In a comment on my post about Martin Kyrle’s excellent local history of the Liberal / Liberal Democrats in Hampshire, Nigel Ashton kindly drew my attention to another local history: Southport Liberal Association – the first 100 years by Michael Braham (1985). Former Southport MP Ronnie Fearn is central to the modern revival but Braham’s book also goes much further back into the past.
It’s a very interesting read although it is a little brief and matter of fact over Ronnie Fearn’s selection defeat at the hands of Iain Brodie-Browne ahead of the 1983 election and then subsequent selection victory over him ahead of 1987. For a multiple candidate to be ousted in this way is unusual; for them to subsequently win back the selection even more so.
As the book has been put online for free, I’ve also reproduced it below and if you’re also interested in a quick semi-graphical introduction to the party’s roots take a look at my poster, What do the Liberal Democrats believe?
(Note that after p.69 a few earlier pages are repeated before the correct pages start flowing again.)