LDV Awards 2008: Lib Dem Campaigner of the Year & Most Desperate Press Release of the Year

by Stephen Tall on December 31, 2008

Many thanks to the 200+ LDV readers who took part in our end-of-year awards, which ran between 23rd and 28th December. Voting was conducted via Liberty Research using the alternative vote method of ranking the nominees for each of the eight categories. Yesterday, we announced the winners of Politician of the Year, and By-election Performance of the Year. Today, the next and final two Lib Dem categories:

Liberal Democrat Campaigner of the Year

There were four very strong contenders in this category. In particular, can I highlight Neil Trafford, a Lib Dem councillor in Manchester and the party’s regional campaigns director for the north-west, who died, tragically young, just over a month ago. We were slightly hesitant at including Neil’s name in the poll once he had been nominated – not because he wouldn’t deserve the accolade, but because it might seem invidious both to his memory, and to the other nominees.

In the end, Baroness Ros Scott emerged the winner for her campaign for the party presidency; Neil was a very close runner-up. Our congratulations to Ros; our thoughts continue to be with Neil’s friends and family at this time.

Lynne Featherstone – 15%
Ros Scott – 35%
Kirsty Williams – 16%
Neil Trafford – 34%

Following the exclusion of Lynne, and then Kirsty, the final result was:

Ros Scott – 54%
Neil Trafford – 46%

And now to the eagerly-awaited award for the Most Desperate Press Release of the Year by a Liberal Democrat. Again, there were a number of strong contenders…

5% – Don Foster: Football clubs ripping off fans
47% – Lembit Opik: “time for Lib Dems to stop the conspiracy against me”;
9% – Lord Tyler: for calling on the BBC’s Director-General to make public the voting figures in Strictly Come Dancing;
7% – Nick Clegg: Proud to buy British;
14% – Nick Clegg: for clarifying his atheism with the statement, “I myself am not an active believer”;
18% – The Lib Dem media office: for publicly emphasising to the media the party’s plans to call 250,000 electors with an automated message by Nick Clegg.

It only took two more rounds for Lembit Opik: “time for Lib Dems to stop the conspiracy against me” to emerge the victor of this year’s Most Desperate Press Release of the Year 2008.

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I think it says a lot about the Party that our ‘Campaigner of the Year’ only won an internal election.

by Martin Land on December 31, 2008 at 7:01 pm. Reply #

Given the quality of the opposition, it is a huge honour to be the winner of this award. Lynne and Kirsty are highly regarded both inside and outside the Party, whilst Neil was a superb campaigner, a liberal to his fingertips and a thoroughly decent human being.

It’s 18 years since I won my first election campaign to become a District Councillor in Mid Suffolk, and 17 years since my first successful community campaign, to persuade the council to remit the business rate for village shops. To start winning awards after all this time is very gratifying.

Like any good campaign, it was about much more than just the candidate. Chris White (my agent), Bridget Harris (my campaign manager), Keith Harris (my IT guru) and a host of others worked their socks off to persuade our fellow Party members to put their trust in me.

For those who think that internal Party elections somehow don’t count, I couldn’t disagree more. A vibrant and healthy internal Party democracy is essential for a vibrant and healthy Party, and a hard-fought campaign gives our members an opportunity to debate issues of direction, strategy and governance.

It’s a great shame if internal elections become an opportunity for negativity and petty point-scoring; we should be encouraging as many people as possible to run for Party office when the opportunity arises and they are less likely to come forward if they think that their own party colleagues don’t value the process.

by Ros Scott on December 31, 2008 at 8:29 pm. Reply #

Boo! Fix! The robocall press release was robbed!!

by Andy Hinton on December 31, 2008 at 11:17 pm. Reply #

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