Dave Yates (Local Party Chairman) reflects on the last twelve months, and looks forward to 2016 with optimism...
Following on from a gruelling defeat both nationally and locally, the Liberal Democrats' party membership has 20,000 new members, a staggering 44% since May 7th 2015. All is most certainly not lost. Having been the minor party in a coalition government, facing both general elections and local elections on the same day, coupled with the Conservative message of fear around an SNP/Labour coalition scenario, no one can ‘hand on heart’ say they knew what to expect when it came to the election results. There was no precedent. There is no precedent either, for the strength at which our membership has grown in such a short amount of time.
Having selected a new leader, Tim Farron, we are fighting back harder than ever, with unprecedented levels of swing voters turning to Liberalism for a fairer society and stronger economy.
“Are you a liberal? If you are, we need you to join and get active within your communities. Help us fight back!"
- Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Recent figures show formerly held council seats, lost on May 7th last year, are switching back to Lib Dem representation, in by-elections so far held across the nation.
Here in Poole we went from 16 councillors down to 6, making it difficult to oppose the administration and even harder still to effectively scrutinise the different committees of council.
The silver lining to the results in May, here in Poole at least, is a whopping 35% increase in local party membership. Residents are coming together from all over the borough in solidarity, for Liberalism. If you know somebody who thinks liberally, I urge you to point them in our direction - they can join today at www.libdems.org.uk for as little as £1 per month!
Poole council elections 2019 will see our most ambitious, and yet challenging, campaign in the history of the borough. As we fight to win back any seats lost last May, and then some, we will undoubtedly call upon our members for support in delivering, door knocking, telephone canvassing, surveying. But further to this we need specialist support in other areas. Have you got any hidden talents we don’t know about? Any ideas for future campaigns/literature/surveying/website content? Any issues in your areas that are not currently being dealt with? Don’t be afraid to let us know! Keep a look out also for upcoming events as we build a social calendar like never before!
So whether you joined because it was the ‘trending’ thing to do, or you want to keep fit by going out delivering regularly and our membership is cheaper than any gym membership, or you have skills you wish us to exploit, or you didn’t like Clegg and you’re glad he’s gone, or you’ve just moved back to Britain and you missed us, or you love a good chat over a glass of wine, or you (like me) believe in a fairer society, we offer you all a warm WELCOME & wish a Happy New Year to all members new and old/er. It is time for us to FightBack with everything we’ve got, fight every election or by-election as if we’re a new party and nobody knows what we stand for. It’s time to start shouting from the rooftops about our record of achievements in government. Time to once again find our voice. More importantly it’s time to remind everybody that we are the one true liberal voice in Britain.
Britain needs Liberalism and a ‘box-fresh’ modern approach to community support.
The #LibDemFightback has started, the Phoenix is Rising!