Why Nick Clegg will defend his Sheffield Hallam seat

Nick Clegg has announced this morning that he will defend his Sheffield Hallam seat. He explained why:

Theresa May has called a General Election out of opportunism and intolerance: opportunism in seeking to exploit the weakness of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour party; and intolerance in seeking a landslide majority to bring about ‘unity’, by which she means the ability to impose whatever interpretation of Brexit she wishes without meaningful scrutiny from Parliament.

Meanwhile, her Brexit-obsessed Government is failing to provide the decent schools, hospitals and social care which communities, including those I represent in Sheffield, rightly deserve.

This General Election once again places the interests of the Conservative Party ahead of the daily needs of the British people.

I will be re-standing as the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate in Sheffield Hallam – a constituency I have had the immense privilege to represent in Parliament for twelve years – because I vehemently oppose the direction that Theresa May wishes to drag our wonderful country.

When I was Leader of the Lib Dems, our key task was to provide responsible Government; today, our key task is to provide effective opposition and lead the fight against the Conservative’s damaging approach to Brexit.

My constituents, and millions of people across the country, deserve a better choice than Theresa May’s hard Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn’s hapless leadership.

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16 Comments

  • Good morning everyone.
    Would like some advice. I am a party member in the Greenwich constituency.
    The Labour MP has a majority of ca 12000 over the Tories so, despite Corbyn, he looks pretty safe.
    The LD unfortunately have no chance here, however I am in two minds what to vote and here is why:

    I am tempted to vote LD with Labour still winning the seat but helping to increase the LD national vote, however this might be risky if Labour crashes and a Tory gets in.
    Bear in mind this is a strong “Remain” area, people are very angry about Brexit around here (and so am I).

    To vote Lab to avoid some nasty Tory surprise is risking keeping Corbyn in place, emboldened by not crashing down.

    What’s your take?

    P

  • Michael Cole 19th Apr '17 - 1:44pm

    Paolo,

    Your dilemma is brought about by the unfair and divisive FTTP electoral system, which almost always leads to a choice between the lesser of two evils.

    Under these circumstances you should go with your gut feeling and vote for the candidate and Party who you feel would best represent you – hopefully Liberal Democrat, particularly as you are a member of our Party.

    The seat looks safe for Labour (but who knows ?), so your vote won’t matter very much except, as you say, in terms of the LD national vote.

  • Michael Cole 19th Apr '17 - 1:47pm

    erratum: Should be FPTP (not FTTP) – First Past The Post or ‘winner takes all.’

  • Shame Nick isn’t leading the LibDem’s, he has greater credibility as a prospective PM (or Deputy PM) than either Tim or Jeremy and would appeal to many voters who previously voted for David Cameron…

  • Roland, give me strength, he is still so toxic with Labour voters it is unbelievable. Colleaguies of mine who were Lib Dem will not touch him with a bargepole, buit they have accepted Farron and returned to the fold. For goodness sake at this time do not rock an unecessary boat.

  • Chris Bertram 19th Apr '17 - 2:26pm

    I agree with Nick!

  • theakes – The problem isn’t so much Labour or even hot/cold LibDem voters but getting people not to vote Conservative! Remember May and her backers have effectively committed the Conservative party to Brexit, so neither a pro-Remain Conservative MP or supporter is not welcome in May’s party, which means there will be a lot of Conservative seats where a good campaign should be able to undermine a Conservative candidate that isn’t pro-Brexit… So the real issue I suggest, is appealing to Conservative voters…

    But then I do accept, if we go back to the coalition, basically the LibDem members were saying they much preferred to be in opposition as a pressure group than to have the responsibilities of government and decision making…

  • Tony Dawson 19th Apr '17 - 6:13pm

    @ Roland
    “Shame Nick isn’t leading the LibDem’s, he has greater credibility as a prospective PM (or Deputy PM) than either Tim or Jeremy and would appeal to many voters who previously voted for David Cameron…”

    Roland, you clearly like Nick, which is no big problem (so do I). What I cannot accept, however, is the suggestion that Nick is more’credible’ as a leader than Tim is. Such assertions should be based upon evidence or not be made at all.

    Tim Farron (with virtually no media support) has dragged our Party forward from a situation, where we were considered nationally to be virtually worthless sideshow, with clear positions on several issues which has made what he says become newsworthy and credible. He has made statements with which I disagree and others which he might wish to have a second take on, but the balance has been overwhelmingly positive for our Party. Where Tim has dragged us forward from is the abyss into which your ‘credible’ leader took us. Just to remind you, this was the worst position our Party has been in, achieved almost overnight, undoing progress made by blood sweat and tears by Liberals and Social Democrats over decades. I do not intend to go into, here, how and why this situation occurred, but it is unreasonable to sit and watch statements made like yours which have no basis in evidence.

  • I agree with Martin – check the record of the Labour candidate. If he seems credible, then support him without any sense of guilt, but if it makes you feel better, help campaign for a nearby LibDem candidate with a more realistic chance of success.

    I’ve seen some Labour party supporters, even members, who are actively seeking Labour candidates to support financially, rather than making a general donation to the party fund. They don’t want to support Corbyn, but don’t want to see good candidates suffering.

    It is likely Labour will suffer some humiliating defeats, and Corbyn will surely go, but being realistic, we’re still going to need some Labour party MPs to work with, so it’s not in our interests to punish the decent ones in seats we can’t win.

  • @Tony – Basically, the evidence I look at is the most probably the same as you have been looking at; just that I don’t accept the “Party Line” interpretation and conclusion, namely it was all Nick’s fault… The question the LibDem’s need to be asking, isn’t so much addressing the traditional ‘safe’ election battles with Labour but to firmly turn the guns on the Conservatives and those who voted Conservative because of David Cameron or because their candidate was pro-Remain.

    So, given where we are, the question is how is Tim polling among the Daily Mail readership?

  • Great decision!

  • I was brought up to believe in the redemption of all sinners and look forward (well hope, actually) to this being the case (for me as well as for Nick).

  • Simon Banks 20th Apr '17 - 4:33pm

    Roland – how many Conservatives did Nick Clegg convert in 2010-15?

    To get to voters you need activists and plenty of Liberal Democrat activists would lack passion for the fight under a Terrribly Nice Centrists banner.

  • @Simon Banks – “To get to voters you need activists and plenty of Liberal Democrat activists would lack passion for the fight under a Terrribly Nice Centrists banner.”

    Well given the opportunity is swaying Conservative leaning voters, the challenge will be finding something that is both attractive to those voters and motivates the activists. If all the activists are interested in is knocking Labour rather than taking the gift horse May has presented…

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