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Reflections on Elections

July 10, 2017 1:02 PM
By Anita Day in Postcard from a Lincolnshire Liberal

Anita DayI'm sorry for the long gap since my last postcard. The last couple of months have been hectic - first the local County Council elections, then the General Election - and it has taken a while for me to gather my thoughts.

Our County Council results were encouraging, even though we did not win any seats- we fielded more candidates than ever before, and won 2 second places in Stamford, where we gained nearly 18% of the vote. We also identified some parts of Grantham, Bourne and Spalding where notional candidates polled better than we had expected. So whilst it wasn't the breakthrough we had hoped for, our results have provided valuable information which will help us target resources better in future campaigns.

Similarly, our General Election results, whilst disappointing, did offer some positives. Both Julia Cambridge in South Holland and Deepings, and I in Grantham and Stamford, fought energetic campaigns which won praise from voters for our campaign materials, performances at public meetings, knowledge of local issues etc. This was down to not only ourselves as candidates, but our core campaign teams - Kathleen Tanner, John Bland and Adam Brookes for Julia, and Fiona Sloss, Shirley Holt and Carolyn Ramsbottom for me. I must particularly mention Fiona's efforts as my campaign manager who even had to deputise for me at a couple of hustings which I was unable to make, and did such a fantastic job that I wasn't really missed! ;-

But it was actually more than that…. our campaigns were driven by the efforts of the many people who donated money, folded leaflets, stuffed envelopes, made deliveries, helped canvass voters in the streets and on doorsteps, etc. So here in Grantham and Stamford- one of only 2 Lincolnshire constituencies where the Lib Dems polled more than 5% and retained their deposits- I hosted a Thank You Party for everyone who had actively contributed to the campaign, and invited around 60 people…an incredible achievement for a party which was almost dormant a year ago, and a great platform for the future!

But, of course, neither of us won, and nationally the party increased our MPs by 50%, but only polled 6% of the vote and lost Nick Clegg!

So what happened to the 16m?! Clearly we were squeezed out in the battle between the 'strong and stable' Maybot and the resurgent saviour of the Left, Corbyn - who inflated his vote-share by persuading young people and tactical voters to vote for him by overlooking the fact that his Brexit policy was identical to hers, and his anti-austerity policies were therefore unaffordable!

But in constituencies like ours, where the Tory incumbents take 60%+ vote-share, tactical voting is currently pointless. Perhaps the anti-Brexit tide is finally turning. The second referendum approach hasn't resonated enough with voters, however democratic. Perhaps, we should just come out and say … we believe Brexit is a disastrous idea for Britain's economy, jobs and fair living standards, and we will do everything we can to stop it!

What do you think?

Take care, and speak soon


PS: If you are interested in any of my previous Postcards, you can find them here:

Anita A D Day

Membership Development, South Lincs Liberal Democrats
Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Grantham and Stamford
Tel: 07410 709338 / @AnitadayA / FB: Anita.Day.LD