Friday, 21 May 2010
We now have the full details of the coalition government and what it hopes to deliver. As a Lib Dem I am really proud to see some of our key policies lined up to be delivered in government. I believe that the compromises that have been made on both sides are sensible and pragmatic. It looks to me that the needs of people have been put ahead of rivalry and tribalism. One of the key things for me is the transfer of power from central to local level. Coupled with the work Nick Clegg will be doing on reforming our politics, I hope we can get to the point where people feel they can have real influence and affect change in their local area. I hope too that trust can be restored in politics, an it is once again seen as something that can deliver for the common good. There will be testing times ahead for the coalition partners, but I know from talking to colleagues that Liberal Democrats are approaching the future with optimism, and a determination to make Britain a fairer, greener and better place to live!
Saturday, 15 May 2010
After the count last week I took a week out to recuperate and to spend some time with the family. So we have had the results nationally and of course in Spelthorne. Locally I am pleased with the result, certainly in when taken in context of the national results. We had a big swing to us from the Conservatives, and saw Labour drop to a poor third. We are the challengers here on the borough council, county council, and now in the General Election. We increased our vote by more than 60%, and were a fraction away from our best ever result in the constituency. All that said, I did believe we would do even better than that. We are going to redouble our efforts to improve from here. Next up is the borough elections next year, so there is no time to rest on our laurels. I must thank all the people who voted for us in the election and all the people who delivered leaflets, canvassed and sat at polling stations. My agent was an absolute legend, and without his calming influence and well organised work, it would have been a tough job. As it was I had a great time over the last two years. Now we move forward to the next elections, in coalition nationally, but working hard locally to spread our distinct message and looking forward to increasing our seats on Spelthorne next year!
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
The campaigns have been run, the arguments have been aired and the battle buses have toured the country. Tomorrow it's over to the people of Britain to vote. This election has been fascinating, surprising and conducted at a heck of a pace. It seemed to go into overdrive after the first leaders' debate on ITV. In 36 hours most candidates will know their fate. I have enjoyed the last two years campaigning across Spelthorne, and I've got to know a lot of people over that time. Tomorrow, I hope local people will vote Lib Dem, for fairer taxes, a better start for our children, a sustainable economy and to fix our broken politics. I really want to see these fundamental things delivered by the new Parliament. We cannot expect the people of this country to back difficult choices unless we give them fundamental reforms that bring fairness to our society.
Monday, 3 May 2010
Yesterday our campaign got the support of Vince Cable, who came to Sunbury to talk to voters. Local people were very surprised to find him on their doorstep, and we got a fantastic response. With a small army of Lib Dems knocking on doors asking people what they thought they would do when they reached the ballot box on Thursday, many people are now supporting us, on top of the many voters who have already supported us over the last few years. Vince was impressed with the momentum we have built up here, and he recognised that we have excellent prospects at this election in Spelthorne. The sight of us all marching down the road caused quite a stir, including Sarah pushing our daughter Evie down the road complete with golden rosette! Everyone had a great time, and the response of local people confirmed that more and more people are switching to us at this election.
Saturday, 1 May 2010
Last night we had our second hustings event in Spelthorne. Unlike the previous one we had six candidates on the platform. We still got through a range of questions, including a sharp question on energy security, and also one on the banks. Apart from one or two rumbles of discontent from the independents when they didn't get a chance to answer a question, it was another good natured evening, and I answered the questions in a straightforward and honest way. Now that the two events are done, we now need to sprint to the finish on Thursday, and the activity out on the streets is going to be frenetic. I want to get across the whole borough one more time between now and Thursday, and hope to meet many more people before they cast their votes.
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Well, as I said last night, we had a great hustings meeting in Staines last night. There was an excellent turnout, and a broad range of questions. We were asked about everything from Education, to Trident, Government support for Faith Groups, and Immigration. We were well tested on our respective parties policies, and also on issues that are traditionally left to individual MPs to make personal decisions on. The audience were keen to hold us to account, and talking to many people afterwards, they said it had been helpful for them to hear us live, and it would inform their voting intentions considerably. Facing a large audience is a good test of a prospective MPs mettle. It is amazing how quickly the microphone seems to reach you as you gather your thoughts (very quickly!) to give your answer. When a question comes out of left field, suddenly even the keenest of candidates looks at the mic as if it was on fire! We have another hustings event tomorrow night at Kempton Park, and it will be interesting to see how that goes now we have heard each others answers to a lot of questions!
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
I have just got back from tonight's hustings meeting in Staines. I am going to get some shut eye so will not do a post on the whole thing tonight, but I can say that I had a really good time and the questions were excellent. The audience were great, and I can't wait till Friday in Sunbury!