Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg's just emailed me, letting me know that he thinks that our candidate in the Henley by-election, Stephen Kearney, is "excellent".
Come to think of it, Elizabeth Shenton was also described as "an excellent candidate" in Crewe and Nantwich. As was Ben Abbotts in Bromley. Oh, and Willie Rennie in Dunfermline and West Fife. I seem to recall that Parmjit Singh Gill in Leicester South, Jody Dunn in Hartlepool, Nicola Davies in Birmingham Hodge Hill and Sarah Teather in Brent East were all also excellent candidates.
In fact, the Lib Dems seem to have had a very long run of having only excellent candidates fight by-elections. We must be incredibly fortunate to have had such a good run. Not once has the party ever said: "OK, our candidate's a bit mediocre, but we want you to come and work for him/her anyway."
But for me this just raises the question of what an excellent candidate actually is. I have my own ideas about this, but I'd be interested to see what other people have to say, so please comment and let me know what you think makes an excellent election candidate.
A walk through Montpelier, Bristol
4 months ago