Tag Archives: stoke-on-trent central by-election

++Stoke on Trent by-election – Lib Dem vote share more than doubles

Congratulations to Zulfiqar Ali and the team at Stoke-on-Trent for more than doubling our share of the vote at the by-election caused by Tristram Hunt’s resignation.

Labour held the seat.

After the result was announced, Liberal Democrat president Sal Brinton said from Stoke:

The Potteries decided there was no need to have UKIP’s official leader in parliament when UKIP’s unofficial leader is already in Number 10, pursuing a hard Brexit. We would have done even better but for many voters, drawn to the Lib Dems, who felt they just couldn’t risk being represented by a UKIP MP, so reluctantly backed Labour. Paul Nuttall called this seat Brexit Central but it turned out to be the end of the line for UKIP.

There is also little comfort for Labour, whose vote share has more than halved here in less than two decades. This is on top of an incredibly tough night for them in Copeland. It shows that if we are to turn out this divided and uncaring Conservative Brexit government, the Liberal Democrats will be the ones making the progressive case to keep Britain open, tolerant and united. We started from a low base here but our vote is picking up and this is yet another sign that the Lib Dem fight-back is on.

Here is the result in full plus some sexy bar charts tweeted by the Press Association’s Ian Jones:

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Zulfiqar Ali can win in Stoke-on-Trent but he needs your help!

This week we have had activists in helping from Tunstall, Burslem, Trentham, Chell, Chell Heath, Stoke, Oakhill, Boothen, Fenton, Etruria, Shelton, Longton and as well as all these places from across the City of Stoke-on-Trent we have had a great number from north Staffordshire generally.

And yesterday when at the last minute we issued a plea for clerical help in the office I was grateful for those who came – they have us well on the road with the postal vote mailing, but we need more people urgently.

But in the course of a conversation with one of the activists (their second visit so gold star to them) they whispered “of course a few people think you can’t win and are in fourth place”.  At that moment I could have hugged her and the scales fell from my eyes.

Look round your own town, city, community, village and where you live. Who has been the dominant political party for the last 50 years and have they done a good job?   Here in Stoke it’s Labour and they have failed.  failed the City, failed the people, failed to achieve the positive change that was possible.  This City wants and needs something else.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments

Stoke-on-Trent Central is important beyond the Liberal Democrats

It’s gone midnight and I’m sitting here in the Wheatsheaf Hotel, on Snow Hill in Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent and I have been worrying about a number of things.

1. How do I get more hours in the day so I can deliver leaflets for longer?

2. How do we build the winning formula to get all our supporters out on the day on what will be a very cold day…

3. What will entice the hundreds and thousands of Liberal Democrats and, critically,  newbies to come and help here in this great and glorious city?

4. And most of all how do we make the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election the most positive and unexpected good news of 2017

I know this City, I love its heritage, I love its story, I love its structure and I love the unexpectedness.  And walking around you see the examples everywhere . Come out of the railway station and see the statue of Josiah Wedgewood, go up Hanley to see statues of Reginald Mitchell and Sir Stanley Matthews, the tributes to the Steel Workers, the Miners, the Potters and you can get lost in the myriad explanations of why Northwood is not Hanley or Birches Head and where Oakhill starts and Boothen ends.

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

Zulfiqar Ali is in this to win Stoke-on-Trent Central

Having lived in the City of Stoke-on-Trent it was always something of a guilty confession that I was no fan of football. With two major clubs in the City: Stoke and Port Vale, it was crucial to know when the match days were. Indeed when we are campaigning for votes a throwaway joke was that on match days we would be “down in the terraces of the Victoria Ground”. On hearing this folks assumed I was a Stoke City fan and that I would be there cheering them on. In fact on a match day, especially for Stoke, it was perfect day for delivering the literally hundreds of terraced houses down and around the old Victoria Ground. The new Britannia Ground is not far away now, but those terraces and more are still there waiting to be delivered by you

Now the local bus company is Potteries Motor Traction – a hark back to a previous era and so now cut down to just PMT. But when running campaigns it was always important to make sure that we had Potteries Voter Traction. Anyone could muster up negatives, everyone could join the latest campaign the real issue was if you could get traction, respect and therefore votes enough fromresidents that would propel you over the winning line.

The other issue was building up a local party who looked and sounded like Stoke – now this is a city of communities. Sometimes it sounds over complex but let me run you though it.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

When things come together: Stoke-on-Trent and my emotions

I have just moved house, leaving London, settling in Chesterfield.  London has been amazing, but it was time for change.  In between that decision and the reality came the Sleaford and North Hykeham By-election: one of the campaigns that I shall forever be proudest of running.  But Sleaford was a turning point for me, a junction when I decided to re-engage with front line electoral politics and take to the streets again.

So last night travelling back to Stoke-on-Trent at short notice to scout the territory was a further development for me.  Let me explain.  I stood down from Stoke-on-Trent city council in 2002 after four of the best electoral years of my life, but had left due to a mix of work, ambition and life changes.  I haven’t really been back there since and so today when Tristram Hunt, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, announced his resignation I realised I was ready to return.

Now Stoke-on-Trent was very much my personal test ground for the lessons and skills I had listened to, learnt and appreciated from Peter Lee, Becky Bryan, Tim Clement Jones, Des Wilson, Tony Greaves, Maggie Clay and others.  In trying those lessons out a few landmarks stand out: the night in 1996 when the city went Unitary, the Tories were wiped out and Labour were elected 60 nil.  How I cheered those Tory losses (for I knew we were not ready)

Posted in Op-eds | 37 Comments
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  • User AvatarLyn N 18th Jun - 9:32am
    @Cassie Quite. The Lib Dem’s as a minor partner in a coalition are only ever going to be able to soften the actions of larger...
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