Archive for the ‘Liberal Democrats’ Category

The Guardian view on the Lib Dem leadership contest: it’s not just about Brexit | Editorial

Ed Davey and Jo Swinson are fighting a more polite leadership contest than the Conservatives. But they need to talk about vision too

Midway through the week after next, and amid massive publicity, the Conservative party will choose a new leader who will become, though perhaps not for as long as they hope, the next prime minister. In the same week, but with only a fraction of the same ballyhoo, the Liberal Democrats will also choose a new leader. The Lib Dems’ choice is very unlikely to be prime minister. Nevertheless, the party’s new leader could be a more pivotal player in the emerging politics of the 2020s.

The Lib Dems have spent most of this decade paying the electoral price for the coalition of 2010-15. In the 2015 election, the 50-year march towards the political gunfire that began under Jo Grimond was devastated. The party plummeted from 57 MPs to a mere eight. Under Tim Farron and Vince Cable, the party was no longer preparing for government as it did under leaders from David Steel to Nick Clegg, but for possible extinction.

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To pact or not to pact? Why a deal with the Tories is a dilemma for Farage | Peter Kellner

Cooperation in a general election would benefit the Conservatives – but would Farage sacrifice his party for the cause?

During the 1951 general election campaign, Winston Churchill travelled to West Yorkshire to deliver a speech on behalf of a local candidate, Violet Bonham Carter. The two were old friends but it was still unusual: Churchill was leader of the Conservative party but Bonham Carter was fighting Colne Valley for the Liberals.

Churchill, however, was not simply putting friendship first. He was honouring a pact between the two parties. The Liberals, then in a parlous state, stood down in many seats that mattered to the Tories; in return, the Conservatives stood aside in seven to favour the Liberals. In the event, Labour narrowly held Colne Valley. But in other seats, the pact worked. The Liberal party just about survived. And given that the Tories emerged from the election with a majority of just 17, the pact possibly tipped the outcome in Churchill’s favour.

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