The election results were devastating, many a great MP and councilor lost their seat. Certainly we made mistakes in 2010, both pre-election and post, but the country would have been in a far worse position without the Liberal Democrats helping to form a stable platform to enable recovery and to apply a brake on some of the more excessive Tory policies. However, the British public chose the 2015 election to make a few messages:
> Scottish voters wanted a greater influence over the decisions made in Westminster;
> English voters do not want SNP to be the tail that wags the Labour party;
> UKIP became the receptacle of the vote against the ‘mainstream’ parties;
> Students, disillusioned after the tuition fees ‘debacle’, turned Green.
Strangely the policies of the parties seemed irrelevant, which could explain why, whatever the parties announced, the polls didn’t move. The last minute swing to the Tories was driven by a fear of a Labour / SNP coalition. None of the ‘messages’ were going to lead voters to select the Liberal Democrats. Since the event most commentators have said that the results were extremely unfair on the Liberal Democrats who had been doing a good job in coalition. Some went on to predict the end of the line for the party. However, as usual, they have underestimated the strength of feeling that many people have towards the Liberal Democrats especially when it comes to policies.
Since polls closed last week, over 10,000 new members have joined the Liberal Democrats.
Last week’s elections hurt us all. Across the country our candidates and campaign teams worked so hard but did not get the results they deserved. We have a long journey ahead to get our party back where it belongs, but we are starting that journey ten thousand people stronger than we were – people from all over the country, all sorts of backgrounds and ages.
> Over half of our new members are aged under 35 and our oldest is 91 (welcome to the family Tily);
> 82% have not been a member before and 72% have not been involved in any sort of campaign;
> They have highlighted a huge range of issues, like protecting Human Rights Act and blocking the Snoopers Charter.
> Top locations are Sheffield, Bristol, Twickenham & Richmond, Cambridge, Islington, Battersea and Cardiff.
Would you like help the fight back by becoming a volunteer or by joining the party? www.libdems.org.uk/join