Political

Lib Dem plans for selecting European Parliament candidates take another step forward

Mark Valladares reports:

A schedule for the selection of our European Parliament regional candidates lists for 2019 has been agreed, and Returning Officers are being appointed.

There will be those of you who might think that this is all a bit premature, especially given the small detail of the referendum on 23 June, and you may well be right. However, any advert isn’t due to be published until after that, so in the event that there is a vote to leave the European Union, not so much effort is wasted. It is, I think, probably better to be prepared on the basis of optimism…

Without incumbents [outside the south east], contests will be, potentially, far more open, making the job of Returning Officers rather more challenging.

And so I’m back, from Outer Space, in my newly appointed role as the Returning Officer for London. I’m looking forward to working with a new shortlisting committee, and to meeting a bunch of interesting candidates.

As I wrote when the English Party decided on 2016 selections last year:

That’s sensibly quick as for really good candidates who know how to use their time well, having over two years as a selected candidate will greatly increase their ability to assist the rebuilding of the party in those areas of the country that can very easily make the difference between a gain of a seat or not.

Likewise for smart local parties who know how to make good use of selected list candidates, that’s a good long period of time they can harvest those benefits.

(Scotland and Wales also decided to go for 2016 selections.)

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