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Tuesday, December 09, 2008


In the end the leadership contest was not as close as I had feared. In fact the result very much reflected the canvassing returns held by Kirsty's campaign team.

It was a hard fought election in which both candidates did themselves and the party much credit. I think that the difference lay in the quality of Kirsty's literature and in the candidate herself.

Members looking for change recognised that the best way of getting it was to elect somebody who had a proven record of campaigning in both urban and rural Wales and who was sufficiently different to what had gone before and to the other party leaders so as to give the Welsh Liberal Democrats a distinctive edge.

The challenge now is to harness the enthusiasm and optimism that this election has generated amongst the membership and turn it into future success. The hard work begins now.
In 1999 Mike German beat Christine Humphrey's with 1,037 to 883. After 9 years Kirsty Williams beat jenny randerson by 910 to 612. That means you had 398 less voters this time than last.

Which ever way you look at it your party is in decline and Kirsty will strugle to turn this around in time for either the European or Westminster elections.
All parties are losing members. It is a sign of the times.
Well done Kirsty Williams. Commiserations to Jenny Randerson.

What does 'Watch out - we are coming to get you!' mean? It sounds rather sinister.
Congratulations to Kirsty - Nick Clegg announced it to the Federal Executive last night, and as one of the very few women round the table, I am pleased we finally have a woman in a leading position for the first time! - lets hope she will inspire other women in Wales to join us and get involved in the male-dominated world of politics!

I find comments like that very disappointing, and take away from Kirsty Williams victory, which is very unfair.

It's not about finally having women in leading positions, implying that gender bias as long as it's toward a woman is a good thing, it's about the best person for the job regardless of gender, race, religion or creed.

I voted for Kirsty because she was the by far the best candidate. Her gender was irrelevant, as it always should be. I'm sure she will do a fantastic job, and i'm proud to be a Welsh Liberal Democrat member led by her.

Well done Kirsty! :)
Aside from the obvious fact that you lot were always going to get a woman becuase there were only two candidates and they both happenend to be women I agree with you Peter.

I hope that merel as a member of your partys exec was aware of this fact, her post suggests she probably wasnt which is quite funny.
John - sorry you find it disappointing that I and other women will welcome Kirsty's election. She clearly got to her positon in the first place through ability! Thats a given. Its like saying we mustn't mention Barack Obama's race, because it demeans all black people, when he has inspired millions of black and white people around the world. Having positive female role models is a positive thing, and encourages other women into the male dominated world of politics. We're all a bit fed up with this ..'it's about the best person for the job regardless of gender, race, religion or creed' mantra.
So by that analysis, the 19% of MPs who are women in the UK Parliament are sufficient, and the 80% of male MPs are there because they are..'the best person for the job?' I don't agree.
Anonymous - don't be pathetic!
Peter no matter how many times you repeat that "all parties are losing members" it wont be true. Both Plaid and the SNp are increasing their membership whilst in government during difficult times. I would imagine the Tory membership is also rising.

Congratulations to Kirsty and her team on a clear victory.

As the first woman political leader in Wales she has the advantage of becoming quickly recognised. She will need all the help she can get with the poor uk wide lib dem leadership, the likely financial disaster of repaying thye "dodgy donation" and the general feeling across civic life in Wales that the Welsh lib dens dont really have a purpose...
What a lovely Lib Dem comment: "I think that the difference lay in the quality of Kirsty's literature".
Mark, you are such a predictable pessimist.
OK, "Congratulations / Llongyfarchiadau", but I've seen better earrings!
Peter :)

Only about Lib dem prospects, though as I ahve stated before they have been marginally improved by electing Kirsty. Like all leader she will need some luck and she comes in at a difficult time. At a UK level the LIb Dems have enjoyed a decade of relative electoral success...you cannot defy political gravity for ever and are due for a set back which comes to all parties from time to time. The issue is how you will respond....
Well I've just found out that kirsty won. Bad luck to Jenny Randerson. I pondered for over a month on who to vote for. I even did interviews with both ladies (which are on my blog) and was still unsure!
Lets hope the Lib Dem will now kick arse in Welsh politics!
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