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Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam and leading Liberal Democrat strategist

By David Goodhart   June 2005

It is hard for third parties under first past the post. But this time you had uniquely favourable circumstances. Considering that, your result was disappointing. Does this show the limits of a “left” strategy for the Liberal Democrats?

I’m not convinced that the opportunities at this election were unrepeatable for the Lib Dems. If you look at the steady increase in Lib Dem representation in the House of Commons during the last few elections, it might be more accurate to say that this election represented a significant leap forwards in a long-term advance. A once-in-a-generation breakthrough, in which the…

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