Posted on Sep 20, 2015

    People Threw Some Shapes At The Lib Dem Disco And It Got Pretty Weird

    "Like the legend of the phoenix."

    It was the first night of Liberal Democrat conference. The clock had struck 10:30pm. It could only mean one thing – it was time for the Lib Dem Disco.

    Emily Ashton / BuzzFeed

    With top politicians battling it out to be crowned Lib Dem DJ of 2015, the atmosphere got pretty intense. Would MP Alistair Carmichael manage to cling to last year's title?

    Emily Ashton / BuzzFeed

    The event was held in a Bournemouth hotel – and it was quite a draw. The long queue for tickets meant a few people missed the start of Paddy Ashdown's set.

    Emily Ashton / BuzzFeed

    Former party leader Ashdown, 74, had chosen a surprise list of dance classics to get the party started, including St Germain's "Rose Rouge".

    .@paddyashdown is about to take over the #LibDemDisco. It's one of those days.

    He borrowed a hat from a partygoer and later tried to eat it, just as he promised to on election night when an exit poll predicted the Lib Dems' crushing defeat.

    Meanwhile, Paddy has somehow acquired David Grace's hat. He's already tried to eat it once. #ldconf

    Ashdown introduced his final track – Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" – with an inspiring message of hope: "Like the legend of the phoenix...Lib Dem fightback!"

    vine.co / Via Mikey Smith

    Great choice, Paddy.

    vine.co

    BuzzFeed News got hold of the set list. Another former party leader, Nick Clegg, also made a few unexpected song choices. "All About that Bass"?!

    Emily Ashton / BuzzFeed

    When Nick Clegg requests "All about that bass" at #libdemdisco 😂❤️😂

    But it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Back in March, Clegg told how he likes to dance around his kitchen to Meghan Trainor's dance hit.

    Emily Ashton / BuzzFeed

    Sadly Clegg didn't make an appearance at the disco. He missed out on a very cheesy set from Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland.

    Emily Ashton / BuzzFeed

    Carmichael kicked off with a bit of Wham! before turning to "It's Raining Men" by the Weather Girls. "This was approved by the gender balance committee!" he said to cheers.

    vine.co

    He ended his set with a crowd-pleasing – if a little disconcerting – "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred.

    Mum's updates on #ldconf #libdemdisco and Dad's associated dancing are just too much. I'm too sexy for my shirt? Really? #pleasestop

    Carmichael brought out all the sexy moves.

    vine.co

    And then the lights came on for a bit which made it even more awkward.

    Emily Ashton / BuzzFeed

    Now it was Jo Swinson's turn. The ex-MP told Carmichael: "I see your Weather Girls and raise you – the Spice Girls!" That was swiftly followed by Pink.

    vine.co

    Not many places you can be talking land value tax whilst having jagerbombs and @joswinson playing the records. #libdemdisco @LibDemDisco

    It's fair to say Swinson absolutely nailed it. The crowd went wild.

    vine.co

    There were also sets from Lib Dem mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon and former council leader Gerald Vernon Jackson. But they never stood a chance.

    vine.co

    As chants of "Jo, Jo, Jo" filled the room, judge Julian Huppert – aka DJ J-Hupz – declared: "There can only be one winner tonight – and it's Jo Swinson!"

    Thank you disco darlings - what a fantastic night to kick off #libdemconf! #LibDemFightback https://t.co/MUe61Lbjk8

    Emily Ashton / BuzzFeed

    Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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