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lib dems poor at local level?

12 replies

ibangthedrums · 25/04/2010 14:39

I am an undecided voter and decided to email my local lib dem candidate. I had noticed his name wasn't on some of the official lists of candidates. I was also concerned that his bio was limited in info and did not say anything about my local area so asked what he would bring to the area (there are alot of social problems in many parts of the consituency).

This was his reply

Thanks for getting in touch. Apologies for taking a while to get back to you, there is a lot going on at present.

Yes, I was recently asked to stand for the Lib Dems in . Hopefully you will be receiving info from the party soon.

In the mean time, you may well be aware that the Lib Dems launched our manifesto this week, which can be viewed as a PDF here:

Hopefully you also saw the leaders debate this week which outlined more of what we, as a party, stand for.

What can I bring to
- aside from all the policies the party stands for, I can offer my blood, sweat and tears - and a promise I will do all I can to support and do all I can for anyone who comes to me in need of assistance - in any shape or form. The going to Parliament and being part of the Government always gets a lot of coverage when people think about MPs, but I believe the advocacy work (I believe Lib Dem MPs call it "case work", I have no idea if other MPs have a term for it) is vital - whether it is related to housing issues (with social or private landlords) or health issues or anything else, an MP should be involved in making peoples lives better to the best of thir ability.

I hope this goes some way to answering your questions.

If you require any further information / clarification, please let me know.

Is this just me or is this a very poor answer and as a result I will prob not vote lib dem now. The party really needs to up its game if this is being replicated over the country.

OP posts:
Meglet · 25/04/2010 14:44

So this isn't your current local councillor? Does sound like a generic response TBH.

Our local lib dem man is fantastic. He always gets back to me when I'm moaning about something and if I copy him in on e-mails I send to the council he acknowledges me and it gets done. But he lives in the same street so you can't get more local than that.

Whereas the tory isn't local and I bet if he got in he wouldn't be as helpful.

ibangthedrums · 25/04/2010 14:51

I have no idea where he is from (and still don't). All his bio says is that he is a marketing consultant. Our councillor is labour and lives on my street too. He is fab.

It all just seems a bit half hearted. We have been labour for a long time but this is the time for the lib dems to make a real impact and a generic answer with little detail or substance just't won't do it.

OP posts:
vesela · 25/04/2010 19:27

The Lib Dems, given the way the electoral system operates against them and the fact that they have fewer resources than the other parties (a lot of blood, sweat and tears though ) have had to build up their seat numbers by targeting those resources pretty carefully. So yes, some candidates in very safe Tory/Labour seats don't mount very big campaigns. Also, while a lot of candidates are local councillors, a lot aren't.

Another thing is that Lib Dem candidates have apparently been getting massive amounts of email - I heard just now that the candidate against Oliver Letwin in West Dorset gets a couple of hundred a day, and spends a lot of time each day trying to answer them personally. So their answers may not be as long as they might like, ideally.

WebDude · 25/04/2010 23:06

ibangthedrums - just wondering how "safe" a seat you are in?

In our area the Lib Dem candidate had about 24% of the vote in 2005, getting a swing of 7% away from the sitting MP (Labour), and things might get interesting if more people decide against voting for "the big two".

Putting up candidates for every seat means that there are bound to be some areas with low local support, and clearly with low local numbers, there is a good chance of not finding someone who is a local who is ready to quit their current job, or be able to put in weeks of campaigning without any guarantee of becoming the MP.

So I'm not as negative about the response you had, and judging by his response (about what the Lib Dems call advocacy) it seems likely he is a newcomer to the party, perhaps much younger than many, and perhaps his current employers are not wanting him to go into much detail about who he works for (because he may be a named member of senior staff and losing him could lose clients).

Since your local Labour councillor is 'fab' I am a touch surprised you are undecided... or has your MP decided to stand down? Have you had responses from Labour or Conservative candidates?

WebDude · 25/04/2010 23:13

There's a website called which might have more info about your prospective Lib Dem MP, at least giving current phone number and e-mail address (though only the phone number is likely to give a good clue about location, if it isn't a mobile number).

I meant to add, sometimes the first postal address you see might be the local LD party office, but if your prospective MP has a website that may well give the home address, so you can find out how "local" or not he is.

ibangthedrums · 26/04/2010 10:44

Webdude - I actually view local and general elections as something different. I am looking for my councillor to achieve certain things and my MP another and because my vote will influence who runs the country. Thus, my vote for a councillor and MP may be different.

I do appreciate all your comments to put things into perspective though. It is not that I would refuse to vote for him if he was not from the area it it more the total lack of any local response. My area has been among the hardest hit by the recession and even a sentence making reference to that and lib dem economic policies would have sufficed!

OP posts:
WebDude · 26/04/2010 11:54

So, is yours a 'safe seat' in the general scheme of things?

If so, then I suspect the prospective MP could be included to make up the numbers (more chance of Hell freezing over than getting a majority, but included to (a) give public a chance to vote against incumbent and (b) show how the numbers reflect support for the Lib Dems across the whole of the UK, and why PR should be adopted).

I saw the numbers of candidates with 630 for Labour but 631 for Lib Dems and Conservatives before posting that link to and had thought that the Lib Dems had decided to place a candidate against John Bercow (Speaker) because I knew that UKIP and BNP were standing there. However I was wrong and it appears all three big parties are now standing in 631 seats, so the Conservatives must have left one alone.

mrsbaldwin · 26/04/2010 12:04

I met a local Labour candidate for council elections recently (she was out canvassing). I asked her two dead easy questions about local issues - she seemed to barely know the answers and a colleague with her jumped in to help. So apparently-not-very-good candidates are not confined to the Lib Dems.

WebDude · 26/04/2010 12:43

Thanks for that, MrsB. With 630+ seats being included by the 3 major parties, there are bound to be quite a few "newbies" and some on short notice because the "sitting" MP only decided to resign their seat in the last 10 or so months, so what were 'safe' seats may no longer be so, depending on voter apathy / concern / suspicion...

Habbibu · 26/04/2010 12:45

Our MP is a v famous Lib Dem, and he's fab - replies quickly and thoroughly, follows up issues, etc.

PinkoLiberal · 26/04/2010 20:45

dh grew up with paddy as his mp, idolises him

we now live in wales and have a alabour mp and lib dem am

when ds3 needed help with a statement we called both

mp said not my type of thing

am drove over, took notes, drove to lea and made4 (successful) case same day

Im know what I think locally, and that isd nLD are fabulous

PinkoLiberal · 26/04/2010 20:45

(sorry for types, had extremely wriggly over tired toddler on lap as I typed)

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