Given how quickly the Liberal Democrat membership passed 100,000 after Theresa May called a general election, it’s unsurprising if extremely welcome that the party’s membership has now hit a record all-time high, topping 101,768.That previous high point was way back in 1992, reached at the time of a contest for Party President between Charles Kennedy and Martin Thomas. Kennedy’s letter with the ballot papers set his first priority if he were to win as “the constitutional review process”. His second priority? Looking at cooperation with those in other parties and none on key policy issues. A duo of issues that will feel very familiar I’m sure to current Party President Sal Brinton.
Kennedy went on to say the party must, “ensure that the Liberal Democrats are recognised as the engine room of both ideas and initiative in British politics”. Not a bad ambition for Tim Farron to have in mind as he today visits Oxford to give the party’s local election campaigns a final push:
We are going into these local elections bigger than ever before, with a clear message and a growing sense of momentum.
In many of the counties where these elections are taking place it is the Liberal Democrats who are the main challengers to the Conservatives. Liberal Democrat councillors are the strong opposition to the Conservatives across the country, standing up to them on cuts to schools and elderly care.
You don’t need to agree with us on everything to agree that Britain needs a strong opposition to fight for you and your communities against Tory cuts to our schools, our NHS and our social care services. In county halls just as in Westminster, Liberal Democrats are that strong opposition that Britain needs.
UPDATE: Liberal Democrat membership is now, for the first time, higher than that of the Conservative Party.