'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Friday, 13 September 2013

Why the 2015 election matters now, more then ever

Dear Lord Ashdown

I know you've a lot on, so I'll be brief.

Obviously there's a lot riding on the next general election, and as our general election campaign chief, you'll feel the weight of responsibility to the country to ensure we finish with the best liberal representation you can deliver.

To that end I have no doubt you will be pursuing an incumbency strategy, looking to retain as many of our 57 seats as you can. Doubtless this is the right way to go , and the higher the number of seats we retain, the better the chances of us being part of another coalition government, and the stronger our negotiating hand will be.

But can I ask you not to dismiss the import of also maximising our general share of the vote.

Partly because this adds legitimacy to our role in government - our combined share with the Tories was 59%, a clear majority. It would be terrible if after the next election, our combined share with whichever party we formed a government was less than 50% - which could happen quite easily on current polling indications.

It's also important as any party that believes passionately in PR should want to maximise its share of vote, to strengthen its case. Ironically, UKIP could end up helping us here, should they take signficant chare but gain little (or no) seats in Parliament

But now there's a third, important reason why we need to maximise our vote at the next election.

I've got £20 riding on the fact we'll out poll UKIP in 2015 with the Chief Political Correspondent of the Express, Patrick O'Flynn

Paddy - I know you wont let me down.

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