Julia Goldsworthy re-selected as Lib Dem candidate for Camborne and Redruth, quits as Danny Alexander’s SpAd

by Stephen Tall on March 5, 2014

julia-goldsworthyCongratulations to Julia Goldsworthy, selected last Friday to fight what is, on paper at any rate, the Lib Dems’ top target in the 2015 general election: Camborne and Redruth. This was the seat which Julia, who had been the party’s shadow chief secretary to the treasury, lost by just 66 votes to the Tories in 2010. Julia, who became special adviser to Danny Alexander at the Treasury shortly after her defeat, has resigned her post to focus on the campaign.

Camborne and Redruth was one of the eight Conservative-held marginal seats where the Lib Dems came second which the Tory peer Lord Ashcroft polled last year to test voting intentions. The result? Overall, across the eight seats, the Lib Dems were just 3% behind the Conservatives, 32% to 29%, with Labour third on 18%. The reason? Not hard to guess: Ukip, which was polling 12%.

Given the Lib Dem vote tends to rise during the campaign where the party focuses resources, squeezes the third party and our vote firms up, this poll suggested there is the very real potential for Lib Dem gains from the Conservatives in 2015. Julia clearly thinks so. Here’s what she had to say after being selected:

“I am proud and excited to have been chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate for my home seat of Camborne and Redruth. For the first time in generations, Liberal Democrats will be campaigning on our record in government.

“It is a record to be proud of: 17,710 workers in Cornwall taken out of tax altogether with many more local low and middle income workers benefiting from tax cuts that will hit the £700 mark from this April. A record number of apprenticeships created, a halt to Post Office closures, and a long overdue discount in water bills – to the tune of £50 per year that the others talked about but Liberal Democrats have delivered. Last but not least our pupil premium policy has delivered £2.6m to local schools in the constituency benefiting nearly 3,000 children. These are commitments in our manifesto that are now benefiting many thousands of people all across Cornwall. It is truly a record to be proud of.

“Over the coming weeks I will be knocking on doors in every town and village in the constituency to talk to local people about that record and to discuss your views and concerns.”

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.