Chris Rennard

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Chris Rennard

Liberal Democrat Peer, House of Lords

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Chris Rennard was appointed as a life peer on the recommendation of Lord (Paddy) Ashdown in 1999 in Paddy's final list of recommendations when he was standing down as Liberal Democrat Leader. Chris Rennard had been appointed as Director of Campaigns & Elections for the Liberal Democrats in 1989, in the aftermath of the party's disappointing fourth place and 6% share of the vote in the European elections of that year. By 1997, the party had increased its representation at Westminster from 19 MPs (who had come from the Liberal Party and the SDP) to a total of 46 MPs (winning 17% of the vote that year). In the elections of 1999, the party elected 10 MEPs (5 women and 5 men), 17 members of the Scottish Parliament and 6 members of the Welsh Assembly.

Chris Rennard was Director of Campaigns & Elections, and then Chief Executive, for the General Elections fought with Charles Kennedy as Leader (and with Lord Tim Razzall as Chair of Campaigns & Communications). The party increased its number of MPs in the 2001 and 2005 General Elections to 52 (19% of the vote) and then to 62 (22% of the vote). This was the highest number of "Liberal" MPs since Lloyd George's Liberal Party had also elected 62 MPs in 1922.

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