Mock hustings for Nick Coates, LibDem candidate for North east Somerset
I am running a 'mock hustings' at my office at 18.00 on Thursday 7th to rehearse Nick, challenging him and ensuring he has all the answers and is fully prepared for the real thing. I need several people to join my team and ask searching and awkward questions. Please let me know if you would like to come.
Alice Hovanessian Fri 1 Nov 2019 12:09PM
Why do the Lib Dems want to revoke Article 50 when we had a democratic referendum and they are meant to be democrats? He will get asked that a lot and should be fully briefed on that one, but just in case he needs practice.
Jane Riekemann Fri 1 Nov 2019 2:45PM
Sorry Mark, can’t make it. Q: Are your party leader’s attacks on Labour and Corbyn in particular productive or counter productive for the Remain cause.
Q. What is the biggest local issue that you as NES’s MP think should be tackled? Why and what would your solutions be?
goders Fri 1 Nov 2019 8:00PM
Remainers need to vote tactically.its obvious that means backing Labour in Ress Mogg territory.
Ian Bartle Sat 2 Nov 2019 6:30PM
Some good points made here that Lib Dems could divide the Remain vote. I've posted under 'election planning' thread that the poll indicating that LD's are only 6% behind Con is nonsense. Based on an extremely hypothetical and misleading question which was 'imagine that the result in your constituency was expected to be very close between the Cons and Lib Dems and no other parties were competitive'.
Personally as a Labour supporter and obviously strong Remainer, if I lived in Bath I'd be willing to vote LDem to keep out the Tory - and even tacitly (ie via Bath for Europe) campaign for Wera. So I feel really exasperated that the Lib Dems are not returning that compliment by not pushing too hard against Labour in NES and making outlandish claims based on a rogue poll - which is doing the rounds on twitter right now
Gitte Dawson Sun 3 Nov 2019 10:57AM
I think there is a misunderstanding here. Yes, Labour came second in the last general election. The Lib Dems have never put a lot of effort into this constituency because we were third and know that many people vote tactically.
However, a year ago we selected a candidate who was keen to really fight this constituency (Nick Coates) and he and others have worked very hard, canvassing all year to make Nick known. He has had a very good response on the doorstep. Also, as you know, the Lib Dems won in a big way in the local elections (I accept that isn’t normally totally indicative of what to expect in a general election but we did EXCEPTIONALLY well, getting more votes than the Tories even). Then there were the Euro elections, and again the Lib Dems “won” NE Somerset. That is why Best for Britain, a group that prides itself on its neutral position, recommends that tactical voters should vote LibDem in NE Somerset – see https://getvoting.org/. This is based not just on recent election results but also a large MRP poll which uses statistical techniques to give remarkably accurate predictions at constituency level.
I would like to see the Remain parties standing just one candidate rather than one each but it looks like that is not going to happen. It isn’t just whether you put up a candidate or not (not putting up a candidate loses you £30,000 national election spending allowance, by the way). It is whether you regard a particular constituency as a target and spend a lot of effort and money on it. It looks like the Labour Party does not consider North Somerset a winnable seat. At least their constituency website doesn’t even mention a candidate and there are no events listed where support might be encouraged. Therefore, there is no doubt that the Lib Dems stand the best chance in North Somerset. And that Survation poll isn’t as misleading as you say although it could have been presented better.
I am sure there will be many other constituencies where Labour stand a good chance of winning and are therefore treating it as a target, and where the Lib Dems will be putting in very much less effort, if any. Best for Britain are sure to tell us which those are, and I am sure LibDem voters will listen!
Alison Born Sun 3 Nov 2019 8:33AM
I’m afraid I ‘m at a talk at the University on Thursday until 7pm. Shall I see if Winston is able to come? He’s good at challenging questions.
Ruth Malloy Sun 3 Nov 2019 9:42AM
Although electoral reform (proportional representation & single tranferable vote) is not mentioned in the LD campaign literature, I think it's really important to stress that LDs support this and see it as a priority. Restoring fairness to the democratic process of electing our representatives is key ... so we don't have to keep re-running these arguments about voting tactically, not splitting the (Remain) vote etc. For Green Party supporters in particular, I think this is an important point.
Alice Hovanessian Sun 3 Nov 2019 12:49PM
All good points. As Bath for Europe, we can't support a particular party or candidate, but we can only point people to the tactical voting websites and encourage them to support the remain supporting candidate most likely to win in each constituency. We aren't in a position to influence party messaging, and there are a lot of messages we will disagree with I am sure, but they have their own advisers and polls which determine how they argue their points. We remainers have to be the progressive alliance and vote for the parties most likely to win in each area, as advised by the websites, as we did before quite successfully. As individuals independent from Bath for Europe, we should campaign for whichever party/candidate we think think has the best chance in a particular constituency, although we have to be careful not to split the vote of course. I think it's safest for us to trust the research undertaken by organisations like Best for Britain, but maybe we should wait for a few more assessments by other websites before we make up our minds.
Mark Baines Mon 4 Nov 2019 10:54AM
Thank you all for your comments. I will put them in front of Nick on Thursday.
Alan Richard Champneys Tue 5 Nov 2019 9:42AM
Q. If in the run up to the election it became clear from polling that labour had a better chance of unseating Jacob, would he step aside to avoid splitting the remain vote?
Jane Riekemann Wed 6 Nov 2019 10:03AM
There’s a huge amount of discussion ( mostly negative) about the recent poll that seems to suggest LDs ahead of Labour in NES. Many LDs have thought it dodgy ( me too) and he will need to address this and be open and transparent in his response ( sorry - not a question). Even Layla Moran’s been carefully critical of it.
Emma Knaggs · Fri 1 Nov 2019 10:45AM
Sorry Mark, that clashes with steering.
My difficult question is the main one:
In 2017, the Lib Dem candidate was 25k votes behind Jacob Rees-Mogg. Even with a surge of support following the local elections, a Lib Dem win here seems overly ambitious. Don't we risk splitting the Remain vote and gifting JRM another term?