Lib Dem membership hits record levels in Wandsworth


Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson with Sue Wixley and local members on Putney Bridge

The local party has seen a 30% surge in membership since late May when the Liberal Democrats won the European elections in Wandsworth, with 37% (36,012 votes)  more than double the Labour vote (15,487) and four times the Conservative vote (9,395).

Wandsworth Liberal Democrats now have a record number of members (1,340) and the party welcomed 300+ new joiners in the last few months. Nationally, the party’s membership now tops 115,000. Each of the three constituencies in the Wandsworth borough party – Battersea, Putney and Tooting – have benefited from this surge.

Josh Bloom, a new member in Putney said:

"After years of feeling politically homeless, with no party willing to make a stand on what was best for the country, I joined the Lib Dems. They are the only party putting up a credible fight to Brexit and are committed to centrist, progressive policies - principles all other political parties appear to have abandoned."

The Lib Dems’ Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Sue Wixley said:

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome our new members. More and more Remainers are becoming Lib Dem voters, supporters and members because they realise that Brexit is simply not viable. Voters in Putney are having sleepless nights about the political chaos led by Boris Johnson in No. 10 and supported by Jeremy Corbyn. Like me, our new members feel that the Liberal Democrats are the only party that represents their hopes and values."

Sue Wixley has lived with her husband in Southfields for more than a decade and stood in the ward for Wandsworth Council elections last year. Sue has been a director of several organisations working on healthcare and social issues and has served on the board of several others. She co-founded and led the South African Campaign Against Landmines, part of the global campaign that was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

In Battersea, the party's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Mark Gitsham commented:

"The growth in membership is phenomenal - our new members are sick of Brexit, sick of our country being run into the ground and are joining from Labour and the Tories or as first time members of a party because they want to stop Brexit and save Britain. They are active and ready to join our liberal movement to fight for all of our futures." 

Mark Gitsham is a Battersea resident, where he has lived with his partner for over 5 years. He became actively involved with the Lib Dems during the referendum campaign in 2016 and stood for Wandsworth Council in 2018. He has worked with homeless people and young offenders, assisting them back into homes, work and training. Mark was part of the organising committee which delivered the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In Tooting, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Olly Glover said:

"I am excited about our highest ever levels of membership in Tooting not just because it shows the determination of so many to stop Brexit. It also shows how so many people want to help deliver the Liberal Democrat's bold vision on climate change, community policing and housing". 

Olly lives in Balham. As well as a successful career in public transport, Olly has a long record of volunteering and public service: he currently volunteers as a visitor supporting people living with motor neurone disease. Born to a Polish mother and a British father, Olly shares and understands the pain caused by Brexit to EU and British citizens alike. 

Spikes in member signs-ups are prompted by events such as Jo Swinson’s election as the party’s new leader last month. Boris Johnson arrival in No. 10 also sparked a membership surge as did the party's by-election victory in Brecon & Radnorshire, which saw Jane Dodds beat Conservative incumbent Chris Davies.

Recent polls have suggested that the Liberal Democrats could win Putney from the Conservatives at the next General Election. Meanwhile polls show that Labour voters are growing increasingly frustrated with Corbyn's fence-sitting on Brexit and are dismayed by his handling of anti-semitic behaviour in his party. 

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