Learning from 2019 and packing a punch in target seats

This committee knows that to get ourselves back to winning ways, we need to be ambitious going forwards and honest about the recent past.

In that vein, this month we discussed the internal investigation we commissioned into the Liberal Democrat response to the Unite to Remain campaign, and its structural and electoral implications for the Party.

The discussion was frank and robust, and it was agreed that we must ensure that lessons are learned and in particular that prior to any future negotiations we must have a clear objective together, with protocols established to protect the democratic, administrative and political interests of the party, and full administrative support for the negotiation team.

Speaking as the Chair of the FCEC, I am keen to highlight my, our, commitment to making sure that these recommendations translate into real action.

Looking forwards

There was a spending options paper looking at how money we do not have might be spent if it is gifted to us. For 2021 this is predominantly about appeals for funding our Scottish and Welsh Parliamentary campaigns.

We received clarification on G8 funding for the massive slate of elections coming in 2021, while also reinforcing our intention to prioritise any additional resources we may gain on saving the United Kingdom. That said, we are excited by and supporting the work to paint the map gold with elected Lib Dems in Wales and across England.

To that end, we received a report on the tiering of seats. We recognise that most seats in which we stand are not target seats and are now working to clarify how we can help and support these seats. One aspect of this work will be to ensure that every local party and all seats have a pathway to step-by-step improvement and political development – not just target seats – and use each GE as an opportunity to leverage campaign activity.

Finally, we received an update on the work of the new Chair of the Joint Candidates Sub-Committee, Alison Suttie, who will be working hard to make sure we can field excellent, trained, and supported candidates in target seats and beyond.