1) Anyone trying to forecast how the Lib Dems will do in 2015 based on extrapolating mid-term opinion polls on the basis of uniform national swing is likely to be as wrong as they would have been at every general election in modern history.
2) My confident forecast for 2015 is the Lib Dems will a) do less well than I’d like and b) do better than our fiercest critics would like.
But enough from me. I’m just telling you what you’d expect me to tell you. Over to these guys instead…
The Lib Dems’ future may not be so bleak (Tim Wigmore in the Tory-supporting Spectator)
[The] Lib Dems’ main electoral challenge in 2015 will come from the Conservatives; of the Tories’ 40 target seats, 20 are currently held by Lib Dems. But Lib Dem MPs should be more comfortable defending themselves from the Tories than Labour. In right-leaning constituencies in the South of England, Lib Dem MPs can claim they have broadly cooperated with the Conservatives while reigning in the perceived nastier elements of the party, such as immigration policy and social conservatism. It could amount to a powerful pitch. … In Lib Dem-Conservative marginal seats, disaffected Conservatives supporting UKIP may allow Lib Dem MPs to retain their seats even if their own vote share falls. Lib Dem MPs will also be able to fall back onto their traditional strengths: strongholds developed over many years, local campaigning, and above all their personal popularity and reputations. All these advantages would have been eradicated by the proposed boundary changes: come 2015, the failure of Lords reform could seem inconsequential for the Lib Dems’ future compared to the preservation of old constituency boundaries.
Half Time Report: How are the Lib Dems doing? (Labour-supporting Don Paskini on Liberal Conspiracy)
I think that the [last week's] election results were actually rather good for the Lib Dems, and show that their future may well be brighter than many expect. … The Lib Dem coalition of support pre-2010 was made up of a small number of people who philosophically believed in economic and social liberalism, a larger number of people on the centre left, and a big group of people who didn’t like party politics and wanted to vote for someone independent minded … if former Lib Dem party members can get elected to run the police in Kent and the council in Bristol, and if the Lib Dem leadership modifies even very slightly its political strategy of alienating all of their former supporters, then 2015 may bring another election with the Lib Dems holding the balance of power.
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.