"Now is an excellent time for the party to rediscover its passion for serious, brave and original ideas"by Peter Kellner / June 13, 2016 / Leave a comment
After their post-election gap year, should we be paying a little more attention to the Liberal Democrats? Little noticed by the media, which concentrated on London, Scotland and Wales, and the better-than-expected Labour performance, the Lib Dems had reason for satisfaction—making a net gain of 48 seats and shoring up support in most of their local council strongholds. Is there a case for saying that they are laying local foundations for a national recovery—not immediately but, say, in the 2020s?
I doubt it. Here’s why. In September 2012, I wrote Prospect’s cover story about the Lib Dems. Its headline was: “Extinction: end of the third party?” I predicted that the party would end up at the next election “at least 20 seats down.” I was technically right though, like most people, I was surprised that they lost more than twice that number.