Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Liberator quizzes Tim Farron and Susan Kramer

From the new issue of Liberator:
This year’s Liberal Democrat presidential election was unexpected. The incumbent (Ros Scott) was widely assumed to be running for a second term. It seemed unlikely that Ros, a popular and successful president, would face a contest.

Then in early September, after nominations had opened, Ros suddenly announced she would not be re-standing. There was much speculation at party conference about why she had taken this decision – and why so late (see RB, page 4). There was also speculation about who would stand, given the difficulty for anyone of getting a campaign off the ground at such short notice.

Two potential candidates (Jennie Rigg and Jason Zadrozny) soon dropped out, leaving us with a choice between one MP and one ex-MP (the latter rumoured to be about to become a peer). And this is hardly surprising. With the exception of the Lib Dems’ first president (Ian Wrigglesworth), every successful candidate has been a sitting MP or peer.

The electorate is the whole party membership, voting in a postal ballot. The turnout last time (2008) was 47.8%, the previous time (2004) 47.3%. Assuming 65,000 members, a similar turnout this year would produce about 31,000 votes. Given that activists comprise – at most – about 15,000 members, ‘armchair’ members would predominate even on this low turnout.

Ballot papers have already been sent out. The deadline for returning them is 10 November and the count will take place on 13 November. In the meantime, Liberator has asked both candidates a series of questions and here are their answers.
Read the answers on the magazine's website.

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