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Learning from the leadership election Mar 02

LibDem web geeks may interested in this LibDems Online fringe at party conference at 8pm on Saturday night:

Mark Pack and Martin Tod will discuss what we can learn from e-campaigns run during the leadership elections. All three campaigns are already working together to share what they’ve learnt and ensure that we use what we’ve learnt in future Lib Dem campaigning.

Since Martin‘s candidate was the winner (and the campaign website was very good), his experience will be worth hearing, as will those of Richard Huzzey of Bloggers4Chris, and Rob Fenwick, Simon Hughes‘s webmaster, who won’t be there is person but has sent his thoughts.

More details on FlockTogether.

Behold, the Emperor Ming Mar 02

Ming wins.

First round:
Campbell 44.7%
Hughes 23.2%
Huhne 32.1%

Second round:
Campbell 57.9%
Huhne 42.1%

Turnout was a whopping 72%.

Voted Feb 24

As a good “citizen journalist“, I took notes at the Edinburgh leadership hustings to type up later. I don’t think that’s going to happen – I’m still full of cold and not up to long posts. Stephen and Richard were there and have written good summaries.

Two aspects of the hustings I will mention. The first was the turnout. The room was so full that the Dyanmic Earth fire regulations meant there had to be an overflow room and the candidates repeated their speeches to the people who couldn’t get in the main hall. In an age of apparent political apathy, it was great to see so many people – some of them not even party members – turn out to hear politicians speak.

The second thing that I noticed at the hustings was that it wasn’t a pro-Ming rally. I had, perhaps naively, assumed that Ming’s home town would be lined up behind their local candidate, but there seemed to be a good split of supporters in the room, along with many people who were undecided. I felt that Chris Huhne’s speech won the biggest round of applause, which came as a pleasant surprise. Ming did his “I’ve got a speech but I’m not going to make it” turn, which seems somewhat less sponataneous when you’ve read other reports of it – he did it again last night.

The candidates were pretty well matched when it came to questions and I suspect that, as the hustings have gone on, they’ve adopted some of each others policies and turns of phrase to fill in gaps of their own. None of them scored a knockout blow, although I was pleased to see that Huhne has started reference Ming’s U-turn over Iraq. Huhne stickers appeared to be shifting well after the event.

I went to help me decide how to cast my second preference. Cracking a few jokes and being fairly genial, Ming was good enough to convince me that he does deserve to be my second choice. Simon did well on the day, but he did nothing to convince me that my concerns about him are unfounded.

Having voted, I worked out today that I could offset my disappointment if Huhne loses by betting on both Simon and Ming. I may not have got the best odds available, but with Simon at 16-1 and Ming at 3-2, I’ve placed my bets in such a way as to ensure a profit if Chris loses. And if he wins, I’ll be too pleased to notice. :-)

When bar charts attack Feb 14

Hughes: “Under my leadership, the laws of statistics will be turned on their head.”

Simon Hughes bar chart

(With apologies to Rob.)