Why I am going to Witney and I want you to go too

It’s not just that I am having withdrawal symptoms from a wonderful four days at Conference that makes me want to rush down to Witney to spend time with more Liberal Democrats.

That may be part of it, but why would I want to risk the guilt-inducing wrath of my dog by leaving her again so soon?

On Monday, I’m travelling 350 miles for a whirlwind 24 hours of leaflet delivery or whatever else needs doing  to help the wonderful Liz Leffman’s campaign. I’m doing so for several reasons;

A good result for the Liberal Democrats is important for party and country

A major theme of Conference is that we’re not going to stand by and see our country ruined while there’s something we can do about it. We are going to stand up and make the case for the closest possible relationship with the EU and for our country to be that generous-hearted, internationalist, collaborative force for good in the world.

This by-election is our chance to show that we are making progress as a party, that we can get public opinion on our side.

The party is taking this very seriously. They are even playing the cute dog card very early on. Seriously, a picture of a local activists’ dog was used to lure us there yesterday.

We are going to be fighting a good campaign and the sooner we do stuff the better.

For Liz

I think Liz Leffman, our candidate, is brilliant – capable, credible, articulate, with great warmth. She knows what it is like to run a business, she’s a trustee of her local CAB, so she understands the sorts of problems they are helping people with. She is exactly what you need in a local MP. I’ve seen her work on the party’s Finance and Administration Committee and she always knows exactly what questions to ask and how to work together to sort out problems.

The people in her council ward clearly love her – she gets Orkney and Shetland style levels of support – 940 votes compared to 318 of her nearest rival just 4 months ago.

I have a huge amount of time for her and I want to see her do well on a personal level.

For F1

Sam Collins explained yesterday how Brexit poses a massive threat to the F1 industry, so crucial for very high quality jobs in the Witney area. It’s not just the teams themselves, but all their suppliers. The ramifications for the local economy could be pretty stark.

I am a huge fan of Formula 1 and all sorts of motorsport and ,quite simply, I want to keep our teams here. As well as the economic effects, if we lose the teams to other parts of the world, we could lose our Grand Prix too.

How you can help

Very soon there will be a campaign HQ so watch out for those sorts of details. You will also very soon be able to find out how you can phone canvass if you can’t go in person. All these things are being set up as we speak. Leaflets have already been going out while the rest of us have been at Conference.

There is one way you can help right here, right now. Give money so the team have a fighting fund to play with.





* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • paul barker 22nd Sep '16 - 2:59pm

    Am I right in thinling that Postal Ballots will go out in the next fortnight ?

  • Pretty much bang on! Thursday, 6th October, which is two weeks today.

  • Chris Bertram 22nd Sep '16 - 3:12pm

    Probably won’t make it in person, but have sent a contribution.

  • Witney is the most important by-election for the Lib Dems in more than a decade. Quite simply it is the acid test of our post coalition recovery, and for any hope of getting noticed again by the media, it is key.

    It is also a litmus test for our new vision: we have a good woman candidate, so we will get a good idea as to the success of our ‘We need to look more like the people we represent’ strategy; and with Labour in total disarray, our new clear pro Europe message, against an incumbent party that has just dropped the country in it, will be tested as well.

    We need to finish a good second. A close second would be great and a win would be fantastic.

    Quite simply, anyone who believes in the future of the party and its values has to be there.

    Liberal Democrats – Your party needs you!

  • I will most certainly be going – this really is a time to get stuck and and deliver a strong result.

  • Some great results at the moment and a strong second should be the aim here. No to hard Brexit should be the basis of the campaign. Send that message to the clowns running the show.

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