General Election 2019
By Kevin Daws and George Miles in GLD Challenge magazine 2019-20
There is no question that the 2019 General Election was a disaster both for the Liberal Democrats and for this country.
Where did we go wrong?
When Jo Swinson was elected our new leader following the skilful leadership of Sir Vince Cable and the fantastic results in the May 2019 local elections and the June European Election, she had a hard act to follow. Any new leader wishes to make their mark and Jo was no exception and she made the decision to move from 'Bollocks to Brexit' to 'Revoke Article 50' and, in my opinion, she wanted to make that move not just to make her mark but because Labour would move their position at their Annual Conference to supporting a Peoples' Vote which would squeeze the LibDem Vote. On this basis many LibDems, like myself, did not speak out and say that this was a mistake but we should have done. Whilst Jo made a mistake we as members also made a mistake by not questioning and challenging her new strategy.
In my opinion the second mistake that the Party and its leadership made was to oppose moving the date to achieve Zero Carbon date from 2045 to 2040 or earlier. Climate Change and the environment was a major issue for the LibDems but we were marginalised both because other parties were credibly arguing for an earlier Zero Carbon date and also because of the perception that our leader failed to positively promote and explain our policies during Channel 4s Climate Change debate.
The third mistake was that as a party we appeared to have ditched our targeting strategy and I think this contributed both to the defeat of Tom Brake in Carshalton & Wallington as well as to Jo's own defeat.
Green & Radical Liberalism
Whoever the next leader of the Liberal Democrats is they need to have the courage to adopt radical policies along with radical and targeted campaigning strategies.
Liberator magazine has many reviews of the November 2019 General Election campaign and many ideas of how to do better next time, from Tony Greaves and others.
Duncan Brack published 'Policies on climate change: Liberal Democrats, Labour, Green Party, Extinction Rebellion' ' on our website
First Past the Post is an unfair voting system where we vote for the likeliest candidate to defeat the worst, not for our favourite.
See my article "Towards a progressive politics"
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