Who are the top Lib Dems candidates and what are the party’s key policies?
The Liberal Democrats are currently canvassing for the upcoming European Parliamentary Elections. On Thursday May 23rd, the British electorate will head to the polls to vote for the MEPs who will represent them in the European Parliament. 73 seats are up for grabs and the Lib Dems will be hoping for more success than last time.
In this article, we focus on the Liberal Democrats Party. What are its key policies? Who are the top candidates? We take a look…
Vince Cable is the leader of the Lib Dems – at least for now. Cable will be the front man for the Lib Dems until the end of this month – after the European Elections have taken place.
Former cabinet minister Cable has been the leader since Tim Farron’s 2017 resignation. Deputy leader Jo Swinson is widely expected to take Cable’s job as Lib Dem leader.
Current seats in the European Parliament
The Liberal Democrat party currently has just one seat in the European Parliament. In the 2014 elections, the Lib Dems lost 10 of their 11 seats, leaving Catherine Bearder as the party’s only MEP.
Since forming a coalition with the Conservative Party in 2010, the Liberal Democrat Party has been in recovery mode. The electorate voiced their thoughts on Nick Clegg’s decision in the 2015 elections as the Lib Dems suffered significant losses. This is the reason why 10 MEPs were wiped out in the 2014 European Elections.
But under the stewardship of Cable, the Liberal Democrat rebuilding project is close to completion. It has modelled itself as the pro-Remain party, urging disillusioned Labour and Tory voters to defect to the Lib Dems.
The success of this strategy can be measured by the party gaining more than 600 seats in the recent local elections. Now, the Lib Dems are hoping to storm the European Elections in a similarly resurgent manner.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is dithering and remaining ambiguous on Brexit. Theresa May’s Conservative Party is swiftly losing popularity as she continues to attract criticism for her handling of Brexit negotiations.
Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have set out a very strong and clear message with its slogan: Stop Brexit. The Liberal Democrats will campaign for a second referendum as the party wants the UK to remain in the EU.
Among the other key policies in the Lib Dem manifesto is tackling the climate emergency. The Lib Dems want the UK to become a world-leader by achieving net-zero emissions by 2045, prompting the EU to follow suit by 2050.
Catherine Bearder is the only currently-standing Lib Dem MEP, making her the default Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament. Bearder is up for election in the South East region, locking horns with the Brexit Party’s Nigel Farage.
Irina Von Wiese heads the Liberal Democrats’ candidate list in London. Labour holds four seats in the capital but the German and UK citizen will be hoping the Lib Dems can steal at least one seat in this region.
Martin Horwood is a former MP for Cheltenham. He lost his seat during the Clegg administration in 2015. Now, he hopes to be elected in the European Parliament. Horwood is the Lib Dems’ second candidate in the South West (behind Caroline Voader).