Liberal Democrats

F23: Party Strategy: Our Road to Success

Motion as passed by conference

Submitted by: Federal Board

Mover: Daisy Cooper MP (Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats).

Summation: Jeremy Hargreaves (Vice Chair, Federal Board).


Conference condemns the failure of the Conservative government in Westminster which, through incompetence and indifference, has caused the death of tens of thousands of COVID victims unnecessarily, deliberately sought to create deep divisions in society on issues of culture, emboldened those who seek to break up the United Kingdom, pursued a deliberate approach of bypassing Parliament on key decisions, and further damaged the integrity of our democracy by facilitating cronyism and evading accountability.

Conference abhors the rise of nationalism, whether British, English, Scottish or Welsh.

Conference re-affirms that the Liberal Democrats' purpose is to ensure every individual has control of their own lives, and for society to enable them in that aim, balancing liberty, equality and community, and ensuring no-one is enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

To achieve this, Conference re-asserts the central importance of having a clear strategy for success in the term of this Parliament, and then following it, as required by the party's constitution, and as further reinforced by the Thornhill Review of the 2019 General Election campaign.

Conference therefore agrees the following federal strategy for the Liberal Democrats:

  1. Our aims are to:
    1. Secure the election of as many Liberal Democrats as possible, to promote and deliver our vision of society.
    2. Support the party organisations in Scotland, Wales and England in maximising their success in their parliamentary, regional and local elections.
    3. Secure the election of as many MPs as possible to Parliament in Westminster.
    4. Remove from power a Conservative government that is failing the country.
    5. Deliver a strategy for success which is in keeping with core party values, such as environmentalism and equality.
  2. We will achieve these aims most effectively by:
    1. Developing a compelling and distinctive political narrative about the power of a vote for the Liberal Democrats, with wide emotional as well as rational appeal to the electorate as a whole.
    2. Maintaining a rigorous focus on a set of realistic objectives for winning seats, and the specific campaigning building blocks needed to do so.
    3. Demonstrating electoral success at all levels and in all parts of the country.
    4. Standing a candidate at every seat in England, Scotland and Wales at the next General Election, with any decision not to stand having to be ratified by local members, subject to any rules applied by State Parties. This will not apply to the seat of the Speaker.
  3. Our top priorities to help us fight and win elections will be:
    1. Continuing to research, develop and communicate a compelling liberal narrative with emotional appeal, which engages the electorate most effectively with our vision for a country which is fairer, greener and more caring.
    2. Optimising our support for campaigning excellence, through:
      1. Investing in information technology and data.
      2. Further developing an outstanding network of campaigns staff and campaigners right across the Party.
      3. Building capacity in local parties and elsewhere.
      4. Providing an extensive range of training, tools and materials.
      5. Ensuring elections at all levels reinforce one another as effectively as possible.
      6. Becoming more evidence-led, by testing what works.
      7. Recognising the central importance of the quality and commitment of our candidates to our chances of electoral success and the need for a structured and holistic programme to identify, train, mentor and support them to lead winning teams and win political office.
  4. Taking our efforts to promote diversity to a higher level by implementing the Thornhill and Alderdice recommendations, so that:
    1. We reflect all parts of society, at all levels and in all parts of our party.
    2. Our efforts actively to encourage participation from under-represented groups break through to a higher level by making race and ethnic minorities top priority, putting resources into a national campaign to encourage and assist local parties to:
      1. reach out to local ethnic minority communities;
      2. include these communities in canvassing targets during elections;
      3. establish their key concerns and campaign on them; and
      4. recruit ethnic minority members;
      thereby gaining ethnic minority support, members and votes and making our party better reflect the diversity of the society we wish to represent.
    3. All members and voters feel they have the opportunity to play a full role in the party.
  5. Ensuring our members and registered supporters have an excellent experience of the party, including opportunities to:
    1. Develop and promote their own personal political priorities, locally and nationally, stand for election both to public bodies, and for roles within the party.
    2. Use and develop their skills.
    3. Work with others who share their interests, in party bodies and other groupings.
    4. Gain satisfaction from achieving their political aims, and from working with others who share the same objectives.
  6. Further developing our 'one party' approach and culture through which all members, staff, bodies and organisations which are part of the Liberal Democrat family respect each other, and focus their efforts on working together to achieve our shared objectives of political success.
  7. Expedite progress on measuring, reducing and offsetting carbon emissions that arise from party operations towards the aim of eventually operating at net zero emissions.

Applicability: Federal.