Sophie Tyrill, new Liberal Democrat member and formerly of the Conservative Party, has written about what it is like to switch political parties:
This was not a decision that I made lightly, I have been thinking about it for a couple of months. It’s also incredibly scary, I never thought about what it would be like to defect from one political party to another…
I can honestly say that, even within the space of 12 hours, I can already tell that this has been a great decision. Since posting my tweet announcing that I had officially become a Member of the Liberal Democrats the response has been overwhelming. I have received so many tweets and DMs welcoming me into the party, I’ve had local Members contacting me and adding me into Facebook groups so that I am able to stay up to date with events. It has honestly been a task keeping up with and responding to all the notifications I am receiving, it is beyond any welcome I could have imagined receiving.
Her reason for switching? Liberalism.
I knew joining a party that truly represented the Liberal values that I have always been so passionate about would be the right step.
Her message for other liberals who are not yet Liberal Democrats? To do what she did too:
I know some will be reading this, possibly having the same dilemma as me. You may, like me, be on the liberal wing of the Conservative Party, feeling pushed out by the Right and the general toxicity within the Party right now. You may be feeling uncertain about moving parties, wondering whether you will be welcomed or able to build the friendships again that you may have done in your old party. If you are feeling like this, and no longer feel the Conservative Party is for you, I would 100% urge you to take the plunge and leave. I feel such a huge relief having made this decision, and I am confident that you will too!
More information about joining the Liberal Democrats here and this reminds me of the fascinating book about MPs who switched to or from the old Liberal Party.
UPDATE: Liz Jarvis has also written an account of what it’s like to join the party, from Labour in her case.