General Election - Liberal Democrat candidate blames national party leadership for mistakes in campaign

Oliver Craven - Liberal Democrats.
Oliver Craven - Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrat party candidate for Sleaford and North Hykeham hopes to make some modest gains in tonight election result, but fears mistakes made by his party's leadership on the national stage has made his job harder.

Oliver Craven - the youngest candidate running this constituency - a university student - said it was always going to be struggle.

He said: "Nationally we are squeezed between two extreme parties with possibly two of the most extreme party leaders in decades.

"I think the national campaign has made a few mistakes. We pitched quite strongly towards London and the South east towards quite well-off Conservative Remain areas and it has paid off in some areas - we may take Dominic Raab's seat. But we are looking to struggle in held seats -m there has been too much pitched on Brexit and not on the other things we wanted to do.

"It is good we have been really clear about our position on Europe and people have respected that on the doorsteps, whereas other parties have not been, but the mistake was not connecting our stance on stopping Brexit with all the other things in our campaign. The NHS will only be made worse by Brexit, making it harder for foreign doctors to come here to work. We have made a pledge to fund the NHS for that only comes with the money we get if we remain in Europe from having a stronger economy."

Mr Craven said over the last few days he has had a good response as he has campaigned on rural area doorsteps where he says residents have never seen a candidate before and have appreciated him taking the time.

He said: "They call Lincolnshire the forgotten county but when most of the electorate is forgotten it is clear the Conservatives do not care about Lincolnshire and it is about time someone took them to task. I will keep campaigning and making a dent in that Conservative majority.

"I am fairly confident I will retain my deposit and we will hope to make progress on the result of two years ago. I will not stop here. I will keep going and hopefully be here again for the next general election."