In three minutes I will have been up for twenty-four hours straight, almost all of that campaigning for the Lib Dems, or helping distraught fellow Lib Dems cope.
I see we now have at least two MPs. Good. Two is enough for a leadership election.
Starting tomorrow, we will regroup. The Liberal Democrats have been set back a generation. But the political situation is now so unstable that no remotely sensible person will even try to predict where any party will be in five years.
Good luck to all of us, of whatever party. It looks like we’re going to need it.
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Commiserations, first to you and your party, and secondly to the UK. What a terrible night. I have mixed feelings about the LibDem devastation. I think that there will be something essentially good to come from this, that this party can restore its reputation and rebuild. Because of the blinkered top down way in which we see political parties, Nick Clegg’s credibility was always going to be tied to the party’s (because, sadly, not everyone reads your blog and is aware of how the LibDems actually function).
I’m not a LibDem, though I share many of their values. To my mind, the greatest shame with their seats lost was any chance for electoral reform in this country. I originally hail from Australia, where preferential voting, at least in the house of representatives, makes a vote for a minor party actually mean something (preferential voting in the Australian senate is an absolute disaster, a sordid web of preference deals which completely undermines any sense of representation). I haven’t, and won’t, do a detailed analysis, but I believe with the votes as they were yesterday, a preferential system would have had a very different result (it would also have greatly affected the way that people voted- I guess UKIP would, sadly, benefit). When Australian Labor gets its votes from Greens and Socialist preferences, it sends a very clear message about the kind of party people want them to be.
As a reader of your works and blog, something of a fan, I just want to say that I hope the toll this (worryingly ideologically similar) Election-Rabid Puppies double whammy has taken on your mental and physical health isn’t too great.
Apologies for the mawkish sentimentality, today is a terrible day so I’m fairly emotional.
Thank you. I agree with most of that. I *hope* there’s enough of a Lib Dem party left to rebuild it into what it should have been all along, and I’m certainly going to do my best.
But today I’m going to eat unhealthy food while still in pyjamas at 6:30PM and nursing a headache, and this weekend I’m going to concentrate on finishing the edits to my novel. And on Monday we start rebuilding.
I think one problem that liberals have in the UK is that they’re too fractured….there’s too many parties that divide up the liberal vote. If you add up the total liberal-leaning vote from yesterday among all the parties, the election was more or less a tie. But since there are so many liberal parties, the Tories end up the big winner. I know liberals say, “Yes, but there are minor differences between all the liberal parties,” but from a tactical stand-point they’re really hurting themselves. From a Tory standpoint, it’s definitely best to keep your opposition divided.
There is only one liberal party in the UK — the Liberal Democrats (if you don’t count “The Liberal Party” who are barely a party any more and are liberal in name only).
I’ll never understand ideologues (on either side), I guess. :P
I’m not being an ideologue. It’s a simple fact. Of the parties that got MPs in the mainland of Great Britain, the Conservatives are conservative, Labour (in as much as they have an ideology at all) are centralist authoritarian managerialist social democrats, UKIP are populist right-wing nationalists, Plaid and the SNP are populist left-wing nationalists. The Greens are environmentalists. And the Liberal Democrats are liberals. All of these are different things.
The total liberal-leaning vote in the election yesterday came to 8%.
I just wanted to say that, although I didn’t vote Liberal (Labour here – but somewhat of a tactical vote – thought they had a better chance of ousting the Tories) I was so shocked – absolutely gutted – by the way things panned out. I couldn’t even talk about it at first, I was so upset. The country is going to suffer so much at the hands of the Tories, and to be fair, probably deserve it. Let them see what they are like without any restraints at all. I am stunned past the telling of it that so few people voted Liberal.
All I can say is, I am so, so sorry. I know other Labour voters who were shocked by what happened. We honestly had no idea that it would go the way it did. It seems insanely unfair that people used the Liberals as a scapegoat for the worst of the Tory excesses – and then were stupid enough to vote Tory. What they hell were they thinking?
I am, quite simply, appalled.
Thank you. I don’t *think* that’s what happened, though, looking at the numbers — Labour increased their vote share far more than the Tories did, astonishingly. What seems to have happened is that Labour took Lib Dem votes in seats where the Tories were in second place to the Lib Dems, and so let the Tories in. Our wonderful electoral system at work again :-/
I think TAD is using the American definition of liberal.
Hi Andrew, I hope you recover soon.
Have to say my politics are almost diametrically opposed to yours but I enjoy reading your blog and it often challenges the way I think and feel about things.
The only thing I can add is that, as someone working in and around university, I found the NUS rallying against the Lib Dems to be flawed, petulant and tactically inept. I struggle to see how a national student body can hold a party to task when they were in a minority position in the coalition…just pathetic.
There is a role for the Lib Dems and I hope they rebuild and regroup stronger.