Thursday, May 14, 2009

A tale from the Brecon and Radnor by-election

One of my favourite by-election stories - I now forget where I heard it - comes from the 1985 contest in Brecon and Radnor.

A young Liberal activist was telling at a polling station out in the wilds somewhere, when an elderly farmer turned up.

"What are you doing?" he asked. "I always take the numbers for the Liberals."

It turned out that for years the farmer had come along on polling day, collected numbers for a couple of hours and then taken them home with him.

It represented a folk memory of Lloyd George's day. Any Liberal organisation in the area had long since disappeared. All the was left was the ancestral knowledge that taking numbers somehow helped the party.

1 comment:

Nich Starling said...

My favourite (of many stories) was in a local by-election in Cromer (North Norfolk) in 1993. I went to pick up an elderly lady to take her to the polling station. When i arrived she said "Oh no dear, the Tories always take me to the polling station". I responded with "Oh, we had you down as a Lib Dem voter". "I am dear !", she answered,"It's just that the Tories have given me a lift to the polling station every year since 1945 and I don't want to let them down, but I've never once voted for them !"