LibDems close the gap in beer election
When the election was called, SIBA wrote to some 2,300 candidates encouraging them to replace the traditional victory tipple of imported Champagne with a glass or two of beer brewed in their constituency by one of SIBA's 450 brewers. To date, the Tories have been the most enthusiastic, accounting for 36% of positive responses, the LibDems second with 32% and Labour trailing with 18%. The Greens have 11% -- a high proportion given that they have fewer candidates, while independents take the remaining 3%.
SIBA chairman Keith Bott said: "We've been very pleased by the response from parliamentary candidates and from SIBA brewers who have followed up our initital offer to candidates with a personalised approach of their own. It would be good to think that this could be the start of a continuing dialogue between local brewer and local MP -- and even better if it also involves local pubs."
He added: "We haven't heard from any of the party leaders in response to our offer, though I'm delighted that Minister for Pubs John Healey was one of the first to reply. We're confident that around 50 new MPs will be celebrating their success with beer rather than Champagne on election night."