The Liberal Democrats are a British liberal political party, formed in 1988. In 2010, the party entered Government for the first time in its history, with then-leader Nick Clegg becoming Deputy Prime Minister. It was the first peacetime coalition the United Kingdom had ever experienced and presented a new kind of politics. In 2015, however, the party faced near-extinction when its 57 Parliamentary seats were dramatically slashed to just eight and more than 2,000 councillors were wiped out. Clegg resigned and Tim Farron took over.
Meanwhile, in the country's second city, the Liberal Democrats had suffered a string of equally catastrophic election results. The party had plummeted from an all-time high of 38 seats to zero on Manchester City Council.
Pulling the party back from the brink of complete collapse and re-energising it as a major force in Manchester's political arena was our task.
In 2016, we ran a strategic digital campaign to return former Manchester MP John Leech on to Manchester Council. The campaign, which was described by The Times as "brutal and completely ruthless... but terrifically effective", catapulted him to the top of the ballot sweeping up a decisive 53% of the vote. BBC News hailed the win as "historic" signifying the first gain for any party in Manchester other than Labour for the first time in six years and providing Manchester with its first opposition for two years.
Our return to campaigning in Manchester in 2018 was described as "something you’d expect to see in the 2020 US Presidential campaigns, not Manchester’s council election." The campaign, which attracted national headlines as critics claimed we had "taken it too far", increased the party's vote share once again. John Leech came out as Leader of the Opposition, increasing his share of the vote to 55%.
Apostrophe continues to work with the Liberal Democrats and is proud to manage the PR, publicity, social media and marketing for the Manchester and Trafford City Council groups. We also provide political and strategic advice to the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition on Manchester City Council.
'What Will You Say?' - 2018 election film