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How is the Lib Dem fightback going?

A full-scale comeback is a way off—but the coalition years are slowly being forgotten

By John Curtice  

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron ©Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images

Unlike the Richmond by-election last year, this week’s parliamentary by-elections in Copeland and Stoke Central are not expected to bring the Liberal Democrats any particular joy. The former is widely regarded as a battle between Labour and the Conservatives, the latter between Labour and UKIP. The party’s ambition is probably limited to saving its deposit in both seats, not something it managed to do in either case at the 2015 general election.

Yet ever since last summer, local government by-elections—of…

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