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Manchester Gorton Central and Blackley Liberal Democrats

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January 13, 2020 12:01 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

I want to thank you for all your hard work over the last six weeks. Everyone did everything they could in this campaign but the result has been deeply disappointing.

Despite Liberal Democrats gaining 1.2m votes and our share of the vote increasing in every region of the UK, we are now one seat down compared to 2017. Under a proportional system, we would now have 84 MPs.

Under a proportional system, we would now have 84 MPs

In many contests, we achieved some of the biggest ever swings in election history. But in six tight races, we lost by just a few hundred votes.

For me, Jo missing out by just 149 votes was heartbreaking. In her time as Leader, she gave us hope about a new progressive politics. If you missed her moving speech you watch it here or read it here.

We also lost too many other exceptional MPs: Jane Dodds, Tom Brake, Stephen Lloyd, Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston, Sam Gyimah, Philip Lee, Angela Smith and Antoinette Sandbach. Each had made their mark as outstanding MPs standing up for liberal principles. We will miss them all.

For me, Jo missing out by just 149 votes was heartbreaking

Our task now is to learn and look ahead.

Under the Party Constitution, if the Leader loses their seat, the Deputy Leader in the Commons and the President jointly take on the role of co-interim Leader. Ed Davey and I are already working closely together.

I am delighted to say that Mark Pack has been elected as Party President from 1 January, and I will hand my share of that role to him then.

Our task now is to learn and look ahead.

We have opened an initial review for members to feed in their views about the European Election and General Election Campaigns this year. Please do take the time to respond here: https://digitallibdems.typeform.com/to/DPE1nf

We will also set out the arrangements for electing a new leader next year.

Right now, our urgent political priority is to hold the Conservatives to account over their Brexit preparations and their election promises.

Thank you again for everything you have done over the last six weeks. I hope you get some rest over the Christmas period and come back feeling refreshed in January.