UK Politics

Local elections 'massive' for Lib Dems, Tim Farron says

Tim Farron

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron says May's local elections are "massively important" as his party seeks to recover from its general election thrashing.

Launching his party's campaign in Sheffield, he said there would be no "decent, meaningful opposition" unless the Lib Dems regained ground.

And he called for a return to his party's "community politics" tradition.

Elections take place across the UK on May 5.

As well as the local authority elections in England, polls are also being held for the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations as well as to elect a London mayor and police and crime commissioners in England and Wales.

They represent a first major electoral test for Mr Farron, who replaced Nick Clegg as Liberal Democrat leader last year.

The Lib Dems sustained heavy losses in council elections during the coalition government and were left with just eight MPs after last year's general election.

But Mr Farron said his party was "determined" to recover ground.

"Every election starts nil-nil," he said.

"If you assume you're going to be beaten, you deserve to be beaten."

He said the party's campaign would focus on "defending local services", housing, and "a shared belief in community politics".

He added: "We know we can make a difference in people's lives, and we will never give up fighting for our communities."

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