Two pieces of good Lib Dem news from Cambridge

by Stephen Tall on November 14, 2014

Here’s the first piece of good news… Viki Sanders gained a seat from Labour in a crucial city council by-election last night (comparison with 2012 result):

    Viki Sanders (Liberal Democrats): 933 votes (36%, +1%)
    Labour: 790 votes (31%, -9%)
    Conservatives: 614 votes (24%, +5%)
    Green: 222 votes (9%, +3%)

cambridge lib dems

It’s a result which augers well for Julian Huppert‘s campaign to hold the Cambridge constituency the Lib Dems first won in 2005, a tough marginal which Labour has in its sights.

george watson - LOFTYIMAGESHere’s the second piece of good news… “Cambridge don leaves Liberal Democrats £950,000″ announces BBC News:

The Lib Dems have received their second biggest donation ever, from an academic who bequeathed the party £950,000. George Watson, a former professor at Cambridge University and one time Lib Dem candidate, died in 2013, aged 86. His gift was the single biggest sum reported in the Electoral Commission’s table of party donations for the third quarter of 2014. … Professor George Watson, a former fellow in English at St John’s College Cambridge, stood for the Liberal Party in the 1959 election.

The Lib Dems have received £9.86 million in individual donations since 2010, not far behind Labour’s £12.69m (but a long, long way behind the Tories’ £65.01m). Compare that with the previous four years (2005-09)… the Lib Dems received £7.54m, Labour £27.77m and the Tories £62.01m from individual donors. Both the Lib Dems and the Tories have improved their fundraising from individuals, while Labour’s has more than halved.

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* 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.