The ghost of 2019 would like a word

The ghost of 2019 would like a word.

As the English Young Liberals X/Twitter account recently pointed out we’ve been here before with MRP excitements. This is what the Thornhill Review, our 2019 election post mortem, recounted:

MRP polling … results were like all our Christmases come at once; it put us ahead in 73 seats.

When the results were in, Father Christmas didn’t turn up. We won 11 seats, not 73.


Because we got carried away:

When the party saw MRP polling … it adopted that as the ‘new reality’ despite the underlying reality of our lack of campaigning infrastructure in many of the new target seats… Where was the evidence of continuous canvassing activity over a period of years? Where were the recognised local champion candidates? … In most seats the most precious commodity is time (in years) because that is what it takes to get the candidate and teams in place and the doors knocked on. 

That is why we need to stick to our plan.

Stick to the plan: Daniel Craig

Outside of by-elections, when the whole national party piles into just one place, seats are not won from nowhere in a few weeks.

Of course, things are looking better for how far down our target seat list the celebrations will go once the votes are counted.

Why going to help in target seats matters

A reminder from 1997 why people going to help in target seats matters. more

But only if we avoid the mistakes of the past. Only if we avoid overstretching ourselves. Only if we stick to our plan.

Thanks to the boundary changes, we start this election really on 8 seats – the number of seats we would have won last time on the new boundaries.

Now, I know it’ll be a bit of a hard sell if I end up having to email you to say that 9 seats next Thursday is a good result, because we made a net gain. 

But here is some other context. If we make the most gains that our party or its predecessors have made at any general election for the last century, better even than [insert name of your favourite past leader here], that takes us to… 35. 

So when we see MRPs putting us well above that, let’s remember just how wild a result that would be. And let’s stick to the plan: win in our target seats and build up our organisation outside our target seats. The closer we get to 10pm polling day, the higher is the priority that needs to be given to the first part of that.

If you are not sure where best to help, just drop a line to campaigners@libdems.org.uk

We have made great progress working together as a team over the last five years, concentrating at each type of election on where we have the best chances to win. 

Let’s see that through in the last week.

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3 responses to “The ghost of 2019 would like a word”

      • I hope that the Party got its money back from the pollster. Thar size of error is appalling.

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