Fantastic night for the Liberal Democrats

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

On Thursday, England went to the polls in the local elections – and going in the pundits weren’t exactly predicting a great night for us:

Net seat changes prediction from @StephenDFisher at Oxford (and also of the GE exit poll team):

CON +8

LAB +131

LD -83https://t.co/wzhjyaUwi6pic.twitter.com/5QxOtforCy

— Number Cruncher Politics (@NCPoliticsUK) May 2, 2018

But we’ve defied the pundit’s expectations and had a phenomenal night – our best local election result in more than FIFTEEN years.

Frankly – as they came in, this is how the results made us feel:

Vince Cable Dancing

We held every single Council and Mayoralty we were defending including, Eastleigh, South Lakeland, Sutton, Cheltenham and Watford.

And we took control of Richmond, South Cambridgeshire, Three Rivers and Kingston-upon-Thames.

Topping it off, we’ve gained seats across the country in Hull, Liverpool, Cambridge, Sunderland, Gosport, Merton, Portsmouth, Sheffield, St Albans, Winchester, Bolton, Barnsley (electing our first councillor in eight years with a massive majority!) and Haringey and in many, many more!

All told, we’ve made net gains of +75 and elected 536 Liberal Democrat Councillors.

The night started off well, with a phenomenal result in Sunderland’s Pallion ward:

Pallion (Sunderland) result:

LDem: 60.1% (+57.0)

Lab: 29.4% (-18.4)

Con: 7.3% (-7.0)

Grn: 3.1% (-1.7)

LDem GAIN.

No UKIP (-30.1) as prev.

— Britain Elects (@britainelects) May 3, 2018

The team in Sunderland went on to elect three Lib Dem Councillors – a truly smashing achievement.

Lib Dems, the UK’s only exclusively pro-EU major party gains 3 seats in Sunderland, a city which was 61% in favour of leave in 2016.

Best example yet that some Labour leave areas are beginning to go cold on Brexit. #LocalElections2018https://t.co/UadfZlXp5i

— Corey Albone (@cwalbone) May 4, 2018

And the night and next day only got better from there – and here are a few of our favourite results, starting with electing an extra 7 Lib Dems on Hull City Council (and we missed out on adding a few more by a handful of votes as well!)

7 gains! Thank you to ALL of the residents in Hull who supported us! pic.twitter.com/swXPHKVKr5

— Hull&Hessle Lib Dems (@libdemsinhull) May 4, 2018

Fantastic progress in Sheffield – including taking every single ward in Sheffield Hallam:

So as a little aside – every single ward in Jared O’Mara’s constituency returned a Lib Dem councillor tonight – can’t see a by-election being called anytime soon… https://t.co/ExHerlt1Tt

— Election Maps UK (@ElectionMapsUK) May 4, 2018

We also elected a whopping 32 Liberal Democrat Councillors in Cheltenham (including one of our own here at LDHQ, Jonny Brownsteen:

Lib Dems strengthen their control of Cheltenham, picking up 2 from Independents and 1 from Tories. New council: Lib Dems 32, Con 6, Ind 2. #Election2018

— Ian Jones (@ian_a_jones) May 4, 2018

We took control of Richmond borough in truly spectacular style:

Lib Dems GAIN #Richmond from Con in what I think is fair to term a landslide victory.

Greens also gain 4 seats in a local Green-Lib Dem pact that together reduced the Tories from 39 cllrs to 11. pic.twitter.com/ib8zsarsNG

— Election Maps UK (@ElectionMapsUK) May 4, 2018

Took overall control of Three Rivers:

Huge win for the Lib Dems as they take overall control in Three Rivers. The sooner the party starts to run councils successfully again, the better.

— Neil Monnery (@neilmonnery) May 4, 2018

We fought off a tough Conservative challenge to maintain control of Sutton – a Council we’ve now run for 32 years:

Amazing result from Sutton. @SuttonLibDems have done a tremendous job. Thanks to all the volunteers and voters who made this happen #LibDemsWin#WinningHerepic.twitter.com/MXhVWtFXNN

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 4, 2018

Elected six Councillors in the London Borough of Merton:

And it’s a win for the full slate in West Barnes! Congratulations to @bc_hina@Eloise_58@carlquilliam – bringing our total to 5 councillors so far! #FreshStart4Mertonpic.twitter.com/tbkZb9GDBt

— Merton Lib Dems (@MertonLibDems) May 4, 2018

Made three gains from Labour in Liverpool:

Summary of Liverpool’s local election results. 3 gains for the Lib Dems, which Liverpool Leader @cllrkemp says is partly due to the unpopularity of Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson #Election2018https://t.co/Gh9Jpg60CL

— Layla Wright (@laylawright_) May 4, 2018

And doubled our group on Manchester City Council (and only just missed tripling our group by 22 votes!):

The Liberal Democrat’s double their councillors on Manchester City council. John Leech and Richard Kirkpatrick will represent West Didsbury. pic.twitter.com/LTIyHSit0H

— BBC Radio Manchester (@BBCRadioManc) May 4, 2018

And a gain from a standing start – 0 votes last time – up to 46% of the vote this time in Aylesbury!

Lib Dems GAIN #Quainton from Con in #Aylesbury Vale by-election. pic.twitter.com/qFvRGf8uCo

— Election Maps UK (@ElectionMapsUK) May 3, 2018

And we gained 21 Councillors to take overall control of Kingston-upon-Thames:

Magnificent Lib Dem victory in Kingston crowns a very strong set of results across the country. Once again, predictions of the death of Liberal England are premature…

— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) May 4, 2018

Sadly, it wasn’t all wins – but some of our candidates came incredibly close to winning – including

.@Finn_Conway and @ConorMcKenzie deserve special mention for fantastic campaigns in oxford. Holywell is almost exclusively student, and Carfax has a huge student majority. Labour take young votes for granted, but they better watch out because @LibDems are coming! pic.twitter.com/KVR5YyXx7T

— Andy McKay (@andygmckay) May 4, 2018

Very sorry that @CllrGarethKane has lost his seat by just 12 VOTES. Gareth was easily the hardest-working and most popular candidate and councillor, serving his local constituents superbly for 14 years. Hopefully he will be back soon!

— Stephen Psallidas (@spsallidas) May 4, 2018

Woking was just 10 votes away from ending Conservative control of the Council. If we had received 10 more votes to gain Goldsworth Park the Council would be in no overall control.

— Cllr Ann-Marie #FBPE (@CllrAnnMarieB) May 4, 2018

And some of them really came down to the wire, we lost by just ONE vote in it in Derby:

Abbey ward, @DerbyCC

Labour 1295 (Paul Hezelgrave)

Lib Dems 1294

Conservatives 547

Greens 148

UKIP 95#LocalElections2018pic.twitter.com/CPfgO8uBj8

— Chris Doidge (@BBCChrisD) May 4, 2018

And we can’t finish without mentioning the fantastic result in South Cambridgeshire – pulling off a stunning surprise win, election 30 Liberal Democrat Councillors (including 13 women) and taking control of the Council. They were also some of the most, ahem, exuberant, victors of the evening:

Your new #SouthCambs District Council boasts 13 #LibDem women Councillors

#RepresentingDiversitypic.twitter.com/SfnwpgDung

— SCLibDems (@SCLibDems) May 4, 2018

Jubilant Lib Dem’s as party wins control of South Cambridgeshire District Council from Tories @BBCLookEastpic.twitter.com/TFKO6sXR4F

— Louise Hubball (@LouiseHubball) May 4, 2018

There are some very happy Lib Dems here… pic.twitter.com/hqFWyKfMwI

— Adam Care (@AdamCareCN) May 4, 2018

Lib Dem councillors celebrating @SouthCambs@BBCCambspic.twitter.com/FfmLOZ7cJg

— Jessica Foster (@JessZoeFoster) May 4, 2018

This is how it feels to get all 3 members of an amazing team elected in a really closely fought seat (we only beat popular sitting independent by 4 votes) pic.twitter.com/LfjsoPOykw

— Mary Regnier-Wilson (@MaryRegW) May 4, 2018

All in all, the results were fantastic, right across England. Liberal Democrats, whatever the result they got, worked incredibly hard and defied all the odds to pull off a fantastic night.

In the end, even Guido Fawkes had something sort of nice to say about us:

LibDems alive! pic.twitter.com/SancVGKN9s

— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) May 4, 2018

Well done to everyone who stood, helped and encouraged on a great night.

Get some rest, enjoy your long weekend and let’s start back fresh on Tuesday and get started on another record-breaking election year in 2019!

Local Elections: Your morning briefing

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard in these elections.

Whether you got the result you hoped for or not; you have done a fantastic job. Thank you.

So far it looks like we’re on course for a great set of results.

We’ve defended our Councils in Eastleigh, Cheltenham and Sutton. We have also pulled off a spectacular victory in taking control of Richmond.

We’ve made gains in Hull, Liverpool, Sunderland, Gosport, West Oxfordshire, Cambridge, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Winchester and St Albans. We’ve held our ground in places like Southwark.

And it’s not over yet – today there are many more results to come.

For the other parties – it’s clear that Labour will be disappointed on the results so far. They haven’t made the gains they’d been expecting.

With the Conservatives making a mess out of Brexit, the Windrush scandal and Theresa May’s weakness as Prime Minister, Labour needed to be making more significant gains than this.

The Conservatives will be feeling relieved – they aren’t facing the scale of losses they’d been expecting, but they haven’t exactly made progress either.

But for many of you, I know that one of the highlights of tonight will be the complete collapse of UKIP. All across England, their vote is in freefall; and they are losing councillors left, right and centre.

Sadly, many of those votes are going to the Conservatives – a damning indictment of what Theresa May’s Brexit Conservatives have become.

For us, tonight sees a major step forward to rebuilding our local Government base – we’re hoping for solid gains in Councillors and an increase in the number of councils we control (fingers crossed!).

This has been a great night and we’re moving in the right direction.

Thank you again to everyone who has played their part in this result.

Why people are voting Lib Dem today

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

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FAQs: Giving the people the final say on the Brexit deal

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

What was the amendment on Monday evening?

Amendment 50 of the EU Withdrawal Bill Report Stage in the House of Lords put the option of the public final say on the deal before the House of Commons. This would include an extension of Article 50 so that there would be time for the vote to be held before the UK is due to leave the EU.

The amendment was a cross-party initiative, the lead names on it were Lord Newby (Leader of the Liberal Democrat group in the Lords); Viscount Hailsham (Conservative), Lord Wigley (Plaid Cymru), Lord Butler of Brockwell (Crossbencher).

Why should the public be given the final say?

Theresa May and the Conservatives are making a mess of Brexit.

When a deal is finally agreed we still believe it should be the public, not politicians, who have the final say.

You should be able to choose whether the deal is the right deal for Britain’s future. If it’s not, then you should be able to reject it and remain in the European Union.

Why did the amendment get voted down?

If Labour had supported the amendment, it would have passed. But the Labour frontbench sat on their hands and made it harder to give the British people the final say on the Brexit deal.

What does this mean for Brexit?

It means that, for the time being, the public have not been given the final say on the Brexit deal. The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to give the British public the final say and the chance to Exit from Brexit.

Will the EU accept the outcome of a vote on the deal?

Key EU figures have said that they would welcome the UK’s decision to remain in the EU. French President Emmanuel Macron has said “the door remains open” for Britain to change its mind about Brexit.

What happens next?

The Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign for an Exit from Brexit. To help us win that fight, donate to our campaign today:

Lib Dems come closer than ever to giving the people the final say on the Brexit deal

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Yesterday evening just a handful of votes stopped us from giving the British public the final say on the Brexit deal.

If the Labour leadership had voted with us last night, the amendment would have passed. But they didn’t.

On this key issue, the Labour party has gone missing in action.

At the outset of our campaign, few believed we would get this close. But the momentum is now with us.

This vote has shown that since we last voted on the issue a year ago there has been a large shift in favour of giving the people the final say on any Brexit deal.

60% of the British public now believe it is right that they have the final say on a Brexit deal.

Over the coming months, we’ll have more opportunities to secure people the final say on the Brexit deal.

We can do it, we are making a difference.

Votes like last night show just how close things are getting. The Government is weak and soon they will have to face the undeniable right of the British public to have their say. It’s the right thing for democracy and the right thing for our country.

Why we need to ban upskirting

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Upskirting is the act of taking a photo up a woman’s skirt without her consent.

In 2009 it was made illegal in Scotland but shockingly it remains legal in England and Wales.

Authorities can ask a perpetrator to delete the photo but under current law no further prosecution is possible.

Police have managed to prosecute some people for upskirting for outraging public decency. But this is patently absurd as it should not matter how public it was or who else saw it. This also ignores the fact this is a crime with a victim.

Police are stuck trying to prosecute a sexual offence with a public nuisance order.

The law should focus on the individual victims and the crime committed against them because it is their body that is being taken advantage of without their consent.

Some Ministers have tried to claim that police need better training, but this is simply not true.

Police and Crime Commissioners from across the country have called for upskirting to become a specific offence as it is so difficult to prosecute with the law as it currently stands.

Due to the lack of a clear legal framework around the issue, the actual number of offences taking place each year is likely to be much higher.

Girls as young as ten have been targeted by this horrific crime.

Police are not required to keep a record of the reports they receive. The Press Association’s FOI found that only 15 of 44 police forces in England and Wales recorded upskirting reports in the last two years.

Girls as young as ten have been targeted by this horrific crime.

Upskirting causes emotional distress and leaves a lasting impact.

It is time the law is changed to criminalise this distressing and disgusting practice.

Britain is stronger with the back-stop of EU law

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

In the face of further defeats on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, and following further pressure from Peers across the House of Lords, the government has brought forward amendments to ensure that the UK still has the ability to refer to and apply EU guidance for legal matters in our courts going forwards.

The government has rightly accepted that following EU guidance for legal matters in our courts and tribunals is not a ‘soft Brexit’.

Instead, it is a welcome acknowledgement of the benefits of a number of laws that have benefitted the UK and can continue to do so.

Over the past week, the government has been defeated five times in the House of Lords, uniting members from all parties and none on a range of issues.

There are many experts in the House of Lords that have correctly identified that Britain is stronger with the back-stop of EU law, something that Liberal Democrats have argued throughout the Brexit process.

We welcome the Government’s acknowledgement of this.

Over the past week, the government has been defeated five times in the House of Lords, uniting members from all parties and none on a range of issues.

Clearly, across the House, there is a strong belief that it is not too late to turn back from the Tory’s disastrous approach to Brexit.

For the country and the government, there is a way out, and that is giving the people the final say, with a vote on the final deal.

Third Withdrawal Bill defeat in a week for the Government

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Liberal Democrats have voted with a majority of cross-party Peers in the House of Lords to inflict another defeat on the government.

An amendment to retain the Charter of Fundamental Rights in UK law was successfully moved and is the third defeat for the government in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Lords at Report Stage.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights has been a key component of EU law since 2000 and has set the bar on civil, political, social and economic rights.

The UK’s continued use of this piece of legislation shows the rest of the world that we are still committed to the highest standards on human rights and the principles of the Charter going forward.

The amendment the Lords have passed is as follows:

Clause 5, LORD PANNICK, LORD GOLDSMITH, BARONESS LUDFORD, LORD DEBEN

Page 3, line 20, leave out subsections (4) and (5) and insert—

“( ) The following provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights are not part of<

domestic law on or after exit day—

(a) the Preamble, and

(b) Chapter V.”

Barnstorming double by-election win!

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The Liberal Democrats won two of the council by-elections that were held last night (with one still to declare!), gaining two seats from the Conservatives!

The Liberal Democrats, under Vince Cable, are winning seats up and down the country and against all opposition – because people know when they elect Liberal Democrats, they’re electing someone who’ll get things done for their community!

Our local campaigning is second to none, and the hard work of Lib Dem councillors and activists is being recognised in surges of support in by-elections across the country.

#WinningHere

Lymm South (Warrington) result:

LDEM: 42.8% (+10.4)

CON: 36.2% (-2.3)

LAB: 18.3% (-1.1)

UKIP: 1.4% (-8.3)

GRN: 1.3% (+1.3)

LDem GAIN from Con.

— Britain Elects (@britainelects) April 19, 2018

And #WinningThere

Thatcham West (West Berkshire) result:

LDEM: 48.4% (+9.7)

CON: 30.9% (-16.9)

GRN: 7.7% (+7.7)

LAB: 7.7% (-5.9)

UKIP: 5.4% (+5.4)

LDem GAIN from Con.

— Britain Elects (@britainelects) April 19, 2018

With the 2018 local elections taking place in just a few days time – and many of the votes already cast, the Liberal Democrats have never been more up for the fight.

Your support today could make the difference in those elections. Be a voter for the Lib Dems on May 3rd and elect someone who’ll get things done for your community!

Vince Cable speech: break-up the big tech monopolies

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

He criticised the effective monopolies enjoyed by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon – comparing their market dominance to that of big oil companies in the past – and suggested ways they could be broken up.

“Data is the new oil. Data is the raw material which drives these firms and it is control of data which gives them an advantage over competitors. These companies have acquired their pivotal position by providing a service or platform through which data can be extracted, collected and used.

Just as Standard Oil once cornered 85% of the refined oil market, today Google drives 89% of internet search, 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook product, Amazon accounts for 75% of E-book sales, while Google and Apple combined provide 99% of mobile operating systems.

National government and, even more so, supranational bodies like the EU can and should look to break up enterprises where size is detrimental to the economic well-being of the country, its citizens and its capacity for innovation.

There is a case for splitting Amazon into three separate businesses – one offering cloud computing, one acting as a general retailer and one offering a third-party marketplace. Other examples would be Facebook being forced to divest itself of Instagram and WhatsApp as a condition for operating in the EU, creating two new social media networks. Divesting Google of YouTube would be another.

What is striking that the most effective competition authority in the capitalist world – the European Commission – is probably the only body with the clout to take these decisions. The UK could quite obviously never do it alone.

Britain commits an act of serious self-harm by doggedly setting itself apart from the power of shared sovereignty with our neighbours.

When it comes to regulating the growth industry of this century – data – Brexit will be like giving up shared influence over where, when and whether it rains, in return for absolute power over a compact umbrella.”

Download the full speech here