What do these by-elections mean for your own constituency?

And so it looms – polling day is always tough, for the teams, the candidates and to be fair for the media and journalists who try and understand the event, pick out the story and filter through the spin and analysis. But Richmond Park will vote on Thursday 1st December and your input will decide whether Sarah Olney I elected.

Witney was rightly proclaimed as a surge forwards for the Liberal Democrats and a tribute to the astoundingly impressive Liz Leffman. As I write this Sarah Olney and her team are being tested in the final week for what has been perhaps the most long awaited by-election in history…

Meanwhile, here in Lincolnshire a determined, but growing, and dedicated team led by the ever smiling Ross Pepper are out every day and night. The constituency of Sleaford and North Hykeham will go to the polls on Thursday 8th December.

The question is what will the result here, a week after Richmond Park, tell the world about the Liberal Democrats? We have run a strong and energetic campaign – way beyond anything the Local Party believed possible. Newspaper, A3 and A4 leaflets, surveys, and a full split freepost has been well received and we have built up a strong network of door to door delivery activity across the whole of the towns of Sleaford and North Hykeham in three short weeks.

But more importantly we now have a steady stream of activists collecting deliveries across villages untouched by party politics for years: Wilsford, Long Bennington, Heckington, Metheringham, Boothby Graffoe, Cranwell, Dunstan, Branston, Timberland and many more besides. With nearly 200 villages and hamlets this ever expanding network is fuelling our campaign.

So what can you do to help: donations are the obvious request (https://eastmidslibdems.org.uk/en/donate) but also you can plan your telephone canvassing programme to continue post-Richmond Park or even better jump in that car, book that train and come and visit your friends help in Lincolnshire.

The good news is that the constituency is very accessible from Lincoln, Newark, Grantham, Spalding, Boston, Horncastle and more. We don’t have a vast array of on-tap accommodation, but we are sure that you are innovative and resourceful Lib Dems and can sort something.

So if you thought Liz Leffman did well, then do Ross Pepper a huge favour and head down to Richmond Park this week and get Sarah Olney elected and then, and only then head up here to Lincolnshire. The weather may be a tad chilly, but the welcome will be very very warm from the local team. And I can tell you, from personal experience, the coffee made by our Sleaford host, Ada Trethewey, is the best…

So please, get Sarah Olney elected and head on up to Lincolnshire… trains to Grantham and Newark are good and it’s great fun here. And after all, the Tories have taken this for granted for years and are frankly complacent. Look at your own constituency results, and imagine what would happen there if Sleaford and North Hykeham achieve the strong result we think we can pull off, challenging the Tories in their heartland.

On Europe, on health, on local services, on rural buses, on street lighting, on trade and agriculture, we are making the running. Elect Sarah this Thursday and come a be a part of the action here in Lincolnshire.

* Ed Fordham is a party member and activist in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

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5 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 29th Nov '16 - 12:08pm

    It meant 3 cars going to Richmond Park on Saturday.
    It means that Tim Farron is on the TV more often. He knows what he wants to say and has a sense of humour. On ITV yesterday he said “Imagine that the referendum had produced Remain 52% and Leave 42%. Would we have had a Hard Remain with membership of the euro and everybody speaking Esperanto?”

  • Simon Foster 29th Nov '16 - 9:42pm

    It means that my local party’s cars on Saturday, Sunday and today and the phone bank Monday, tomorrow and Thursday mean that a good number of our activists are being trained up on Connect, Minivan and how to run a garden poster op, including a number of new student activists 🙂

    It means that we’re already looking at a Sleaford and North Hykeham phone bank next week 😉

    It means that we have a lot of national sample literature to base future campaigns on locally.

  • Liberal Neil 29th Nov '16 - 10:51pm

    It means I’m bloody knackered!

    But happy 🙂

  • It means that the sleeping giant of Liberalism is on the march again

  • Rich Wilsher 30th Nov '16 - 10:45pm

    Do you have a virtual HQ on Facebook? These have obviously worked very, very well in Witney and Richmond. I’m pretty sure you’ll get a fair few Richmond junkies heading your way – and you’ll be inundated should we take that seat tomorrow.

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