Allegra Stratton in the Guardian seems to think that the success of Evan Harris and David Rendel in the Federal Executive elections signifies some sort of rebellion against the leadership as she describes "anti-Tory candidates" taking key positions.
Well, er, excuse me, Ms Stratton, but I think it's quite clear that every single member of the Liberal Democrats is "anti-Tory". While I may be supportive of the Coalition, it'll be a very cold day in hell before I ever consider myself within very long bargepole distance of Conservative philosophy. I would expect every other member of this party, from Nick Clegg down, to feel the same way.
The electorate for these elections is Party Conference reps amongst whom Evan Harris and David Rendel are massively popular anyway. In what universe would they ever not have been elected to any party body they stood for? Even if we weren't in Government, I strongly expect that the results of those elections would not have been so different. I am thrilled that they are both on the FE now as I think they are wise voices in any circumstances.
Ms Stratton may find it useful to avail herself of the excellent audit trail of Party history and elections found on Colin Rosenstiel's website. If she does, she'll see that David Rendel was elected to the Federal Executive at a fairly early stage last time the elections were held in 2008. In fact, he had 20 more first preferences then than he had this time round.
You can't go around drawing conclusions on one set of elections out of context. I don't think the results were particularly unpredictable. I'm gutted that the lovely Elephant's Daddy Richard didn't get on to the Federal Policy Committee, though. Mind you, Lady Mark is going to sunny Europe next year with the ELDR Delegation, and James Graham is going to be on the Federal Executive, so there are things to cheer.
But this is just another example of how the Guardian prints inaccurate stories about the Liberal Democrats without thinking - an all too common trait these days.