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  • Zulfiqar Ali
    Article: Mar 2, 2017

    On Tuesday, Ian Horner and I as Agent and Campaign Co-ordinator respectively cleared the by-election HQ for Stoke-on-Trent Central. Unlike many such events from former by-elections, this was no sad or weary wake.

    As we loaded up the bags and boxes, sorted out what could caravan into the next election portal we laughed, smiled and exchanged anecdotes of a campaign well fought.

  • Stoke Central Swing
    Article: Feb 24, 2017

    The Lib Dem fight-back continued in the Potteries by-election, as UKIP failed to live up to its own hype in the Leave centre of Britain.

    Liberal Democrat president Sal Brinton, seeing the party's share of the vote more than double, said from Stoke:

    "The Potteries decided there was no need to have UKIP's official leader in parliament when UKIP's unofficial leader is already in Number 10, pursuing a hard Brexit."

  • Stoke Central Swing
    Article: Feb 24, 2017
    By Ed Fordham in Liberal Democrat Voice

    And so it arrives… finally. Always too short, yet campaigns last forever. At the beginning they take ages, in the middle you wish it was over and at the end you want more time. The day after you are left with a sense of regret at the gap that re-opens in your diary.

    Written at 6.00pm before the count

  • Zulfiqar Ali
    Article: Feb 23, 2017
    By Ed Fordham in Liberal Democrat Voice

    Well after a few weeks, numerous days, endless hours and given my tiredness, countless minutes - polling day has commenced. And yes, we have reached that point. 'No more leaflets' shout the notices on the doors. Some of the notices scream 'NO MORE LEAFLETS', some of the house don't want UKIP leaflets specifically and some of the residents are quite articulate in their resistance. The most receptive and consistent in welcoming the avalanche of the leaflets have been the recycling boxes and bins.

  • Dr Zulfiqar Ali
    Article: Feb 22, 2017
    By Ed Fordham in Liberal Democrat Voice

    I always found one aspect of military history interesting - yes, army logistics. It's all very well sending 200 people out but how do you feed them at breakfast, in the morning, at lunch and in the evening and then when they are randomly hungry?

    So we have sought to run a HeadQuarters that is warm, friendly, welcoming and well stocked. Now there have been a few local stalwarts who have been champion at ensuring our kitchen has been well stocked - croissants, biscuits (most variants), savoury biscuits, bread, oranges, bananas, apples (most variants), and yes we also have oatcakes, cheese, tomatoes and some bacon. And how could we forget the ever ending supply of samosas.

  • By-Elections-Actual-Votes-17-02-17-600.png
    Article: Feb 20, 2017
    By John Grout in Liberal Democrat Voice

    Earlier in the week, on a whim, I collated figures for every vote cast so far this year,* by party, expecting either the Tories or Labour to lead by a decent margin. The actual result surprised me - prior to this week's by-elections, the Lib Dems were leading Labour by over 800 votes despite standing in barely over half the contests. Even after those by-elections, which were decidedly mixed for the Lib Dems (1 hold, 1 gain, 2 losses, 1 no-show), we're still leading the pack, 500 or so votes ahead of Labour.

  • Speedy Delivery
    Article: Feb 20, 2017
    By Jane Reed in Liberal Democrat Voice

    The last two Sundays I have been helping with our campaign in Stoke-on-Trent by delivering leaflets. The first visit I set off on a blustery, drizzly day with an armful of slippery leaflets. Within five minutes the leaflets had cascaded to the ground buffeted by the strong gusts of wind. I suppose this is one way of distributing leaflets!

  • Zulfiqar Ali
    Article: Feb 20, 2017
    By Ed Fordham in Liberal Democrat Voice

    When I was growing up in Lincolnshire one of the great 'urban myths' in the school ground was that Jimi Hendrix played Spalding. Only recently did it emerge that in fact this was no myth, but a hard solid evidential truth. On Spring Bank Holiday Monday May 29th 1967 he played at the Buld Auction Sheds. Now it is a matter of some legend as to whether people were there or not.

  • Zulfiqar Ali
    Article: Feb 20, 2017
    By Ed Fordham in Liberal Democrat Voice

    In the world of politics "one more heave" has all the images of failure. It conjures up the notion that if you keep trying you succeed eventually thus creating the cycle of failure, by always trying again.

    So in that sense, I have changed my own personal politics over time to ensure that every election is specific and that I get something out of it regardless of the result. Indeed, when I mentor candidates I often tell them "that you learn much more when you lose than if you win". This has the added advantage for me as a Liberal Democrat of being involved in a range of elections and constantly learning.

  • Zulfiqar Ali
    Article: Feb 19, 2017

    Problems often arise with a campaign - and today was one of those days when problems came in threes.

    1. We ran out of delivery and residents and deliverers complained that we were doing some houses for the second and third time.

    2. We ran out of canvassing that we had prepared and printed and ready and now have a data backlog