Reflections from East Midlands regional conference

November 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

On Saturday I had the great pleasure of attending my first Lib Dem conference; the East Midlands regional conference, held at the Festival Hall in Kirby-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire.

I went along with Cllr Stuart Bray (Leader of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council), Cllr David Bill (Deputy Leader of HBBC), and Michael Mullaney (PPC, Bosworth.)

It was great to have the chance to meet so many other Lib Dems from across the region and to hear of the great work going on in their areas.

Though, with Paul Holmes’ loss in Chesterfield in May, the East Midlands currently has no Lib Dem UK Parliamentary representation, there is-as Michael (outgoing regional Chairman) pointed out, plenty of reasons for us not only to not be downhearted, but indeed to be optimistic for future electoral success.

In Ashfield, our hosts for this conference, Cllr Jason Zadrozny…who gave an excellent welcoming speech yesterday…achieved a massive 17.2% swing to the Lib Dems, the second biggest swing to our party in the entire country, coming within a whisker of what was once a safe Labour seat.

In my own area of Hinckley and Bosworth our candidate Michael Mullaney and the rest of our wonderful team got the biggest swing against any Tory MP in the country (6%) and the 9th biggest vote rise in the country, out of 631 seats!

Another wonderful achievement is that the Lib Dems more than trebled its second places in the region from 5 to eighteen.

This places us in a great position for the next election.

If, as Cllr Stuart Bray pointed out in his remarks to regional conference on Saturday, we continue to work hard for local people in the communities we represent (or seek to represent) we have a good chance of retaining seats we have in local government and gaining more next May.

The fight back, then, starts here!

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