Polling Station Sign

Upcoming By-Elections – 15/09/2016

Tupton (North East Derbyshire DC)

Labour seat.

Lib Dem Candidate : David Hancock

If you want to help contact David via email david@canon-guide.com or Ross Shipman via email ross.shipman89@gmail.com. Also there are action days planned for this Sunday, and on Polling Day (Click for Facebook Events).

Castle (Carlisle DC)

Labour seat.
Lib Dem Candidate : Alison Hobson.

Bishops Castle (Shropshire)

Lib Dem seat
Lib Dem candidate : Jonny Keeley.

Blakelaw (Newcastle CC)

Labour seat
Lib Dem candidate : Ciaran Morrissey.
To help, please contact Greg Stone on 07747 862582 or email greg@gregstone.org.uk.

Burton Latimer TC

Independent seats (x2)
Lib Dem candidate : Jenny Davies.
To help, please contact Chris Nelson at chris@chrisnelson.org.uk or telephone 07824645049.

To keep up to date on all upcoming elections visit the ALDC By-Election pages.

Liberal Democrats Winning Here Sign

By-Election Report – 08/09/2016

Congratulations to Gail Smith and the Sheffield Liberal Democrats on their stunning victory in yesterday’s Mosborough By-Election!

The Lib Dems came 4th last time out, but after a great campaign by local candidate Gail Smith and the team they managed to surge into first place with a 20.5% swing from Labour as Labour slipped back to 2nd place.

All 4 by-elec results are in. consistent theme of Labour losing vote share (3-9pts). 20.5% swing to LDs in Sheffield.

Labour’s falling vote share, possibly not helped by local members deciding to phone bank for Corbyn’s leadership campaign rather than the by-election, was a consistent theme last night. In all 4 by-elections they lost vote share, even if they did hang on to 2 of the 3 defences.

Last night’s gain also takes our total number of Gains since May 2016 to 12! Way ahead of everyone else.

Council Seat Gains since May 2016 - 09/09/2016 - shows the Liberal Democrats with 12 Gains and no Losses.

Hat tip to Brian Milnes for this particular Lib Dem Bar Chart.

Elsewhere though there were reasons to be less cheerful. UKIP held on to there defence in Shepway South (Maidstone) and increased vote share everywhere but Mossborough and the Lib Dems didn’t field as candidate in 2 of the 4 by-elections – Yeoman Hill (Mansfield) and Parkway (Barrow-in-Furness). Additionally the other Lib Dem candidate who stood last night – Milden Halyungu Choongo in Shepway South – slipped further back in last place.

Britain Elecs graphic showing By-Election results from 08/09/2016

Full details of last nights By-Election results can be found on the ALDC website’s By-Election Results page.

Well done to all who stood last night regardless of the result. It is really important that we stand candidates in all by-elections in order to build the habit of voting Liberal Democrat. If there is no candidate of ours on the ballot paper we are depriving someone of their ability to vote for us. If you are interested in standing as a candidate please get in touch with your Local Party or ALDC.

Marching for Europe

Like the many thousands of people across the UK who took part in the March for Europe on September 3rd in Bristol, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge and a dozen other towns and cities, I donned my Team INtogether t-shirt and made the long drive down to London.

After battling through the traffic I finally made my way to the starting point at Marble Arch. On the drive down I had been worried that I would be one of a handful to turn up, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. A huge throng of blue t-shirts and golden stars greeted me as hundreds of people lofted placards, balloons, flags, banners and flyers. The crowd was so large that we soon had to be escorted down to the main parade on Park Lane just to get us out of the way!

As I had come alone I decided to explore the crowd and talk to as many people as possible, trying to soak up the atmosphere created by so many like-minded people. One guy, Tom, had joined the party only the day before and was keenly handing out membership leaflets to everyone we passed:
“I felt sick when I woke up to find out we had voted to Leave. Over the next few weeks I knew I had to do something about it, and the Lib Dems seem to be the only party who care about what Remainiers want”
He was not alone in his stance or his conviction, and as I continued my stumble up the march, bouncing from one conversation to the next, my path was eventually blocked by a bright yellow banner held by Sal Brinton (President of the Liberal Democrats), Catherine Bearder MEP, Baroness Sarah Ludford and fellow Newbie members Ukonu Obasi and Elizabeth Barnard – and soon me.

Despite our close formation our column marched quickly down London’s streets; from Picadilly and on to Trafalgur Square before passing Downing Street and ending at Parliament Square. Through our chants of ‘We love you EU, we do’ and ‘We don’t want no Brexit’ (with Kelly-Marie Blundell armed with a small megaphone) we heard the beep of supportive car-horns and even clapping from many of the spectators watching us pass. I’ll never forget us passing through Trafalgur Square and seeing Lib Dem member Paolo from Harrow sat on the roof of his Classic Ciquento car with his legs through the sun roof; blasting his horn with his foot as he waved his EU flags for all to see!

When the march ended at Parliament Square and the speeches started, I saw on opportunity to use our banner to act as a backdrop for Owen Jones post-speech interview. We proceeded to photo-bomb TV interviews with Peter Tatchell and Eddie Izzard with as many billboards, flags and signs as possible – making sure Libby was seen everywhere!

We had a fantastic day and showed the Lib Dems won’t take Brexit lying down. If you have the chance to attend a march, do so, as there is nothing quite like it!

N-E Derbyshire & Bolsover Lib Dems Select Candidates


The Liberal Democrats formally announce their Parliamentary Candidates for North East Derbyshire and Bolsover in the event of a snap general election.

There has been considerable press speculation as to whether there will be an early General Election (something that is still technically possible after the Fixed Term Parliament Act), the Liberal Democrats are proud to announce their candidates for North East Derbyshire and Bolsover.

David Lomax, the former Head of Special Needs at New Mills School, will be representing North East Derbyshire. A constituency presently held by Labour’s Natascha Engel with just over 40% of the vote. North East Derbyshire has traditionally been seen a safe Labour seat. However, Ms Engel’s ever reducing majority is reflective of the growing discontent with Labour throughout the constituency.

Ross Shipman, North East Derbyshire & Bolsover Lib Dem Chair, has been selected to stand against “the Beast of Bolsover” Dennis Skinner. Young and dynamic, Ross is about as far removed from Skinner as it’s possible to get; and with a strong background working in local government (including 4 years managing a Parish Council) he’s a firm believer that it’s a politician’s place to represent their electorate. He said

“For too long Dennis Skinner has pushed his own agenda. While he may be famous for speaking his mind, he doesn’t seek to speak for Bolsover Constituency. Mr Skinner is the embodiment of politicians of yesteryear – out of touch with the 21 st century. When people talk about Bolsover, their first thought is of Dennis Skinner and they imagine a constituency trapped in a time warp – like some tough industrial 1970s pit town. It isn’t like that. Bolsover is a beautiful, green idyllic part of the world. I’m proud of where I live and I want to give Bolsover Constituency the representation it deserves.”

Given that the next scheduled General Election isn’t until 2020 our two Liberal Democrat hopefuls intend to make best use of the time until then. Ross goes on to clarify:

“For too long, in this part of the country, Labour have simply assumed that they have a right to be elected. We Lib Dems believe that politicians should earn the confidence of the electorate. It’s our role now to demonstrate what makes us different and why we can better represent the people of North East Derbyshire and Bolsover constituencies than the Labour party they’re used to. Local people are crying out for change, but they need to have the confidence in us to make that change for the better. Now it’s up to us to show them.”

Ross4Bolsover Facebook page.

So…I did my Assessment Day!

Assessment Day – Tamworth – My Thoughts..

So today i did the unthinkable (i only joined the party in July 2015!) and attended an assessment day in Tamworth to become an approved candidate for the Liberal Democrats.

Upon arrival, after standing at the wrong door for 15 minutes pressing the bell to no avail, i was greeted by a lovely lady called Jenny who was one of the assessors for the day and informed me how much of an idiot i had been for not reading the instructions properly that had been emailed out by the candidates team at HQ. I began to shake my head at the terrible start i was having, with doubts starting to creep in that i was not even prepared for this.

As i walked round to the actual building i was suppose to be at, i bumped into Jenny Wilkinson who is one of the Newbie Task Force and co-organiser of the Brighton Conference #LibDemPint with me (and many others), it was certainly nice to put a face to the name as well as there being somebody else who was in the deep end with me.. 🙂

I tend to do strange things when i’m nervous, today it was make myself 9807 cups of tea before each task, but i later i realised there was nothing to be nervous about, it wasn’t a competition like a job interview is, the assessors want us to be approved.

The day is split up into four Sections (this was my order):

  1. Interview / Media task
  2. In-Tray task
  3. Group task
  4. Policy task

Without going into too much detail, i found the policy task tested my brain the most, as i had to dig deep for all of the Lib Dem policy i had stored and the terrible policies of other political parties.. 😉 But i think i may have pulled it off – I was remembering things i never even thought i knew, whether it was relevant to the task is a whole different kettle of fish and only when the results come in will i actually know.

So the day eventually came to an end – With that bit of revision i did and with the implementation of the advice i was given “just be yourself and you will do well”, all in all, it was an enjoyable day.

I felt a strange sense of confidence that the day had given me, maybe i could actually pull off being a candidate and hopefully an MP for Bolsover.

To give you some idea of how confident i was feeling….

…and now the wait begins to find out my results!

If i don’t pass, i know i gave it my all and if that wasn’t good enough, then so be it – I still feel fantastic. 🙂

Anybody who wants to ask me anything about the day, feel free to get in touch through Facebook or Twitter

Much Love <3

UPDATE: I got approved!

The Man With A Plan – Tupton Ward By-Election

Being thrown in at the deep end….Liberal Democrats style!

Having only been a member for a year, today i found myself being the man with a plan by running a committee room – my newbie connect skills actually managed to put together some decent leaflet rounds too!

I am absolutely shattered, because i was also delivering 100’s of leaflets at the same time as well as juggling everything else, but we got most of the leaflets out for the 1,500 ward and canvassed 100 houses with a team of 5 people.

Pretty chuffed with the progress made today, got some deliverers for next week and places to put posters up as a result from canvassing too.

I guess what i am trying to say, is that anything is possible if you put the effort in!

My Local Party (N-E Derbyshire & Bolsover Liberal Democrats) have a real chance to challenge Labour in this (Tupton) North East Derbyshire District Council seat if we can get enough canvassing done. Local people are liking the fact we are door knocking, therefore if you have a spare hour to lend us to deliver / canvass, contact me with your availability. 🙂

Email: ross.shipman89@gmail.com