Wednesday, May 14, 2008

LibDems Become Serial Candidate Dumpers

Having dumped their candidate in Crewe for a younger, more voter friendly model, the LibDems have now done the same in Henley. What is it about LibDem candidates that they are considered good enough to fight general elections but not good enough for by elections? Presumably at a general election they are happy to take anyone in seats like this as they don't stand a cat in hell's chance.

Their candidate in Crewe resigned from the LibDems in disgust at his treatment. Their former Henley candidate Susan Cooper is none too pleased at her treatment - she didn't even make the shortlist in the reselection - and has retired to her garden to lick her wounds.

Hat tip: Jonathan Isaby on Three Line Whip

UPDATE: Conservative Party Chairman Caroline Spelman has just commented on this: “After the local elections the Liberal Democrats should have learnt that it is fresh ideas not just fresh faces the electorate is looking for. This is further evidence of Nick Clegg's inability to show leadership and purpose. The cynical way the Liberal Democrat hierarchy has casually discarded age and experience is an insult to people who have given their party years of service and an insult to the intelligence of voters.”

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Tories do this too dont they?

Erm, Ealing Southall anyone?

Anonymous said...

Good that after their C&N troubles, the Libs managed to get a "local" candidate (well, Plymouth is not that far from Henley....)

http://www.plymdems.info/PlymdemTeam.html

It would be a shame if he won now that he so "settled" down there.

rob's uncle said...

This is normal practice. You shouldn't be too high minded about it as it may be the route that you get to be an MP yourself, one of these days.

Anonymous said...

and he could only manage a poor 2nd when he is local....

Plymstock Dunstone - May 2008

Bruce Abbott,Independent,53

Mike Fox, Labour, 477

Stephen Kearney, LibDem, 636

Alan Skuse, UKIP, 417

Kevin Wigens, Conservative, 2,300

jane said...

wait and see what happens to the Labour candidate Basher McKenzie! If he isn't dumped he ought to be. Or his record as a Big Hitter will catch up with him

Anonymous said...

Is there really any need to select PPCs years ahead of an election? Keeping the appointments open might encourage wider participation and would favour local activists while still allowing for outside candidates to be chosen in special cases.

Nailbiting snotgobbler said...

Off topic - Gordon loses waxwork election by 84% against!

http://www.madame-tussauds.co.uk/GordonBrownVote/

By a convincing consensus he is duly voted out of Madame Tussauds, becoming the first incumbent Prime Minister not to be featured in the attraction for over 150 years.

Chris Paul said...

Seems fairly sensible - UNLESS the sitting candidate has made some real inroads in media and leaflets and so on.

It is a way to give AN Other candidate some profile that they can take to the seat they're really after.

Who are the Tories having? Oh yes, that's right, Boris' dad. Maxi Me. Brilliant.

Iain Dale said...

Chris Paul, as usual totally wrong again. The Tory candidate hasn't been selected yet. And I would bet my house on the fact that it will not be Boris's Dad, wonderful man though he is.

Anonymous said...

Be intersesting to see if Labour dump Karen Jennings from Hornsey and Wood Green, as is being rumoured, and parachute in 'my last job in public office' Ken Livingstone.

Unsworth said...

@ Chris Paul

"Who are the Tories having? Oh yes, that's right, Boris' dad. Maxi Me. Brilliant."

Source?

thechristophe said...

I seem to remember a certain party trying to circumvent their selection rules to get one Mr. Dyke to stand as a mayoral candidate.

Also as someone has mentioned, Tony Lit?

Standard practice, stop stirring, surely the public should expect more from our TV celebrities? Lest we forget you're on the Tory 'a-list' for the next election, which local candidate will you gazzump?

Anonymous said...

They are not known as LibDims for nothing.

They be tossers, all of 'em...

Paul Linford said...

This is not exclusively a LibDem trait. Labour have done it for years. And I seem to remember the Tories tried to do it in the case of Bob Neill in Bromley and Chislehurst.

Jonny Wright said...

Spelman is talking rubbish. How can she possibly know what the selection panel based their decision on? It's completely standard practice to re-start the selection process if there's a by-election, and sometimes that works against the actual PPC for the next general election - but that's just the way it's done, in all parties.

If you want to criticise the Lib Dems on a difference of policy or principle, then fine, go for it - but this really is manufacturing a story out of nothing, and it doesn't do anything to raise the standard of the national debate.

norman said...

Nothing matches what happened after the GLC election in 1981. Labour produced the moderate Andrew McIntosh for voters, and when the election was won, Red Ken with his entourage that included Tony Banks and Paul Boeteng deposed McIntosh in a Kremlin-like backroom coup. Labour party leaders knew this all along but kept quiet,denying the rumour- a disgraceful attitude. I remind this for those who support Red Ken and Labour party who seem to be cropping here frequently. As far the LibDems, living in Islington where LibDems control the council, I know their machinations well and nothing surprises me.

Anonymous said...

At least in Henley they can legitimately claim they are the challengers. No need for an ambigious bar chart this time :)

Iain Dale said...

Jonny, it may be standard practice in your party, but it is ceretainly not in the Conservatives. If a candidate is already in place, they fight the by election. I can't think of any by election where the candidate has been replaced/imposed. Bob Neill was selected in a normal and very hotly contested selection contest. He was certianly not imposed!

Unsworth said...

If Spellman's comments are a true reflection of the Conservative Party position then that will win the Party some support amongst the increasingly geriatric population.

Anonymous said...

This is a non-story. The Lib Dems have been re-electing PPCs when by-elections have occurred for a long time. For a party who can win by-elections on swings 25%+ it is a prudent measure, as you could end up with some back ward doofus elected to parliament. Most paper candidates of all parties are not of a high standard. If the Tory's were not so piss poor at by-elections they would have the same procedure. When did you last get a 25% swing again? In fact, when did you last win a seat from another party?? This is not news story. You are increasingly becoming as petty as Mark Pack.

Fib Dems said...

The Lib Dems are not the same party as 2004. They are down in the polls and need every activist they can retain and motivate.

Dumping this woman for a man living about 200 miles away will create schisms in the local party.

As to what the Lib Dem feminists make of it, just sit back and watch the eruptions.

Remember that the LDs have resisted all attempts at assisting females to become MP's and their selection rate in "safe seats" is now lower than the Conservatives. They even put a man in charge of their diversity cash (funded by Rowntree) for more female MPs!

Yes a female was switched into Crewe but that was unwinnable for the LDs.

Jonny Wright said...

Apologies for the error Iain, I was under the impression that re-selecting PPCs in the case of a by-election was normal practice across the board; I stand corrected re: the Conservatives. In any case, as other posters have pointed out, it's been normal practice in the Lib Dems for donkeys' years.

Ian Thorpe said...

At the General Election its a question of finding 640 people fool enough to want to be MPs. Not easy for a small party.

Anonymous said...

From prior thread:

To be fair, if the Tory Party did "do a Rennard" and let some supremo take over the running of the campaign and the selection of a photogenic local PPC, we might do better than is our wont.

At the moment it seems to be (Bromley, certainly) a load of blue rinses selecting a candidate just to spite the leadership, then running a useless campaign ("Leaflet dear? Do some telling dear? Ooh no. Me bunions are playing up and I've just got to make tea and Battenberg for these chubby CF to**ers to stand around and tak at one another over, once they come back from their half-hour canvassing).

The results of such abandonment are plain to see from Bromley 2006. Then it is the national party and Cameron particularly, that gets it in the neck for one Association's self-indulgence which designed its campaign specifically to defy him!