Monday, June 02, 2014

The race for the Party Presidency: a few things that you might have forgotten

It has been four years since we last had a contest for the Party Presidency, and for those people who might not have been around in 2011 for the Tim Farron versus Susan Kramer contest, here are some of the things that need to be borne in mind.

The President is the principal public representative of the Party and shall chair the Federal Executive. The President is elected by the members of the Party for a term of two years starting from 1st January in the year immediately following the election and shall hold office until death, incapacity, resignation or the election of a successor; the President shall be eligible for re-election once only.

The timetable for the election shall be no shorter than 7 weeks and no longer than 12 weeks.

To be a validly nominated candidate, you need the nomination of not less than 200 representatives entitled to attend the Federal Conference in not less than 20 Local Parties. Liberal Youth, and their Scottish and Welsh equivalents count as Local Parties, and don't forget the Local Parties overseas and in Northern Ireland. You don't have to be a Federal Conference delegate yourself, although it will be very helpful to attend the Autumn Conference, as it is the easiest place to collect nominations.

Candidates (and their campaign teams) don't have access to the membership lists. That means that reaching members is that much more difficult, so it helps if potential supporters can reach you.

There is a spending limit for all candidates, to be decided by the Federal Executive. It would be nice if they decided upon that early, so that potential candidates can organise accordingly. The Federal Executive are also supposed to review the Regulations for Presidential elections six months after an election takes place. It doesn't look as though they felt the need for change...

If there are three or less candidates, each is entitled to a double-sided A4 election address, printed and paid for by the Federal Party. If there are four or more, the entitlement is reduced to double-sided A5.

So, there are some of the key factors that candidates and their campaign teams will need to consider over the weeks and months ahead.

It's going to be interesting...

No comments: