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Lib Dems on the up!

May 31, 2019 6:55 PM

So write our local members in the Evening Argus this week.

Rob Heale wrote:

The statistics tell the story... the Lib Dems tripled their share of the vote and number of seats here in the South East Region in the European elections. In Brighton & Hove, they secured an excellent 22.2% of the vote and are the second party in the City, probably for the first time in a century. People can now vote for a progressive, forward-thinking party in the knowledge that their vote really does count.

Nationally the Lib Dems were second with over 20% of the vote and 16 MEPs elected, decisively beating the Greens, Labour and Conservatives in the share of the vote. The Lib Dems are very much a solid choice for the many people who are left of centre or progressive centre and want to see a country that is dedicated to environmental protection, internationalist in outlook, supports social justice and defends individual freedom.

And Jim May writes:

It is pleasing to note the vote of confidence in the Lib Dems policy on Europe that led to its vote share increasing by almost 17% in Brighton & Hove since the last EU election. This builds on the major increase in local membership and support in the last three years and reflects the liberal outlook of most of Brighton & Hove, spearheaded by the younger generation despite minimal press coverage.

Nationally the resurgence of the Lib Dems could be a game changer. Will the Conservatives, under a new leader, divide between the English nationalists and one nation Tories? Meanwhile Labour navigates between Momentum on the left (dominant in our city) and social democrats like the MP for Hove, Peter Kyle. The voters are stuck in the middle between the Conservatives and Labour moving to the extremes. European countries have learnt a mature way to accept coalitions, while the Lib Dem experience with coalition government in the UK was painful and in the end nearly destroyed the party. Surely we must learn to work "across the divide"?

Meanwhile, in our region, we now have three Lib Dem MEPs in Catherine Bearder, Antony Hook and Judith Bunting to ensure (alongside our mayor and Green MEP Alex Phillips) that the Remain voice in the city is well represented. For those who like numbers, the "Progressive Alliance" if led by the Liberals would score gains of 16 MEPs in the UK (including 4 for the Greens) and 178 across Europe (including 69 Greens). Looking at any newspapers, you would think Brexit was the only show in town.

Rob Heale was the Lib Dem candidate in St Peter's & North Laine ward at the May 2019 local council elections. Jim May was a Liberal Council in Brighton from 1979 to 1988; his daughter Orla May stood for the Lib Dems for the first time in Goldsmid ward at the May 2019 local elections.