The Liberal Democrats’ class of 2022: who they are and what they think

The New Statesman gives a sympathetic account of the selection of Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidates in an article headed “The Liberal Democrats’ class of 2022: who they are and what they think“, focusing on our target seats.

It includes a paragraph about Lib Dem Voice editor Kirsten Johnson:

Kirsten Johnson, a pianist who is contesting North Devon, said she entered politics to push for more money for mental health services and reduce the gap between rich and poor. “The Liberal Democrats stand for equality across all sections of society, whether economic, gender or any other equality. I think we need to have more people from all walks of life.”

And another about Daisy Cooper:

Daisy Cooper, who has a background in international affairs and is standing in St Albans, described herself as the anti-Brexit, pro-People’s Vote candidate. “I’m internationalist, pro-business, pro-environment – increasingly these are the values that will guide the future of the country.”

All the candidates seemed to agree that while we have a strong emphasis on remaining in Europe and achieving a People’s Vote, we need to get our broader values and policies across to the electorate.

“We’re not harvesting a great return from the Brexit crisis in the way that I think logically we should,” one candidate in a Tory-held seat said. “There are so many other things that we need to be getting across. We have a stock line which to the media is very boring: exit from Brexit, things can only be resolved by putting the matter to a People’s Vote… we’ve said it enough times, I don’t think we need to keep on saying it.”

“You can’t be anti Brexit forever,” another added. “If it was up to me and we picked one policy area to own, it would be education.” A third candidate agreed that the party should push its message on health and education in “one sentence, not a 28-page document”.

The candidates were cautious about The Independent Group (now Change UK), concerned about their lack of agreed policies.

But some candidates stressed that the most important thing for the Liberal Democrats is “that we are seen to be part of something new”. “The only logical approach is to work with a new broadly moderate, centrist, liberal, pro EU, internationalist movement,” one said.

You can read the full article here.

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6 Comments

  • Bill le Breton 17th Apr '19 - 7:54pm

    This is the smell of coffee:

    European Parliament voting intention:

    BREX: 27%
    LAB: 22%
    CON: 15%
    GRN: 10%
    LDEM: 9%
    UKIP: 7%
    CHUK: 6%

    I am struggling to imagine June 2019, let alone June 2022.

  • BREX + LAB + CON + UKIP = 71% saying they will vote for a party in favour of Brexit?

    Either tribal loyalty matters more than Brexit to a lot of voters, or some still haven’t worked out that Corbyn is a Leaver.

  • David Blake 17th Apr '19 - 8:15pm

    Why is the New Statesman website so unstable?

  • @Nick Baird

    Interestingly Yougov asked a couple of questions on different scenarios about voting intention including if Labour propose “going ahead with brexit but with a customs union” (i.e. no referendum)

    In that case Labour drop to 15% and we rise to 15%, – i.e. a three way tie among Lib Dems, Labour and Conservatives.

    We really need a good result in the locals to give us a boost going into the Euros – let’s go to it, folks !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Richard Underhill 19th Apr '19 - 4:49pm

    The Times of Tunbridge Wells, 17/4/2019, page 15 column 1 “58% of voters want a second vote” “9,500 adults surveyed”.
    Across the country 58.1% of voters who expressed a view now want a final say. Nine out of ten of the 632 GB constituencies want a final say.
    Please note the word “final “.
    Maidenhead (T. May MP) 59% want another vote.
    Dominic Grieve MP said “Asking for more time and opposition help to salvage a deal nobody wants is yet again merely delaying the moment of truth. …
    What started with the people should end with the people.”

  • Having heard the interview by Ross Hawkins with Kirsten Johnson on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 15th September at 1 pm there needs to be a review of her position. North Devon is a constituency the party has held for 43 out of the last 60 years. The candidate is no doubt sincere and well meaning but she appeared to be totally out of her depth and unsuitable for a rural constituency in the South West of England. Her view of the electors was patronising and they would have found it deeply offensive despite her apology. She might find her talents would be more appreciated in an urban area, particularly London.

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