Advertisement

‘Sense of excitement’ among Lib Dems ahead of general election – Sir Ed Davey

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has said there is “quite a sense of excitement” in the party ahead of the upcoming general election.

He dismissed claims he needed to be more bold as party leader and said he was confident the Lib Dems would be the third largest party at the election later this year.

The Liberal Democrats won 11 seats at the 2019 general election, but have since won formerly Conservative constituencies across southern England in a series of by-elections.

These have included Chesham and Amersham in Buckinghamshire, Frome in Somerset, Tiverton and Honiton in Devon, and North Shropshire.

Put to him that the Lib Dems needed to present a more comprehensive offer and “can’t just be not the Tories”, Sir Ed told Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg: “I disagree. I think some people would like us to be a think tank. I want us to win elections to beat Conservative MPs and remove this awful government.”

Asked about the party’s performances in recent by-elections, Sir Ed said his party had achieved “staggering successes in true blue areas” last summer.

He said: “We go into the next election with quite a sense of excitement, actually, we think we can do really well.

“There’s loads of areas where if you want to get rid of the Conservatives, you’ve got to vote for the Liberal Democrats. I talked about the ‘blue wall’ where we are having massive success against the Tories – in the south-west of England as well, we’ve come back there.

“So, we go into this election year actually more confident than we’ve been for many a long year.”

The Lib Dems received a smaller share of the vote than Reform UK, formerly known as the Brexit Party, in the Kingswood and Wellingborough by-elections earlier his month.

Asked if he was confident the Lib Dems would be the third biggest party at the next general election following the rise of Reform UK, Sir Ed said: “Yes.”