This obsession with "localness" - and the Liberal Democrats are by no means the only party it afflicts - is one of the factors that is leaching all meaninful contact from British politics and thus disaffecting the voters.
I can fully understand that ‘being local’ is a plus. As an agent I have enthusiastically produced Focus newsletters complete with maps highlighting the fact that our candidates live in the ward, with a great big X to mark the spot, and a sometimes vaguely-directed arrow to indicate that the Labour/ Tory rival lives “somewhere, out there, far away”. And when our candidate doesn’t live in the ward, well I’ve emphasised their other virtues.
But I have never felt the need to claim a local residency where one doesn’t exist, nor do I see the need or purpose to elevate ‘localness’ into the prime – and it sometimes seems the only – necessary qualification for elected office.
Later. Now read a relevant Bermondsey by-election anecdote.