Sal Speaks: April 2019

April 18, 2019 6:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Local election campaigns around the country are going well with just under two weeks left. Like many of you, our home has moved into our regular election machine, and our driveway is the Watford garden poster factory!

If you haven't yet, make sure to ask your local team for a garden poster (or window poster if you cannot have a garden one) and show your friends and neighbours that the Lib Dems are winning here!

We are a key part of the new democracy for our country. We are ready for it.

These local elections are our absolute priority as a party. We believe we will win many more seats on 2 May, and take control of more councils. Most importantly we still need your help in these last few days to win them! We need help with knocking on the doors of our supporters to remind them to vote, delivering leaflets giving people vital information about what our Lib Dem team in their area are doing to get improvements in local services, and we need to tell our friends in our street about our local Lib Dems. Please help our thousands of candidates, either in your area, or if there aren't local elections near you, go to your nearest council elections to help, you can find out where you should go to help campaign by signing up as a volunteer here or by emailing advice@aldc.org

On Tuesday I was in St Albans with Vince Cable helping Daisy Cooper and her brilliant team. We were knocking on the doors of our supporters with postal votes to see if they had voted yet and we were getting a great response to councillors, campaigners and Daisy as our PPC.

For me, this year's elections remind me of the 1993 local elections, when we made a very substantial number of gains, especially from the Tories, as their own supporters were disgusted with John Major and the Tory Government. Today's Tory voters are just as furious with Theresa May over the Brexit negotiations, and ready to listen to us, both what we are doing locally, but also in our fight for a final say over Brexit. What is different this time is that the Labour vote is also very soft so keep up the good work!

Our preparations for the European Elections on 23rd May are now well underway, with a great list of Euro candidates ready to hit the campaign trail. Because many people are seeing the Euro elections as a proxy referendum on Brexit, these elections will feel very different from the usual ones, and we have a strong story to tell. Check out our candidate list below:

Read more

I know some members had hoped that we could team up with Change UK (The Independent Group) to form a single Remain campaign, but I am sorry to say that hasn't been possible for three reasons.

  1. Change UK only received confirmation from the Electoral Commission that they have now been registered as a political party this week.
  2. The Electoral Commission rules for list elections say that where parties work together they must register a joint umbrella name, and that cannot be done before close of nominations (it usually takes two to three months).
  3. Finally, Change UK have made it plain in discussions with us and also publicly that they do not wish to work with us or the Greens in the elections.

This year's elections remind me of the 1993 local elections, when we made a very substantial number of gains

Part of the problem here has been the very rapid decision by the Prime Minister to get an extension to the Withdrawal Agreement, and the fact that the Order for the Elections was only laid in Parliament last week, but the other part is that parties need to know each other and trust each other to work together and Change UK are very new to all of this. Our politics are at a crossroads, and both the Labour and Conservative parties are falling apart. We and other parties, like Change UK, are a key part of the new democracy for our country. We are ready for it.