Interview with Bristol Councillors

Earlier this month, LDV took a road trip to Bristol to see Banksy – which, if you can stand the two hour queue, is definitely worth seeing.

While we were there we met up with Stephen Williams MP and councillors and campaigners working for Bristol. Yesterday we brought you the interview with Stephen Williams; today’s podcast is a discussion with three councillors from the authority: Cllr Jon Rogers, transport and sustainability supremo with a twitter and e-campaigning twist; Cllr Anthony Negus, now enjoying his second month as a councillor, but many more years as a Lib Dem campaigner, and Cllr Dr Mark Wright, PPC for Bristol South, councillor for Cabot ward and the cabinet member for housing, ICT and service improvement.

You can listen to the sound file right here on the web, or you can download it for use with your MP3 player. Why not listen to the conference next time you’re out delivering leaflets? If you use iTunes you can search the podcast directory for Lib Dem Voice; for other podcast software, you can use this RSS feed of LDV’s audio content.

BREAKING – first #newspeaker results

A few very brief words from the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party as mediated by twitter:

PaulRowen Waiting to vote in the next round of the Speaker’s election, Beckett, Bercow, Haselhurst, Widdecombe and Young all still standing

joswinson Beckett, Beith, Bercow, Haselhurst, Widdecombe and Young all standing for next round #newspeaker

joswinson Bercow 179, Young 112, Beckett 74 – Shepherd, Cormack, Lord and sadly Dhanda all out #newspeaker

SandraGidley Pleased that J B won 1st round but how will it change after re allocation of votes. Not over til fat lady stops voting

SandraGidley Then we will have to wait for new papers to be printed. What’s wrong with a quick sweep with the black. Markers on the old ones.

SandraGidley Bercow won first time round. Shepherd, lord, cormack and dhanda out. 10 mins for others to withdraw.

EDIT: follow the action as it happens on liberal tweets or on the #newspeaker hashtag (awfully busy!)

EDIT: SEE ALSO: Steve Webb almost liveblogging.

Guardian publishes full list of Euro election results

Kudos to the Guardian which has obtained council-level euro results and munged them together into one giant spreadsheet with click-sort columns, over on its datablog.

The hook the Guardian are using is that it allows you see just how well the BNP did in your area, but anyone with a political hat will want to play with the data and slice it in numerous different ways.

Congratulations, then, to South Lakeland, for the highest Lib Dem Euro score anywhere in the country; commiserations to Barking and Dagenham where we polled under 5%… and ooh – is that a weak correlation between high BNP poll and low Lib Dem score? I think it might be!

EDIT: A grumble in the comments that minor party scores are not there – if you click the link in the first text paragraph there’s a Google Docs spreadsheet with comprehensive information including every party / independent who stood.

WED: Green Lib Dems annual conference

News reaches the Voice of the Green Lib Dem’s annual conference, unfortunately just a little too late to promote it in time for the early registration rates:

SESSIONS INCLUDE: “The Great Nuclear Debate”; “Greening Your Council”; “Transition Towns”; “Eco Housing”; “Green Campaigning Workshop”

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS: Simon Hughes MP; Chris Huhne MP; Heather Kidd PPC; Donnachadh McCarthy, Media Environmentalist; Lembit Opik MP


Registrations received after 5th June

GLD members £22 (for both days) £14 (single day rate)

Non members £28 (for both days) £18 (single day rate)

Conference fees include lunch. A separate Saturday evening event is also being planned

BBC national projected vote share

Interesting set of vote share results from the BBC based on the first few hundred council seat results, where they are giving the following numbers:

Lib Dem – 28% (2005: 28% 2008: 25% )
Tory – 38% (2005: 31% 2008: 44%)
Labour – 23% (2005: 33% 2008: 24%)

Labour’s result is one of the lowest they have ever seen.

The context of those old results is all important. Labour have plumetted 10% from the last time these seats were contested, with the loss of the general election day boost hitting them as hard as the political climate.

The Tory vote share has actually fallen from last year, despite this bunch of largely county councils is typically fertile Tory territory. That said they have seen a significant increase over 2005.

For the Lib Dems, we’re on no change since 2005, but with an improved showing over last year.

Our open thread with the main interesting news continues here.

Voting Tory or UKIP on Thursday is not in Britain’s best interests

Former Sheffield Hallam MP Richard Allan explains why over on his blog:

The process of deciding law in the European Parliament is much more complex than in Westminster. In Westminster virtually every word of our laws is drafted by the Government with the odd amendment passed in the House of Lords where there is no Government majority. The scrutiny process can throw up errors and occasionally creates such controversy that a proposal is delayed or abandoned. But it does not generally offer individual MPs the opportunity to make substantial changes to the law.

In the European Parliament, individual MEPs with key places on legislative committees have real power in the drafting of laws. They are then able to work with their political groups to swing support behind their proposals. The key dynamic is usually between the three big political groups – the socialists, the centre-right and the liberals – as two of these coming together can command a Parliamentary majority.

Yet, in the European elections on Thursday, the UK is likely to end up with fewer MEPs in these three main groups and therefore will potentially have less direct influence over legislation. The Conservatives have made their case for pulling out of the main centre-right group and claim they can still work effectively with their old allies from a new grouping.

That last point about the Tories is covered in more detail at Jonathan Fryer’s blog today:

It is often said that one can judge a man by the company he keeps. So no wonder Tory grandees such as Chris Patten and Leon Brittan are appalled that the Conservative Party leader David Cameron is making new alliances with some of the most unpleasant parties in mainstream European politics, as a consequence of pulling out of the centre-right EPP grouping in the European Parliament. These new friends include Poland’s Law and Justice Party, fiefdom of the Terrible Twins, Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and self proclaimed defender of traditional Catholic values. Lech is now Poland’s president, but while Mayor of Warsaw, he banned Gay Pride marches. His brother Jaroslaw declared that the affirmation of homosexuality would lead to the downfall of civilization. So much for the Tories’ newly vaunted inclusiveness.

Latvia’s For Fatherland and Freedom Party, another of the right-wing parties with which the British Conservatives are making an alliance, is in many ways more worrying, with its xenophobic hyper-nationalism. Others reportedly being wooed by team Cameron include intolerant groups in the Czech Republic. The fact that Cameron prefers to mix with people like these, rather than his earstwhile partners Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, highlights not only the degree of his party’s current euroscepticsm, but also his recklessness in contemplating marginalising Britain from central decision-making within the European Union. No surprise, then, that several of the outgoing Conservative MEPs have branded the whole Cameron policy of Tory realignment in Europe as bonkers.

And since this entire blog post for LDV is turning into a complete clipfest from around the other blogs, here’s a final few words from Alex Wilcock (do put aside 40 minutes and go and read the whole post as well, though!):

In London, polls suggest that the Greens will hold their single MEP, but have no chance of getting a second. Liberal Democrat Jonathan Fryer, though, was only 0.06% of Londoners’ votes short of becoming the Lib Dems’ second London MEP last time. So, a Liberal Democrat vote should be able to give him just that tiny bit extra he needs to be elected. Besides, if you really want to make the BNP miserable after the election, can you think of a better way to do it than making sure the MEP that takes the place they were hoping for is from the most internationalist party, the most socially Liberal party, and, in London, an out gay man?