessions.

Here’s how you can help.

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