On the first day at the 2015 Liberal Democrat autumn conference, I delivered my speech about our campaign in the 2015 general election. In my speech instead on mentioning what we did wrong. I spoke about what we did right. During the 2015 general election, I think we delivered a strong campaign and here is why.
As I said at conference, during the election I did not meet one Liberal Democrat MP, candidate, councillor, campaigner etc who did not work hard to spread the Liberal Democrat message and aim which is to create a country in which we have a stronger economy, a fairer society and opportunity for everyone no matter where you are from.
After all in my opinion, our manifesto for this election in my opinion was the best manifesto we have ever produced. With the clear message that we would cut less than the Conservatives and borrow less than Labour. The sections that appealed to me the most was we would do for the NHS and for the younger generation.
Such as invest 8 billion in the NHS with £500 million a year for mental health services. And for the younger generation double the amount of apprenticeships already created as well as transform mental health services for younger people which will allow them for access to mental health services.
One of the biggest challenges we faced in the election was showing the nation the amount of good work we did whilst we were in coalition with the Conservatives from 2010-2015 as lack of press coverage meant this would be a tricky challenge. Such as deliver a £825 a year tax cut to low and middle income families, created 2 million apprenticeships for young people, a 2.5 billion year pupil premium for education and as a result of improving mental health services, 2 million mental health patients were treated between 2010-2015. Now that is one hell of a result!
The public didn’t vote for us because they didn’t like us. They voted for the Conservatives because of fear. And that fear is of Labour and the SNP going into coalition and the fear of not trusting Labour with your economy after the mess they left in before 2010.
I believe that 2020 will be our year. The year the phoenix rises from the ashes and people will finally start to realise that the Liberal Democrats are the only party who can finish the recovery of Britain’s economy, but most importantly do it fairly.
As I said in my speech at conference “The 2015 general election was not a defeat, it was just the ammunition we needed for us to work harder!”
I will always proud to be part of the Liberal Democrats and will also continue to fight for what we stand for. As I will always believe we are what is best for the country and for the future.
The fightback well and truly began the moment the polling station closed at 10pm on May 7th 2015. And oh boy, isn’t it a fightback indeed.