Lib Dems in Southport are celebrating the parliamentary victory in Eastleigh this week, where the Lib Dem candidate won in most difficult circumstances.
Over a dozen members of the Southport local Lib Dems helped in the by-election. Key among these was Birkdale Liberal Student Sarah Harding (below right), who manned the front desk of the campaign HQ for much of the campaign.
"We went through 146 biros which means 292 miles of ink." says Sarah,
""Eastleigh's new Lib Dem MP, Mike Thornton was a pleasure to work for. He is a long-standing local councillor who campaigned long and hard on our policy of getting fairer income tax and stamping on tax-avoiders.The local people clearly trusted him to continue the kind of representation in parliament which they required."
Also taking a working holiday in Eastleigh was Lib Dem Dan Lewis, who volunteers in the Southport Lib Dem office.
"This was a victory for the unstinting work of the local Lib Dems in Eastleigh over a decade or more, which has resulted in them being elected to all the council seats in the area."
"The by election was a fantastic experience. 250 people a day came to help, peaking at 700 on polling day. We knocked on 70,000 doors, made 135,000 phone calls, received 2,000 individual donations and had over 100 kilogrammes of cake donated!"
John Pugh MP, who twice spent a day campaigning in Eastleigh, said:
"There are many parallels between Eastleigh and Southport, where Lib Dems also have councillors elected in every ward in town. The Eastleigh Lib Dem HQ was even on the 'Shakespeare industrial estate' while ours is in Shakespeare Street! "
Councillor Tony Dawson, who also helped in the campaign, said:
"Again and again, people choose to vote for candidates who they can see working with them and for them on issues which they care about. The three magnificent Library campaigns in Southport have been a case in point. No Labour or Conservative councillor has been seen within a mile of these campaigns which were open to everyone. These are the kind of things which make a difference."